This weekend I attended a conference at the University of Tasmania called New Literacies, Digital Media and Classroom Teaching. I found it extremely reaffirming with regard to my perspective on digital literacy and ICT integration into the classroom. It was wonderful to be immersed in a learning environment that had no limiting structures, enabling a back channel to exist via the use of twitter and the ability to access wireless to extend understandings and links beyond the actual lecture being presented. Being able to explore a website mentioned in a lecture while tweeting certainly changes the experience. It was also nice to meet a couple of the people who I have seen in the twitterverse in person—Bill Boyd http://literacyadviser.wordpress.com/ and Martin Waller http://www.changinghorizons.net/.
I will post over the next few days the things that I have taken away from this moment in time. At present I feel a little overloaded with the information and need to sort it in my own head.
The one thing that is at the centre of my thinking is the importance of providing an acceptance of moments of chaos within a classroom when implementing new digital literacies for the first time, where the learning in the classroom will not look neat and tidy. Further to this, an allowance needs to be provided for a mind-shift on a personal level that we as educators are learning with students, we cannot be expected to know everything. Assuming the role of facilitator and mentor is far more important than knowledge source, yet we must be immersed in the particular program/game/medium to ensure that the learning undertaken is authentic and deep.
Pic by langwitches sourced on Flickr