I (Clare) recently did a presentation to a group of teachers on a self-study I conducted with Lydia Menna and Shawn Bullock on our efforts to integrate digital technology into my literacy methods courses. (Here is the powerpoint from that presentation. BERA + ECER-DT 2013in Dropbox) I talked about my initiatives which led to me showing how my efforts in my literacy teaching led to a greater use of digital technology in other parts of my life (e.g., using NVivo for data analysis). The success of my initiatives with my teaching gave me the confidence to take the plunge to do a website. My technical skills had improved and my identity shifted so that I now see myself as “digitally competent.” During the presentation I showed our website and one of the participants raised an interesting question: How do you get ideas for your blog? He recounted how he wanted to do a blog but did not know what to write about. I told him to just start! I believe that writing a blog is a different genre – it requires different writing skills than other forms of writing. Since we started this blog, I feel that my blog-writing skills have improved. I now focus on one topic in a blog; I am more comfortable sharing my insights; I will raise questions; I make links to other resources; and I no longer feel the blog needs to be perfect (so what if there is a typo. We will survive.) Blogging seems to have captured my interest and is a good match for me ( I have lots to say about education) and it is fun. I keep a Word document with blog ideas which is always plentiful and when I come across something “interesting” one of my first thoughts is – Would that make an interesting blog? This thought is followed by – Would others be interested in this topic/issue? Doing our blog as a “team” has truly been the way to go. I have learned so much from the posts by my team (Cathy, Lydia, Pooja, Clive and our guest bloggers) about them personally and professionally. And their blogs give me ideas about what to write about.
I really see our blog as connecting with the broader education community which is social media at its best. Blogging is good for me because it gets me thinking critically and hopefully, our posts are of use to our readers.
With the symposium a few days behind us, I (Pooja) have had some time to reflect on what was discussed in London, England. Clare wrote a reflection post on day one of the symposium (https://literacyteaching.net/2014/06/06/symposium-day-1-reflections/), so I want to reflect a bit on day two. Day two started off with mini-presentations which asked presenters to focus on a central question: What is happening with digital technology in your context?
Shawn Bullock, assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, raised some interesting issues related to digital technology and education:
- Technological Determinism: A theory which asserts we need to stay current with technology to stay relevant in society; technology determines cultural values and society’s structures
- Digital Publics: The theory that the nature of public space has changed significantly over the past years. The nature of public space has gone from persistent to replicable to searchable in the past few decades:
o Persistent- recording (video, audio) events changed the nature of public space;
o Replicable- recordings became replicable;
o Searchable- today we can search for any recording
Understanding how the nature of public space has drastically changed over the years, Shawn posed an important question to the group: What is the role of education in theorizing privacy in the digital age?
As the symposium was coming to a close, we were guided to reflect on the past two days. Many people realized that the rapid increase of standardization and data driven initiatives was happening across all contexts. However, many individuals commented that the conversations over the past two days were “energizing.” Being in conversation about big issues across international contexts made many teacher educators realize they were not alone. In fact, many commented they wanted to keep up the momentum by further collaborating and “making some noise” in teacher education.
Once again, we’d like to thank TUG Agency for so graciously hosting us. TUG provided a vibrant and exciting atmosphere for our symposium to take place. Check out their website at: http://www.tugagency.com
Congratulations to Dr. Tim Fletcher for being awarded the 2014 AIESEP (International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education) Young Scholar Award. Tim is the first Canadian to receive this award. Tim is doing cutting-edge research on health and physical education (including self-studies of his own practices as a teacher educator). Tim is an Assistant Professor at Brock University. Check out his faculty page for a partial list of his publications. http://www.brocku.ca/applied-health-sciences/faculty-directory/kinesiology/tim-fletcher
Tim has been part of both of our research projects (Clive’s longitudinal study of teachers and Clare’s study of literacy/English teacher educators). He is an outstanding young scholar who is so worthy of this award.
This attached picture is of Tim and Shawn Bullock, another outstanding young Canadian scholar with whom Tim has collaborated. Check out Shawn’s website for a list of some of his publications. Shawn’s work is making a real difference in how we understand teacher education. http://shawnbullock.ca/wp/
Send us pictures from the award ceremony at the AIESEP World Congress being held in Auckland next month.