Culture Online

AIATSIS Research Publications
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Information Technology and Indigenous Communities, 2013, pp. 89 - 104 (15)
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Many Indigenous projects, such as language recording, use existing information technology (IT) resources for cultural sharing on the internet or storing culture on computer systems separate from the web to ensure privacy. However, existing resources are not always suitable for the needs of Indigenous users, and many very creative IT language projects are designed for material in a single language. This chapter documents the design of web resources used in the reclamation of the Dharug language of Sydney.1 We discuss a Web 2.0 framework for the creation of highly interactive websites that allow users to share these teaching techniques or materials between language groups. Such a framework should deal with the issues involved in teaching and learning Aboriginal languages, including the scarcity of speakers for many languages, the need for audio and video materials online, and the complexity of these languages, which requires novel teaching techniques. We also look at international projects that use technology to support community knowledge sharing spaces. These include engineered interfaces that enable users to physically ‘interact’ with images and computer-generated objects or to use mobile phones to project images and place audio information into the real world, thereby recreating past or future environments. Further, we look at web services that are being used to recreate the community of survivors of recent earthquakes and develop a learning space. Finally, the limited possibilities of existing work on text to speech and speech to text are presented. We relate this work to Australian Indigenous cultural projects and discuss how links might be made, especially with open source software.
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