“Around the adult of tomorrow”: digital literacy education

The École branchée attended the second international conference on the teaching of literature with digital technology which was held on May 8 and 9 at the Grande Bibliothèque BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec). Entitled "Around the adult of tomorrow", this event brought together some 100 participants and speakers from all over the world.

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École branchée attended the second conference conference on the teaching of literature with digital technology, which was held on May 8 and 9 at the Grande Bibliothèque BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec). Entitled "Around the adult of tomorrow", this event brought together some 100 participants and speakers from all over the world.

After Grenoble, Montreal

After a first edition in Grenoble, Nathalie Lacelle, professor of media literacy in the language teaching department at UQAM and organizer of the conference, made this gathering in Montreal possible and, by the same token, was able to inspire many teachers. , educational advisers, professors and researchers working in Quebec.

Educate in digital literature

During the two days of this conference, we were able to attend various panels and conferences that offered a scientific perspective on the issues and challenges facing society, universities, schools and cultural institutions in educating the adults of tomorrow in literature. digital. All communications were structured around the following four axes:

  • the social issues and challenges of redefining the purposes of literacy in a digital context;
  • the issues and challenges facing universities in training teachers to teach digital literature;
  • the issues and challenges facing the school in training young people in the reception, production and distribution of digital literature;
  • the issues and challenges for cultural institutions to support the dissemination and training of digital literature.

So this is what the people gathered for the occasion looked at to reflect on how to harness the full potential of the digital revolution in schools and, more specifically, how this revolution can redefine the teaching of reading.

This literary culture must be taken care of, it must be maintained, like Voltaire's garden in Candide. The advent of digital technology in the literary garden of students can then be seen as a device which maximizes what literature has to offer them, which reconciles them with books.

A literary Facebook

Several proposals and activities were presented in this direction during the discussion panels. For example, the use of " Fakebook », This platform which is used to create fake Facebook profiles for anyone who wants a digital identity. The idea is then to create accounts for the protagonists and other secondary characters of a story to make them interact in this parallel reality. Photos, biographies, mutual friends, significant events, various publications… Everything is there so that the pupils can recontextualize the interactions between the various actors and, for example, identify the actantial diagram. The appropriation of literature through a social network like Fakebook places young people in a position where their reality merges with that of a work that may have been written several centuries ago. Learning is then increased tenfold in this type of approach where decontextualization allows learners to use their benchmarks to better integrate knowledge.

Fan one day, always fan

Another great activity to do with students to bring them closer to literacy is creating “fanfictions”. Whether it's from a television series like Sherlock, a Harry Potter novel or a character in the Assassin's Creed video game, learners are invited to reinvent the universe of their favorite protagonists by extending a chapter, by changing the end or by totally transforming the work that they particularly like. Writing “fanfictions” then allows us to take control of our favorite characters, to stage what we would have liked to find in the original work. Once again, the contextualization of learning takes on its full meaning here, while the initial narrative must be mastered at the outset, before being deconstructed, then rebuilt while keeping the essence. The means of distribution for “fanfictions” can be very varied, going from a tweet in 280 characters, to a blog post or to writing on a collaborative document.

Change of posture

In short, the conference “Around the adult of tomorrow” demonstrated all the richness and potential that the 21st century has to offer to literature. Digital is no longer something that we add to our practice, but is now part of the learning process. This change of posture must begin with the initial training of teachers and be integrated into all the productions and dissemination of literature. When will a course be called “digital literature” at the university? Sooner rather than later, hopefully ...

You can click here to consult the entire program of the conference “Around the adult of tomorrow”.

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About the Author

Maxime Laflamme
Maxime Laflamme is an educational advisor and project manager at École branchée. He is also editor-in-chief of the SCOOP! Educational guides. He has a bachelor's degree in preschool education and elementary education from the University of Sherbrooke and is pursuing a graduate degree in school management at Laval University. He transmits his passion for digital education and innovative practices through CréaCamps, conferences and workshops throughout the French-speaking world.

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