01 Nov The enriching experience of conferences
After COVID it still feels like such a privilege to attend a conference; to be with colleagues face to face, and to hear and interact with speakers and presenters at the top of their fields. The Hotline was fortunate to attend the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) conference on 7/8 September and the Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference on 10/11 October. Both conferences were outstanding.
Held in Adelaide and supported by the South Australian Council for Adult Literacy, the ACAL conference lived up to its title “Dynamic Dialogues, Vibrant literacies: Reflect, Connect, Grow. The Conference keynote speakers were Dr Deniese Cox, The Hon Brendan O’Connor, MP, Federal Minister for Skills and Training, Dave Tout, numeracy and mathematics educator and facilitator, and The Hon Blair Boyer MP, South Australian Minister for Education, Training and Skills and Thomas Mayo, Signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In her presentation, Dr Deniese Cox referred to her new research on digital skills as a barrier to education and a good practice guide on how to address these learner and educator challenges. To access the guide go to https://www.teachingonline.com.au/digital-skills-gpg.
ACAL have very generously put many of the presenters’ PowerPoints on their website. These are really worth checking out and can be found here.
Community Colleges Australia Conference
Held across three days and with over 50 speakers, the CCA conference offered a diversity of engaging and thought-provoking speakers and sessions. Key themes emerged from the conference around the importance of place-based education, current issues in vocational education and training, the role of AI in education, building ACE futures, skills shortages, engaging First Nations learners and the importance of foundation skills in underpinning educational outcomes. A highlight for the Hotline team was the fireside chat with the new CEO of CCA, Russ Hawkins and Mick Gooda, former Social Justice Commissioner. Moving, funny, engaging and a call to action to improve education for First Nations peoples.
Panel discussion on Foundation Skills at the CCA conference with from left to right Chemène Sinson MC, Kurt Gruber, WV Technologies, Vanessa Iles, Manager of the Reading Writing Hotline, Dave Tout, numeracy and mathematics educator, and Keiko Yasukawa lecturer and researcher in the School of International Studies and Education