Digital Literacies in EAL Special Interest Group (SIG)
Digital Literacies in EAL SIG is a new initiative facilitated by Dr Katrina Tour (Monash University) and Associate Professor Melissa Barnes (LaTrobe University), and supported by VicTESOL.
It is a group for members of TESOL associations in Australia who are interested in digital literacies and their inclusion in EAL learning.
22 March 2023: Dr Luci Pangrazio and Louise Whittle
The first session of a new initiative for members of TESOL associations in Australia who are interested in digital literacies and their inclusion in EAL learning was held on 22 March 2023. Dr Pangrazio began by providing a background and definition of digital literacies, focusing on how this is different to digital citizenship and digital rights.
Louise Whittle spoke about her experience with digital tools and the impact Covid had on her use of these tools. She also talked about software and websites she has used with her students previously, demonstrating with videos, images, and descriptions of the purpose, benefits, and limitations of each.
Participants then had the opportunity to ask presenters questions, and a discussion was facilitated.
Research presentation: What is digital literacy?
Like traditional, print-based literacies, digital literacy refers to a competency or capability with a particular topic, field or issue. However, as both conceptual and material notions of the ‘digital’ are slippery, so too are conceptions of what constitutes being ‘literate’. In fact, defining what is meant by digital literacy has become more complicated over time. Invasions of privacy, increasing dataveillance, and the erosion of the democratic sphere are just some of the complex issues in modern societies that digital literacy is supposed to address.
In this presentation, I will outline what digital literacy is and how it differs from other cognate approaches such as digital rights and digital citizenship. I draw on practical examples and strategies for classroom teachers to incorporate into their practice to develop critical digital literacies. I conclude by outlining what digital literacies cannot achieve, in particular the issues and challenges that are, in many respects, beyond the influence of the teacher and the curriculum.
Dr Luci Pangrazio. Luci is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence of the Digital Child and a senior lecturer in language and literacy at Deakin University. Her research focuses on digital and data literacies, datafication in the home and school, and the politics of digital platforms.
Practice presentation: An online reading program for EAL students: A teacher’s experience
This session will discuss the challenges and opportunities of an online reading program for EAL students. While the reading program encouraged students to engage in reading, there were challenges associated in relation to access to digital technologies.
Presenter: Louise Whittle. Louise has been a primary school teacher for the last 24 years, working in the South Eastern public sector as a classroom teacher and casual relief teacher. She has had overseas experiences teaching in the USA and UAE, where her interest and love of EAL education started. Louise has been providing EAL Language Support/ Intervention in a mainstream school for the last 5 years.