SITE 2011

From 5 – 13 March I travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend the 22nd International Conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). The conference attracted almost 1200 delegates representing more than 50 countries, which was heartening for the society in a time of restricted financial support from many universities in the USA and elsewhere. I am grateful to the faculty for support to attend the conference which I have been attending annually since 1998.

Because of my involvement in the management of SITE it is always a busy conference for me but this one was especially busy. I participated in an IFIP WG3.3 conference on the days prior to SITE, attended various meetings of SITE committees, was involved in 2 meetings about a UNESCO sponsored EDUSummIT to be held in Paris in June, and participated in 5 presentations.

IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) is an international organisation established under the auspices of UNESCO in 1960. It operates through 14 technical committees of which the third (TC 3) deals with Education. Each TC has a number of working groups. WG 3.3 Research on Education Applications of Information Technologies had been invited to SITE and had arranged for a workshop on Research in digital technologies, futures and education to be held on March 6 & 7. Prof Niki Davis, currently at University of Canterbury, had  arranged for me to be invited to the workshop which was focused on reading and critiquing papers by participants with the intention of developing them for journal submission. In addition to the papers I had already submitted for SITE I prepared a paper, ICT access and confidence with applications among pre-service teachers, for this conference with Romina Jamieson-Proctor and Glenn Finger (Griffith) based on some data we collected in 2010. During the workshop I was proposed for full membership of WG 3.3 and am awaiting confirmation of that by TC 3.

My formal SITE conference activity commenced with the Executive Board meeting on 7 March. Other activity associated with my roles in SITE included attendance at the meeting of the International Education SIG, attending the Consultative Council meeting where Joke Voogt (Twente) and I presented a short discussion paper on developing the international profile of SITE, representing the editor of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (for which I am an associate editor and was acting editor during part of 2010) on a panel of editors, attending the SITE leadership dinner, and introducing the IFIP keynote panel. In my role as a SITE Vice-President with responsibility for international development I also participated in two meetings about the organisation of a follow-up EDUSummIT to be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in June.

I contributed to four refereed presentations at SITE this year:

Albion, P. R. (2011). Come the Revolution: Pre-service Teachers’ Access to, Attitudes toward, and Skills with ICT. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 22nd International Conference 2011 (pp. 74-81). Nashvillle, TN: AACE.

Albion, P. R., & Erwee, R. (2011). Preparing for doctoral supervision at a distance: Lessons from experience. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 22nd International Conference 2011 (pp. 82-89). Nashvillle, TN: AACE.

Erwee, R., & Albion, P. R. (2011). New Communication Media Challenges for Supervisors and External Doctoral Students. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 22nd International Conference 2011 (pp. 252-259). Nashvillle, TN: AACE.

Sprague, D., Albion, P. R., Ferdig, R., Maddux, C., & Leins, J. (2011). Publishing in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE). In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 22nd International Conference 2011 (pp. 1680-1684). Nashvillle, TN: AACE.

These and other SITE conference papers will be available from the Education & Information Technology Digital Library to which the USQ Library subscribes. The second paper has already been accepted for the 2011 edition of the SITE Research Highlights book and the first is still in review for that publication.

The Tuesday keynote was Yong Zhao who spoke about Students as Global Entrepreneurs, from a USA perspective but with broader implications, concluding with encouragement  to invent a job, not find one. The gist of his message may be gleaned from his blog. On Wednesday incoming President of SITE, Mike Searson, presented his keynote on Bucky’s Map and Global Perspectives in a Digital Age, encouraging consideration of how our perspectives on the world are developed and may be made more global. The Thursday keynote was delivered by a panel of IFIP WG 3.3 members and introduced the work of IFIP and the working group. The final keynote on Friday, The Great Educational Reset of 2011: Mobile, was delivered by Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway with the core message that personal devices that are truly mobile, not merely ‘carry along’ like netbooks and tablets, can enhance learning by increasing time on task. They described results from the USA and Singapore where students using mobile devices recorded improved performance on standard tests.

I was able to attend a variety of interesting presentations including one by USQ masters student, Penny Neuendorf, from Canberra Institute of Technology. I had supervised Penny’s masters project but had not previously met her. I was able to attend several presentations about TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge), which is the framework being used to underpin the DEEWR-funded national project, Teaching Teachers for the Future, in which the Faculty will be participating through 2011 and into 2012.

The major messages that I brought away and that may have wider relevance for the Faculty were around TPACK, the potential of mobile devices for learning, and the effects of globalisation on education at all levels. I will be reflecting on these themes as I consider revisions to courses and would welcome the opportunity to engage in conversations with colleagues who may share interests in these topics.