Representing Indigenous Histories Using XR Technologies in the Classroom

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The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy


In this article, we describe the major assignments from our team-taught course, Virtual Santa Clara, which drew on the affordances of extended reality (XR) technologies and public memory scholarship from the fields of rhetoric and anthropology to represent Native Ohlone history and culture on our campus. Based on our experience, we argue for the affordances of producing small-scale XR projects—using technologies such as 360° images and 3D models—to complement and contribute to larger-scale XR digital projects that are founded on deep community collaboration. In a landscape where exciting technological work so often tends to entail thoroughly developed, large-scale projects, we argue for the value of more modest contributions, both as scaffolded pathways into technology work for teachers and students and as a means of slowing down the process of technology adoption in order to better respond to ethical, humanistic, and decolonial considerations. Our own incremental process enabled us to proceed with more care, more caution, and, ultimately, a more collaborative framework going forward.