SIG Technology and Literacy Education

(SIG TALE)

Please note: Due to COVID-19, SIG TALE's June 2020 symposium on "Framing the Critical in Digital Literacy/L1" has been postponed. We will send details when it has been rescheduled.

Coordinators

Mission statement

SIG TALE’s main focus is on exploring the use of digital technologies and media in L1, both in a historical perspective and in terms of contemporary sociocultural practices locally and globally. A basic assumption is that complex developments of homogeneity and heterogeneity are taking place in L1, and that information and communication technologies (ICT) – and in particular, digital technologies – function as one of the main actors in these important developments. While these developments have been more intensive in the last few decades, technologically mediated change has been a constant feature of language and sign mediated communications throughout history. The situation calls for explorations of the relationship between language and language education, of the new multisemiotic communicative reality inside and outside school, and of the multidimensional relationship between literacy education and today’s digital cultures. SIG TALE’s objective is to disseminate critical research and practice through international workshops, seminars, conferences and publishing.

Objective

SIG TALE is one of six SIGs within the International Association for Research in L1 Education (ARLE).
The SIG’s main focus is on exploring the use of digital technologies and media in L1, both in a historical perspective and in terms of contemporary sociocultural practices locally and globally. A basic assumption is that complex developments of homogeneity and heterogeneity are taking place in L1, and that information and communication technologies (ICT) – and in particular, digital technologies – function as one of the main actors in these important developments. While these developments have been more intensive in the last few decades, technologically mediated change has been a constant feature of language and sign mediated communications throughout history. The situation calls for ongoing explorations of the relationship between language and language education, of the new multisemiotic communicative reality inside and outside school, and, from a broader perspective, of the multidimensional relationship between literacy education and today’s digital cultures.
The main objective of SIG TALE is to disseminate critical research and practice through internationally oriented workshops, seminars, conferences and publishing.

Background

SIG TALE was established in the aftermath of several activities that went on at IAIMTE 2015 in Odense, Denmark. This included 1) A well-attended pre-SIG symposium on ICT and literacy education comprising six paper presentations and a discussant; 2) several paper sessions focusing on technology and literacy education; and 3) a well-attended business meeting with more than 25 participants who signed up for participation in the proposed SIG focusing on the issues described in SIG objectives outline above.
From a research perspective, IAIMTE 2015 provided a clear sense that a variety of methodological approaches to ICT and literacy education is currently found amongst L1 scholars, and that it would benefit the L1 research community, and ARLE in particular, to formalize communication and collaboration in this increasingly important research area. This includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, exploratory and intervention-oriented research, and empirical and theory-developing studies on different levels of education, from primary to upper-secondary education and teacher education. Furthermore, paper presentations and discussions reflected that technology-related teaching and research practices are embedded in different regions and national contexts, and that it is vital to take such aspects into consideration when establishing the SIG and in taking research in this area forward.
In conclusion, a strong interest was found amongst L1 scholars to establish SIG TALE. Koutsogiannis and Elf were asked to make preparations for establishing the SIG formally within ARLE. This process has taken place in the fall of 2015. In November 2015, the coordinators asked the board of ARLE to formally accept SIG TALE as one of SIGs within ARLE.

Activities

As SIG TALE was established in 2015, we have so far not produced any business report. Instead we have set up the following goals for 2016:
21-23 March 2016: The first meeting amongst coordinators Scott Bulfin, Nikolaj Elf, and Dimitrios Koutsogiannis, Univerity of Thessaloniki, Greece. The meeting will specify future goals and activities, including the first SIG TALE seminar in the Autumn of 2016.
April 2016: Call for special issue on technology and literacy education in L1 Educational studies on language and literature.
June 2016 (or earlier): Launching of SIG TALE website
Autumn 2016: The first SIG TALE momentum seminar, probably in Thessaloniki. Agenda (draft): outlining theoretical and methodological issues, presenting ongoing research, establishing a collaborative research agenda, preparing a symposium for all members of the SIG and others at ARLE 2017, Tallinn, Estland.
2017: SIG TALE Symposium at ARLE CONFERENCE 2017, Tallinn, Estland; June 15-17
July 4-8, 2018: ARLE SIG TALE Symposium 2018 in Lesbos, Greece (Metochi Study Centre): Digital Technology and literacy education: Renewing priorities for research, policy and practice

Participants

At the initiation of the SIG at the last ARLE conference in Denmark, 25 researchers signed up as members. See attached list. Members represent a diverse and international mix of regions, countries, and research experiences and interests.

Dissemination and Communication strategy

Updating information on SIG TALE, including members, on ARLE website. Responsible: Coordinator Nikolaj Elf.
Stand-alone website for SIG TALE. In 2016, we will design a SIG TALE website that serves as a platform for the activities related to the SIG.

Ambassador settlement. Due to its character, technologies are linked to the different areas of L1 Education and so our theme entails a cross-SIG character which involves collaboration and knowledge sharing with all (or most) of the other ARLE SIGs. In due time, we will establish such dialogue by appointing members of SIG TALE as 'ambassadors'. Their role will be to communicate and collaborate with the other SIGs.

Members 2019

As of May, 2019, 115 ARLE members affiliate with SIG TALE. Click this link to see who we are: Members 2019.