A Literacy Practitioner's Guide to Audiographic
REVIEW BY CONNIE BELANGER
A Practitioner's Guide to Audiographic Conferencing is the final product of a project sponsored by the National Literacy Secretariat to study the use of technology in literacy and distance education.
The project was undertaken in Vermilion, Alberta in 1992, under project co-ordinator Meredith Ottoson. Two primary objectives were targeted for study. The first was to validate audiographic conferencing as a practical training tool for literacy coordinators, and the second was to develop and test modules for tutor training using this technology. The participants included literacy co-ordinators from programs in the Lakeland and Slave Lake areas, as well as tutors recruited by participating co-ordinators. Lakeland College, AVC Slave Lake and the University of Manitoba provided the equipment, space and technical support for the project. (Since audiographic teleconferencing sites had already been established through various community consortia, colleges and universities in Alberta, the project team was able to take advantage of existing sites for their research.)
The instructors were Rod Corbett, AVC-Slave Lake, who provided an introduction to the technology; Marcia Shillington, a former peer tutor co-ordinator at Lakeland College, assembled the materials and activities for LEFT Brain/RIGHT Brain and presented session #2 of the same; Mary Frinlin, who presented the first training session for LEFT Brain/RIGHT Brain; Robin Millar, recruited as a presenter because of her extensive literacy training experience, conducted workshops covering learning styles/strategies, learning disabilities and metacognition.
The Guide is a useful reference for practitioners interested in using audiographic conferencing as a means of providing instruction. It provides a User's Guide with suggestions on getting started, developing course materials and slide development. It covers the components of audiographic conferencing, and offers advice on trouble shooting and conferencing protocols. There is also a sample Study Guide entitled LEFT Brain/RIGHT Brain.
The project: introduced literacy coordinators and tutors to an alternate delivery method for tutor training
The author and project coordinator, Meredith Ottoson, states in her conclusion that, "Finding alternate ways to provide literacy training is one way to sustain programs. This requires leadership with vision and a willingness to explore and recommend useful ways in which services can be provided to strengthen literacy efforts. Using technology as a tool and adapting it to fit literacy needs are important. Being objective about what it can and cannot do is equally important."
For more information about this project, contact: P.L.A.N. Vermilion, Partners in Learning - Access Network, 4921 -51 st. Avenue, Vermilion, AB, T9X 1S8.
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