Do you want your students to better understand the Indigenous history of Canada? Do you want them to investigate the Calls To Action? Your Voice is Power accomplishes this and supports students in expressing their voice through music and coding.
What is Your Voice is Power Canada?
Your Voice Is Power (YVIP) is an opportunity to remix beats while learning to code. Yes, code! Students learn computer science, music, entrepreneurship, and social justice through this national project. Using the EarSketch platform, students remix songs from Indigenous artists while adding their own beats and voice. Through the curriculum provided, students will understand social justice themes to include in their songs. No experience is necessary to participate.
…make something that mattersSeymour Papert
Seymour Papert, the inventor of the first coding language for kids, spoke of ‘computers as mudpies‘—as media with which to think, play, construct, and express meaning. He wanted children to ‘make something that matters‘. So it is with Your Voice is Power. Students care about social justice, music, and giving voice to their ideas.
Roots & Evolution
So where did Your Voice is Power come from?
Here is the history as written by Christine M’Lot—an Anishinaabe educator from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“In light of events around racial injustice, Amazon Future Engineer and Georgia Tech partnered with legendary producer Pharrell Williams and his philanthropic organization, YELLOW, to create an innovative multi-day learning experience and competition for students across the United States. Using Pharrell’s and JayZ’s new song Entrepreneur, middle & high school students explored how entrepreneurship, music, and computer science are transformational pathways toward equity.
Students analyzed how musical artists design songs to build awareness of racial injustice, encourage self-reflection, and inspire listeners to take action towards creating a more just nation. They used Georgia Tech’s EarSketch platform, where students wrote code to create a 30 second – 3 minute musical remix using real sounds from Entrepreneur. Students who submitted their remixes to the competition were judged based on the quality of music, code, and messaging.
Fast forward a few years and they wanted this program to expand into Canada, remix the program, and make it relevant to Indigenous youth here in this country.”
Christine has co-created a wonderful curriculum to address social justice issues, activism, equity, and Indigenous/Canadian history. Thanks also to Marika Schalla, Hip-hop consultant Chad Allsopp, and Indigenous graphic designer Ruby Bruce. I was honoured to be asked to be a co-author on this project and contribute curriculum and coding expertise. I focused on student play and empowerment in the design of the coding aspects of the Your Voice is Power curriculum.
Details at YourVoiceIsPower.ca
Go to the website to see all the incredible resources and timelines.
Your Voice is Power is brought to you by TakingITGlobal in partnership with Amazon Future Engineer of Amazon.ca, Connected North, University of British Columbia’s Cloud Innovation Centre, and Code To Learn.
How Can You Get Involved?
Sign up for the Tech for Reconciliation Tour run by the awesome facilitators at Fair Chance Learning.
Create Your Own Opportunity
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange specific professional development for you and your team.
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