with Lesley Farrell, Chris Corbel and Trent Newman: Language and Literacy Research Hub, Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Recorded Friday 12-1pm August 28, 2020.

This webinar workshop is inspired by Literacy 4.0 Project researchers Lesley Farrell, Chris Corbel and Trent Newman and their recent paper Literacy and the workplace revolution: a social view of literacy work practices in Industry 4.0.

The workshop gives participants practical insights into what Literacy 4.0 means for adult literacy and numeracy teachers, especially in relation to recent technological shifts in education.

We’re hearing a lot about how technology and artificial intelligence is transforming work. It seems like a relentless mechanical process. But Farrell, Corbel and Newman argue that AI’s transformation of work is a social as much as technological process. They find that

new literacy practices are forged in the social and political turmoil of periods of transformation, but they do not exist in isolation as discreet work-related skills with predictable and linear consequences. Literacy practices are produced by the entirety of the social conditions of which they are a part (pp. 4-5)

We’ve seen shifts in all processes of work caused by new technology; new timetables, new workspaces, new work identities and relationships with workers and tools. The sudden shift to new work practices has seen people scramble to forge new relationships with technology, home and work.

Teachers have complex relationships with literacy practices and technological change. Moving online means adjusting to different ways of monitoring the learning process and seeing whether students are on the right track. So, is it time to move beyond measurable, routines literacy tracks and create ways for ‘soft skill’, relationship-oriented literacy practices requiring human creativity, innovation and collaboration to traverse our new hyper-connected work spaces?