Sorry for my absence over the last week. I was attending the Australian Literacy Educators Association annual conference (ALEA) in very sunny Brisbane. The sun was a nice change form the very drab and cold weather that we have here in Victoria at the moment. The conference was 3 days of inspiration where I got to listen to lots of different presenters. I generally choose sessions on the use of ICT and tablets in education and they were all great. I also presented my own research into the use of iPads to scaffold oral language development in the P-2 years. Some highlights of the conference were:
Dr Lisa Kervin: The University of Woolongong presented a keynote on the use of digital technologies and young children. I felt like jumping up and shouting YES, YES, YES as what she said definitely resonates with my own research and beliefs surrounding this area.
Professor Guy Merchant: Sheffield Hallam University in the UK presented a keynote on the use of tablets in the early years and the use of virtual worlds in education.
Professor Kate Pullinger: Bath Spa University whose keynote surrounded writing and the future of writing in the digital age.
Professor Allan Luke: Queensland University of Technology who presented his final plenary address on indigenous education in Australia. It was truely an honour to listen to a person whose research has had a long lasting impact on the profession.
I also attended so many other presentations where I was inspired and challenged to think about my own thoughts and beliefs.
While attending the conference I heard a interesting quote ” we can’t use old tools to build a new house“, which raises an interesting issue. I would argue that we need both old and new tools to create a house which is strong and high in quality. Multiliteracies is a combination of both traditional forms of literacies and new literacies, it is not one or the other.
Last night on the news there was a item on ipads and the dangers to children’s health, the news reported on the rising amount of children presenting to doctors with headaches and neck pain. This got me thinking. When a pencil (which is a form of technology) was introduced were there similar cries of outrage? Children writing also crane their necks to look down, they focus on the piece of paper which can cause eye strain. It just seems to me that when any new form of technology is introduced their are cries of doomsday warnings.
My point here in this very rambling stream of thought is EVERYTHING IN MODERATION, iPads and ICT need to be used as a one of the tools for children’s learning.
Enough of my musings, does anyone else have any thoughts surrounding the issues of when and how to use iPads????