Our Symposium was held at Tug Agency http://www.tugagency.com
Founded by Nick Beck Tug Agency is “a search marketing led agency, specialising in pay per click
advertising, biddable display, search engine optimisation, affiliates and
social media marketing.” (If this is a new world to you, definitely check out their website.)
A HUGE benefit of having the Symposium at Tug was the opportunity to interact with some of the amazing staff. Nick found time to join our informal discussions on digital technology and teacher education. Luckily, two of his staff who specialize in social media found time to discuss their work with us. Eoin O’Neil and Simon Jenkins talked about “how” social media “works,” how search engines can use our past searches to “predict” what we might look at next, the complex formulas used by companies to identify patterns, and so on. Hearing from experts on the power and use of social media contributed to our discussion on place of digital technology in teacher education. Nick, Eoin, and Simon clearly showed that the “future is here” and we need very tech-savvy teachers who understand being digital citizens and the place of digital technology in education. We definitely made connections between teacher education and search engine optimization!
Please note that under the Connection Grant tab I (Clare) have added a photoarray from the Symposium; some of the ppt presentations; and some scholarly articles. More to follow.
As the participants in the symposium talked about the state of teacher education in our 4 countries, I (Clive) was dismayed at the rapid movement toward requiring everyone (teachers and teacher educators) to teach the same things in the same way.
The cartoon about requiring all animals – elephants, monkeys, birds, fish, etc. – to climb the same tree kept coming to mind. This is madness. In the real world, not only are people different but we need them to be different because of the diverse tasks that have to be performed.
But it’s problematic to publicly describe standardization as madness, since conservatives have presented their position in terms of raising or maintaining standards, and we may be seen as being soft on standards.
Two strategies have occurred to me: One is to fly under the radar, teaching in a rich and individualized way while also implementing “standards.” We have to learn to DO BOTH, as much as possible.
The other strategy is to develop and publicize the argument – noted above – that diversity is needed in all walks of life, and a society that doesn’t “let a hundred flowers bloom” will not prosper. I don’t think we have been vocal and persistent enough in pressing this point.
Tug Agency http://www.tugagency.com was a fabulous place to hold the Symposium. The Tug Team are an example of very talented people who have gone far beyond the “standards” of education. They are very able and very creative — what can we learn from them about how to make education relevant and engaging?
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
As many of our blog followers know we are hosting the Symposium : Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education for the Digital Era: Teacher Educators, Literacy Educators, and Digital Technology Experts Working Together. One of the main activities of the project is bringing together 17 experts from three fields and 4 countries (Canada, US, UK, and Australia) to address the following questions.
• How can literacy/English teacher educators (LTEs) prepare student teachers to develop and implement literacy programs that capitalize on digital technology (DT)?
• What teacher education curriculum changes are required to better prepare future teachers to integrate technology in their own teaching?
• What professional learning support do LTEs need to develop courses that will integrate and make greater use of DT?
The Symposium will be held over two days: June 5 and 6 in London England. We will send updates daily.
As academics we tend to work in our “silo” which although allows us to specialize it has limitations. The symposium will provide an opportunity to work in an inter-disciplinary manner which may help us move forward the field of literacy teacher education. The participants are:
Clare Kosnik (P.I.)
Clive Beck – Co-applicant – OISE/University of Toronto
Pooja Dharamshi – OISE/University of Toronto
Cathy Miyata – OISE/University of Toronto
Lydia Menna – OISE/University of Toronto
Shawn Bullock – Simon Fraser University
Jean Murray – Co-applicant – University of East London
Bethan Marshall – Co-applicant – King’s College
John Yandell – Institute of Education, University of London
Sue Dymoke – University of Leicester
Sam Twiselton – Sheffield Hallam University
Alison Baker – University of East London
Lin Goodwin – Co-applicant – Teachers College
Peter Williamson – University of San Francisco
Simone White – Co-applicant – Monash University
Graham Parr – Monash University
Neil Selwyn – Monash University
Scott Bulfin – Monash University
The Symposium is being held at Tug Agency:
Tug is a search marketing led agency, specialising in pay per click
advertising, biddable display, search engine optimisation, affiliates and
social media marketing. We’re called Tug because we believe that pull
marketing is the most cost effective way to drive traffic to our clients’ websites,
and the best way to drive ROI positive online conversions.http://www.tugagency.com