“Booklet Builder”: A good Idea for Teaching Language and Heritage

Friend and Sensei Biagio Arroba sent the  news that his Booklet Builder is now available for download. (I know he’s been working to get to this stage for quite a while.)

The Booklet Builder helps with Native American language education. It is a system designed for Native American colleges, tribes, schools and community-serving organizations, to help organizations with creating and sharing bilingual content.

Built on Drupal and other open software, with extensive support for multiple writing systems, BB is the current result of Arroba’s many years of work on ways to use Web tools to help communities preserve, teach, and learn their endangered languages. BB is a twenty first century answer to the significant challenges of publishing materials in Native American or other endangered languages.

A key feature of BB is that it is designed for “community driven content”, to let people build their own materials for formal or informal education. The flexible framework has been used in a number of projects with many collaborators, including:

  • A Living, Growing Textbook, Héċet̄u Weló Student Manual (Oglala Lakota College)
  • Content Standards (Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium)
  • Children’s Readers (Ilisagvik College in Alaska)

The same platform can be used to create games, story and song libraries, in multiple languages–lot’s of things.

I know that Sensei Biagio has worked for many years and through many versions of this concept, making him one of the outstanding experts in “crowdsourcing endangered languages“.

An earlier incarnation was LiveAndTell, which was a really neat social site for sharing (mainly) Lakota language multimedia.  LiveAndTell is described in some detail in the report and paper cited below.

Archived screen shot of LiveAntTell

Booklet Builder is a unique and interesting web toolkit.  Check it out.

áta čhó (I got that from the web: I hope that is an appropriate translation for ‘nice job’!)


 

  1. Arobba, Biagio, Robert E. McGrath, Joe Futrelle, and Alan B. Craig, A Community-Based Social Media Approach for Preserving Endangered Languages and Culture. 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/17078
  2. Arobba, Biagio, Robert E. McGrath, Joe Futrelle, and Alan B. Craig, A Community-Based Social Media Approach for Preserving Endangered Languages and Culture, in “The Changing Dynamics of Scientific Collaborations” workshop at 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. 2011.

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