Archive for category conferences
#TMBrisbane 2013 (September)
I recently publicised a TeachMeet that my students and I were hosting at QUT as part of a unit on English Curriculum Studies. This particular TeachMeet had the theme ‘What works in education?’ and was designed to facilitate the kind of professional sharing that I want to model for my students – open, generous and friendly with a focus on developing relationships and building communities of practice.
The picture above shows a few of our participants in further conversation during the tea break. This was an after-school session, run from 4.45-6.30pm, and it was great to see presentations from a wide range of contexts. Speakers on the day were:
- Alison Welch – The benefits of collaboration
- Mark Yeates – Use of LMSs from a Year Level Coordinator’s Perspective
- Greg Howes – Designing infographics to promote creativity
- Garry Collins – One little thing that works in teaching grammar
- Nathan Beveridge – Bananas about STEMx: Applications of Fruit and High Technology in C21st Learning
- Lisa Furuya – Gamifying your practice
- Kelli McGraw – The ongoing relevance of the Productive Pedagogies
- Anita Garnsworthy – Inside learning goals: Gathering student insight and feedback
- Josephine Wise – Leading and Teaching: 10 Top Tips for moving from Highly Accomplished to Lead Teacher
- Bruce Lee – Introducing the Scootle Community (www.scootle.edu.au)
The big messages and important links from the TeachMeet have been captured using Storify at this link:
The power of TeachMeet…
Reflecting on the event, I think the best part of a TeachMeet is the opportunity for face-to-face connection with other educators in a non-threatening environment. Although we also had a strong backchannel occurring in both Twitter and Scootle, it was the chance to ‘put a face to a name’ that I valued most.
It was also awesome to see experienced educators modelling courageous sharing for my preservice teachers – everyone authentically attempted the ‘pecha kucha’ or ‘micropresentation’ styles, which are challenging to master!
TeachMeets are PD events run in the ‘unconference tradition’ – they are free to attend and the presentations are short (2 or 7 minutes only). Our TeachMeet had a mixture of classroom teachers and school leaders, as well as a university teacher, a student/pre-service teacher, teachers undertaking research degrees and policy workers. I was so proud of my students for having the confidence to host the event and get involved in professional conversations…they also put on a pretty mean afternoon tea spread ;)
The next Brisbane TeachMeet will be held soon, on Thursday 24th October, at Marist Ashgrove. If you are an educator in SouthEast Queensland I encourage you to attend – you can sign up via the wiki.
I’ve been back from overseas now for a few weeks and have almost (almost) accomplished the Great Assignment Marking Catchup. We’re all faced with one from time to time, but for me having a trip overseas is still always worth it!
Part of my overseas stay was, amazingly, in Cairo. I had never been to Egypt before, or anywhere in the Arab region. Most of my time was spent at the MILID Week meetings at Cairo University, which was the event I was there to be part of.
What is MILID?
MILID stands for ‘Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue‘. UNESCO, together with the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) have created a UNITWIN Cooperation Program and Global Chair on ‘MILID’, to focus resources and efforts across partner universities from around the globe on Media and Information Literacy.
To give you an idea of what the group does, here are two of the seven objectives of the MILID network:
- Act as a Observatory for critically analyzing: the role of Media and Information Literacy (“MIL”) as a catalyst for civic participation, democracy and development; for the promotion of free, independent and pluralistic media; as well as MIL’s contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and intercultural tensions and polarizations.
- Enhance intercultural and cooperative research on MIL and the exchanges between universities and mass media, encouraging MIL’s initiatives towards respecting human rights and dignity and cultural diversity. (http://www.unaoc.org/communities/academia/unesco-unaoc-milid/)
How did I get involved?
Across the globe there are eight universities involved as Chairs in the MILID program. My institution, Queensland University of Technology, is the Chair from Australia. Other countries represented are: Spain (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Egypt (Cairo University), China (Tsinghau University), USA (Temple University), Brazil (University of Sao Paulo), Jamaica (University of the West Indies), Morocco (Mohamed Ben Abdellah University).
This semester QUT has run a pilot course in Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, using the UNESCO Curriculum for MIL. Along with Michael Dezuanni and Hilary Hughes, I’ve been teaching the course to students online, for free, from over 70 countries.
MILID WEEK is a space to promote contact and cooperation between international organizations, associations, NGOs, universities, media, research groups, researchers, teachers, and students from around the world working in media literacy and information and intercultural dialogue. (http://milidweek2013.blogspot.com.es/p/presentation.html)
This year Cairo University was the host of MILID week, which ran from 22-25 April. Last year the week was hosted in Barcelona, Spain; next year the week will be hosted in Beijing, China.
What I liked best about my first MILID week was the opportunity it provided to speak in depth with colleagues in this specialised field. Over the days of debates and presentations we shared information about how media is being used (and subverted) in our countries and regions, as well as the politics of information literacy in schools and communities. This event gave us space to find common interests and develop shared strategies for promoting the concept of MIL.
What did I learn?
It was eye opening to consider such questions during the MILID week as: How can we plan collaboration via social media in a group that includes members from China? How can we share media texts across national boundaries to promote intercultural dialogue? How can media and information literacy support social justice initiatives?
Mostly I was interested to learn about how other universities worked and how much attention is given to media literacy and/or information literacy in different places. I came away with the impression that Australia is relatively well-placed in terms of access to traditional and new media, connection to the internet, and use of social media. But I wonder whether Australian students are exposed to practices of citizen journalism as much as they might be? It struck me that in a place like Egypt, citizens currently have a lot of motivation to produce their own stories and information…by contrast the culture of media consumption in Australia seemed complacent to me.
And, as always when spending time with folks from a range of countries, I was reminded of how monolingual my world is. I speak next to no words in other languages; most of the people around me from Anglophone countries were in the same boat.
If I can’t go in person to the MILID Week in China next year I’ll be disappointed now, as I feel like I only just got to know this group and my place in it! However with the week falling in April/May, right in the middle of semester 1 in most Australian universities, I can’t say I will be able to take this kind of a break away from classes again for awhile. Either way, I’ll be continuing to promote the new MILID journal and contribute online to the Clearinghouse.
Soon the MIL Curriculum will be available via an interactive module-based website, to complement the existing PDF of the Curriculum. I’ll be sure to post again with details once the site is launched!
Thanks to QUT Faculty of Education and UNESCO for supporting this travel and development opportunity.
This year in Sydney, as with last year in Melbourne, AATE and ALEA are holding separate national conferences.
Despite promises to myself earlier this year to go to less conferences, I’ll be heading along to both :)
The ALEA National Conference, which is about to be held in Sydney from 6-9 July, has already sold out all available places (Well done to Lisa Kervin, the conference convenor!) I’ll be sticking my head in on the last day of this conference to hand out promotional material our conference in Brisbane…it’s hand over time, baby!
The AATE National Conference will be held a little later this year, from 3-4 October. I’ll be there with Five Bells on, presenting a workshop with Bianca Hewes on ‘Success, obstacles and ethics in online teaching’ as well as on a panel about teacher blogging. I’ll be joined on the panel by the likes of Bianca, Troy and Darcy, so you know it’s going to be a power-session; not to be missed!
Once these two conferences are wrapped up, it’s next stop: Brisbane 2013!
Our website won’t go live until after the hand over in July, but there is a Facebook page you can like and Twitter profile you can follow:
We’re working like crazy to get the Call for Papers and everything else ready for the launch, but here’s a sneak preview of things to come:
…will I see you in Brisbane in 2013?
…in his address at the launch of the Werklund Foundation Center for Youth Leadership Education in Calgary.
Before coming to the 2012 AERA conference I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Inaugural International Youth Studies Congress at the University of Calgary.
As well as hearing from distinguishes scholars, teachers and students on issues relating to youth studies, the major highlight for me (and tbh, the carrot that helped me decide to attend in the first place), was the keynote address by Henry Giroux.
If you consider yourself a ‘radical’ educator and have not yet read Giroux’s work, I highly recommend it! He is doubly awesome in my book, given his commitment to getting his scholarly thoughts out into the wider-read public domain. I thought it very fitting, therefore, that I should tweet the ideas from his talk that stood out most for me.
You can read the gist of his talk in this op-ed article: The ‘Suicidal State’ and the War on Youth.
(NB: I accidentally tweeted the term ‘suicide state’ instead of ‘suicidal state’. Oops…)
I used the hashtag #girouxsays to mark the tweets…given the fickle, temporal life cycle of hashtag searches, I’ve collected them all here for y/our convenience and later reference:
A big shout out to Shirley Steinberg, the Werklund Foundation Chair in Youth Leadership Education, for hosting this inaugural event. She’s kind of a big deal in the fields of #radical_education #freire_project #critical_pedagogy – loved hearing more about this work! (my radical itch was in need of a scratch…)
When you have a research paper to present, choosing the right conference to take it to is important.
I have long been affiliated with the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). When I first started out as a postgrad student, I used to go to their conferences to present papers, and I even was elected as student rep. to the Executive Committee. I also had one of those awful experiences of being a small fish in a giant pond, and having only three people turn up for me to deliver my paper to. Devo’d…In the end I ultimately stopped being involved in AARE because I needed to narrow my focus and concentrate on English curriculum teaching and scholarship.
Since then I’ve been going to the annual conference of the Australian Association for Teachers of English (AATE) – every year since 2004! And this year is no exception – I’ll be in Melbourne for the AATE conference in December (will you?). Only, for the first time in awhile, I’ll be heading to the AARE conference too, in Hobart the week before. With more skills in networking under my belt, and a clearer direction for engaging with the ‘special interest groups’, I’m feeling really positive about reconnecting with AARE and sharing my PhD findings there.
For me though, as far as big, generalist conferences go, AARE was always plenty big enough – and having developed an instinct to narrow my scope rather than broaden it, I didn’t think I would ever attend the EVEN BIGGER, EVEN BROADER, international ‘annual meeting’ of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)…
But, attend it I am!
Both the paper and group session I submitted have been accepted to AERA 2012, which will be held in Vancouver in April next year:
Curriculum Change and Resistance: Challenges Identified During the Implementation of An Expansive State English Curriculum.
This paper presents the findings of a doctoral study that undertook a content analysis of a corpus of curriculum texts, news reports and case interviews with teachers during a period of curriculum change in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Producing the young citizen in texts of families, neighbourhoods and nations
This session critically analyses popular fiction, nonfiction and television texts for children and young people focusing on sexuality, sexual safety, bullying and heroism. Each of the selected texts can be understood as a pedagogical apparatus that works to instantiate children and young people as particular subjects and objects of knowledge. (with Gannon, Lampert, Bethune and Gonick)
So, let’s count ‘em up: AATE and AARE in December; I already went to ALEA and IFTE earlier in the year; AERA in 2012.
That’s FIVE amazing conferences in 12 months!
And one BUSY girl :/
Totally worth it :)
(By the way…’what’s with all the four letter acronyms starting with A’, I hear you ask? Tell me about it! Took the first year of my research degree to decipher this shiz! And the kind of ugly websites of AERA and AARE…you can tell all of their energy goes into research!)