Thursday, 10 July 2008

Stories, Places, Spaces

I am now in Sydney before leaving for the UK tomorrow and so have had time to reflect on the excellent ALEA/ AATE conference, Stories, Places, Spaces: Literacy and Identity. Apart from the excellent keynotes (including Ilana Snyder, Daniel Meadows and Victoria Carrington), there were so many interesting sessions that it was difficult to choose what to attend. I attended an excellent - and entertaining - introduction to Second Life by Rosie Kerin and Pat Grant, a session outlining a fascinating project on the use of computer games in secondary schools by Catherine Beavis and her team, a lecture outlining the very rich work undertaken on the River Literacies project by Phil Cormack, Helen Nixon and Ruth Pfeiler, an inspiring session exploring approaches to 'visual literacy' by Alyson Simpson, one in which a gifted teacher, Anthony Bortalot, demonstrated how he engaged pupils in comprehesion work related to music videos, in liaison with Sarah Major Cox, and finally a brilliant session in which Mark Vicars talked about the reading practices of gay men. It was difficult to fit anything else in. There is so much exciting work being undertaken in Australian schools on digital literacies I would have liked to have been able to attend at least 3 papers each session. I would recommend the ALEA/AATE conference for all those in the UK interested in digital literacies - the next conference will be in 2010, so plenty of time to plan your paper!

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