We’ve achieved our first major milestone, that is, a project partner meeting which took place on 8 December. Within the project, we are looking at collecting stories of practice with digital literacies and so during the day we experimented with various ways of capturing the stories that were being told at the meeting. We started off with somewhat of an old school twist on people tagging mentioned in an earlier blog post by our principal investigator. As people came in, we handed them a form to fill with information about their preferred contact details for admin purposes but we also asked the question about their favourite gadgets and mobile devices seemed to come up a lot. We also asked about their digital superpowers and digital kryptonite. Turns out that there are some real hidden talents among the group as we noticed that participant mentioned “invisibility” and “photographic memory” and Facebook seems to be quite successful at putting people off technology, as are faulty photocopiers. We then whipped out a Polaroid instant camera (yes, they’re back!) to take snapshots of participants which were then appended to the forms and added to the display boards. We came back to that map throughout the day, looking for connections between the participants (see also our Tweets from the day) and any emerging stories and paths to explore as we reflect on various meanings of digital literacies.
We were aided in these reflections by a diagram created by the members of the project team, which offers a visual representation of project methodology and the roles and responsibilities of our three main partners – schools, PGCE tutors and consultants from the local creative digital industries. The figure in the right-hand corner of the diagram, our evaluator, also made a virtual appearance during the day and listened in to our conversations with the PGCE tutors in the morning, offering some useful insights for the project. One thing that we will certainly keep reflecting on is striking the right balance between technology and literacy. as our evaluator noted, if you foreground ‘digital literacy’ there is a possibility, a danger in some circumstances, that the technologies become prominent and the emphasis on pedagogy and communication is lost, at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with enthusing people to try new technologies. After all, we are working with a very creative bunch of people from a variety of backgrounds, including media studies, creative and digital media, ICT and English, amongst other things. They come from different sectors, including primary, secondary and special schools, but all have one thing in common – an interest in digital literacy and a willingness to take risks with their pedagogic practice.