I’ve just attended the ALEA/AATE National Conference in Brisbane and am, as is usually the case at such events, feeling very intellectually stimulated and challenged. While there will undoubtedly be further blog posts on the topics I’ve been focused on and ideas that are building, this one is actually a bit of a plea.
It started with the twitter feed. I’m used to going to educational technology conferences and hanging out with people that I have first met online via twitter (or people who I have newly met on the day via twitter). At the recent ICTEV conference I attended, the hashtag trended within about 1/2 an hour of the conference keynote beginning. At the ALEA/AATE conference, I was really pleased that there was a twitter hashtag and there were certainly a few articulate and thoughtful tweeters but the feed in general was a little…….thin. Is it because English teachers aren’t comfortable with twitter? Do they know it exists and what an amazing source of professional development it is?
The theme of the conference was ‘Brave new world’ and random conversations that I had with teachers who attended were that they were looking certainly for ideas and conversations about literacy but were also very open to and wanting support and ideas for utilizing new technologies in their classrooms. What they need are the kind of mentors I’ve had over the last 3 years from the world of educational technology enthusiasts that I also frequent. Throughout the conference, I’ve attended some great presentations by teachers and researchers working with an expanded idea of what being literate means but think the overall conversation would be further enhanced by some of the work I know is being done in classrooms throughout the country that is often shared at ICT conferences and Teachmeets.
So here’s the plea to the twittersphere – come and present at next year’s ALEA/AATE conference in Darwin. Your ideas and contributions deserve to be shared with as wide an audience as possible and I know that it would enrich this fantastic event even further. Besides, if we think the Brisbane weather has been good, imagine what it will be like sunning ourselves in Darwin this time next year. Hope to see you there!