University of Oulu

Alisa Burova, Larisa Leisiö, Sumita Sharma, Biju Thankachan, and Markku Turunen. 2021. Technology Inclusion via Endangered Language Learning Application: An Explorative Case Study with Remote Nganasan Community. In Academic Mindtrek 2021 (Mindtrek 2021). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 21–32. DOI:

Technology inclusion via endangered language learning application : an explorative case study with remote Nganasan community

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Author: Burova, Alisa1; Leisiö, Larisa2; Sharma, Sumita3;
Organizations: 1Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
2University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
3University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-25


Digital learning, although extremely popular with tech-savvy users, is still not widely studied in the context of remote communities for endangered language learning. To support technology inclusion, it is also imperative to motivate and engage users for long-term use. We have developed a gamified storyline application for a moribund language, Nganasan (Samoyedic branch of the Uralic language family), and conducted a remote user study, where three teachers autonomously utilized the application at a local school in the Taymyr Peninsula (Northern Siberia, Russia) with 22 children, aged from 7 to 12 years. The results indicate that the application was fun, engaging, and appealing for most children, whereas teachers demonstrated the desire to use the application further and contribute to its development. The analysis of usage patterns, obtained from the three tablets sent to the school, suggests that cooperative work was motivating and engaging for the children from the remote community in Taymyr. We further discuss the value, drawbacks, and learned lessons that can be useful for future research on digital learning and technology inclusion with remote communities.

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ISBN Print: 978-1-4503-8514-5
Pages: 21 - 32
DOI: 10.1145/3464327.3464363
Host publication: 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek 2021, June 1-3, 2021, Tampere/Virtual, Finland
Conference: International Academic Mindtrek Conference
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This study was initiated within the DIGIKIELI project, funded by the Academy of Finland and KONE Corporation. We would like to thank Riku Savonen (Finland-Russia Society), the head and the teachers of Volochanka school for their participation in the study. Unfortunately, the school burned down completely in August 2020.
Copyright information: © 2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek 2021, June 1-3, 2021, Tampere/Virtual, Finland,