Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dialogic negotiation: a study of digital literacies across home, school and community

OK, so here is the abstract for the paper I gave earlier this week at the AATE conference in Darwin. Lovely place and a great conference.
Dialogic negotiation: a study of digital literacies across home, school and community
Within the broader context of policy, media and professional debates around young people, new technologies and education, this paper reports on the preliminary findings of a study investigating the connections between young people’s practices around digital technologies across school, home and community settings. The study is particularly interested in the implications of young people’s social and cultural practices for language and literacy learning and teaching in secondary schools. Ethnographically oriented case studies of young people from five contrasting schools in Melbourne are examined from a New Literacy Studies perspective (Street 1984; Gee 1996; Pahl & Rowsell 2005) to understand: a) what technologies these young people are using and the significance of different spaces of use, and b) how these different uses might be understood productively as social and cultural practices. This paper argues for a move beyond the powerful binaries that characterise literacy practices in homes and schools as separate and distinct, and suggests instead that young people’s practices travel across these spaces more fluidly in what might be called a ‘dialogic negotiation’.
Like all conferences, it was a mixed bag. You end up going to some interesting stuff and some you wished you hadn't gone to at all. In the end I'd like to think that even the dodgy stuff can be useful (it makes you feel better about your own efforts and gives you plenty of 'less effective' examples to steer clear of in your own work and presenting).

So I won't say who the dog of the conference was, but ask me later and I'll tell you - in fact you could ask almost anyone who was there and they'll give you the same name!

The highlight for me was definitely hanging out with Rob Pope and getting the lowdown on his 'critical rewriting' stuff. He's just a lovely guy; humble, thoughtful, willing to listen (like Lisa McCune - thanks Chaser!), happy to be involved, etc etc. Not your typical 'stuck up my own arse' professor. The other highlights were hanging out with the ETANSW crowd - Mark, Kelli, Eva and of course SueG - oh and hearing Barbara Comber talk about using spatial theory (or social and cultural geography) in her new study which sounds really exciting. For me, a boost in confidence, as I'm been playing around with this stuff for a while now and have not really heard many people taking it up - so I gain some confience from that.

Oh and the food around Darwin town was exceptional. Some excellent asian stuff. Lovely fish too.

Anyway, John and the NT crew did a great job. Many of us know the enormous strains and pains that accompany conference convening and so 'we who are about to die salute you!'

Monday, July 03, 2006

im getting there, where ever there is

the blog break is doing some good, as I'm beginning to feel itchy again. not quite ready to get back in the saddle just yet. don't know why but it seems as my blog hiatus is connected to me buying two copies of WOW and giving one to one of my younger brothers. late nights and late questing ... a way of life?