ELH11

I have just returned from the ELH11 conference in Lorne where I learnt so much it will take quite some time to process. The conference was excellent with some brilliant Keynote speakers and great discussions and show and tell sessions as well as a few hands on learning activities. The theme was Revolution and discussions were around whether or not there was one and if so, now what?
The standout for me was Jason Ohler who talked about revolutionising the teaching of writing by teaching students media and using Art as the fourth R. His students ended up writing more than they would in a normal English classroom and obviously learnt more about their subject. They produced well-planned and thoughtful responses to their own questions and then learnt about how to use music and image to tell their stories. This is really learning for now and the future, not learning for what has already been. Students are definitely high level consumers of media and the shift to making them high level (and critical) producers of media is a natural one, but one that most of us have not done. I know that I will be looking more closely at this as an English teacher as the value of it is that students create multimodal texts and learn about all of the stages of narrative along the way. Obviously this does help them learn the skills that schools value.
The twitter feed for this was going crazy on Tuesday morning and I know several of us want to order his books for our school libraries. Jason presented a Keynote and then a smaller group discussion at which it was standing room only.
More on this to come….
#elh11 on twitter.