The challenges facing teachers on literacy, learning and the digital world will be the focus of a presentation by Professor Catherine Beavis at the International Symposium for Leadership, Learning and Change on September 14.

“Digital culture and the online world have profound implications for literacy, learning and curriculum,’’ she says.

“The increasing integration of digital culture and technologies into young people’s lives reflects the energy and excitement offered by online worlds. Online participation is creating a heady mix of new and old ways of playing, socialising, exploring and making meaning.

“From computer games to social networking and chat sites, online forms of text and communication are shaping students’ experience of the world.

“The capacities of digital technologies to transform learning have much to offer if we can understand their potential and the social practices in and around game play.”

Professor Beavis said while print literacies remained important, for schools to prepare students to participate in crucial ways in the contemporary and future world, they need also to teach them to be fully literate in digital and multimodal literacies.

“Students need to be at ease and in control in the online world,’’ she said.

Her paper focuses on two Australian Research Council Projects — one completed and one in progress, looking at literacy learning and computer games.

“It focuses on the implications for curriculum change and the challenges for teachers, as well as constructions of school subjects of changing forms of literacy and the presence of digital worlds and ‘new’ technologies.”

The International Symposium for Leadership, Learning and Change will be held at the Griffith Graduate Centre, South Bank on September 13 and 14.