Exploring the Adobe Education Exchange – Navajo Talking Books

I was asked over the summer if I might take some time to explore the Adobe Education Exchange while their Educator’s Choices Awards are going on. I was intrigued as the exchange isn’t so much about the “come pay for this teaching tool because it’s awesome”, but rather “come check out all this really neat FREE stuff built with Adobe tools.” Don’t get me wrong, the ultimate goal is to sell Adobe products, but some of the interactives, web resources, and activities that people are sharing on the exchange are really interesting.

It was with great excitement that I found this rather awesome collection of Navajo language talking digital books, made with the help of students, teachers, and teachers in training. I even put together a little video overview of the site, along with my comments on it.

As I said in the video, the only real downside I see of having a great native language resource like this is that it’s made with Flash, and hence can’t be viewed on iOS devices, but that’s nothing I’m going to really whine about. This project is so simple in its design, yet so powerful in its form as it allows Navajo language learners to hear native speakers, much like the Rosetta Stone software does, even if they don’t have access to native speakers in their community. That, and it gives those learning at the Dine Education Center, where the digital artifacts were created, a chance to create something using their language that has relevance in today’s world, something that can’t always be said for native languages.

If you like the site, and want to find more, go check out the entries currently submitted to the 2011 Educator’s Choice Awards on the Adobe Education Exchange, you won’t be disappointed.