I just found out I’ll be presenting at the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada conference in Saskatoon in May. I’m now quite petrified. Yes, I had applied to do this. I think this is what they call ‘cold feet’. It is an exciting opportunity to share on digital and technolgocial literacy within the literacy community.
I feel I am at an intersection of communities – teacher librarians, media and technology specialists and literacy and language specialists. The genesis of my research was within the literacy community. I had taken a very interesting course on literacy and focused my attention on the ‘new literacies’. My reading of Colin Lankshear, Brian Street, Michelle Knobel and James Gee convinced me that literacy education is moving in a new direction. I felt compelled to understand these new literacies and find my place in the reading and writing of them. As I have read and studies this year in teacher librarianship, I have been struck by the cross-over from literacy to the library. It is not a surprising partnership but the communities approach their research from different angles. I am trying to describe these different lenses to improve my conceptualization of the differences. Right now it’s just a gut feeling that the literacy researchers and the teacher librarian researchers haven’t always been in contact with one another.
As I have engaged in the reading and writing which my own blog as has introduced me to I have been introduced to yet another viewpoint, that of the technology specialist. Again the lens is different but the material is the same. Again I feel like the communities have come to similar conclusions through separate avenues. How interesting it would be to engage Colin Lankshear and Will Richardson in discussion or to listen in on their discussion of the issues and trends and implications for classrooms. Or to hear Doug Johnston and Stephen Downes discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of technology in the classroom. Perhaps this is already happening and I am not yet privy to the conversation. At this point, I am constructing it for myself, for that’s what learners do and that in part is what I’ll share when I speak in May. I wonder what I should call it – “the need for collaboration” or “extending the conversation” or “walking in multiple landscapes”. Actually, I guess it already has the name I gave my explorations this year – “Living a changing landscape – one teacher on a path towards New Worlds”.