Invited SIG Technology and Literacy Education (SIG TALE) Symposium: Agency, Technology and Teaching L1

Submitted by: Scott Bulfin
Abstract: Organizers:
Scott Bulfin, Monash University, Australia
Nikolaj Elf, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Dimitrios Koutsοgiannis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Nikolaj Elf and Scott Bulfin

General description:

Agency is a notion widely used in sociolinguistic and educational research. In a L1 perspective, it is often used as a positive term in relation to technology as it is linked, for example, to empowerment, creativity and development of voice through writing or other productive multimodal practices. However, theoretical developments in late 20th and early 21st century, including a post-anthropocentric perspective, have suggested a revised understanding of human agency arguing that technology decenters the subject’s agency and that this hold implications for education and teaching and learning. From a L1 perspective, these developments in the thinking of agency and technology are scarcely reflected both in theory and practice. The aim of the present symposium is to shed light on the potential understanding and relationship of the three notions and their implications for L1 research and practice. Six contributions offer varying conceptualisations of agency and explore the value of these approaches in relation to L1 practices in a wide variety of contexts across the world. The discussant will comment on the contributions and offer reflections from theoretical, methodological and policy perspectives for further plenary discussion.

Overview of presentations:

Session I:

Moderator: Scott Bulfin

I) Possibilities for agency? Exploring the interface of the digital humanities and L1 literary education (McLean, Sawyer, Bode)
II) “That was me, clicking and touching to do exactly what I wanted to”: Reading literary apps and perceiving agency (Acerra)
III) How a survey of young people’s skills in digital literacy highlights issues regarding their digital agency (Lacelle, Lebrun, Boutin)

Discussion (part I): Emeritus Professor Bill Green, Charles Stuart University

Session II:

Moderator: Nikolaj Elf

IV) Literacy in digitalised secondary school classroom: Reflections on transitional practices (Nygaard & Skaftun)
V) Family, children’s digital literacy practices and education: Revising the connection (Koutsogiannis & Adampa)
VI) Agency, Technology and Teaching Practices in L1 classrooms: Paradoxes, complexities, restrictions and possibilities in Greek-Cypriot Literacy Education (Kontovourki & Poyiadji)

Discussion (part II): Emeritus Professor Bill Green, Charles Stuart University

Plenary discussion.

Format: 15 minutes’ presentations. Discussant: 10 minutes in each session.