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Source: University of Canterbury

05 April 2022

Digital technologies in education will be a hot talking point in Ōtautahi Christchurch in late 2023 as hundreds of education and technology experts come together for the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) annual conference.

  • University of Canterbury Associate Professor Cheryl Brown (foreground) and Associate Professor Kathryn MacCallum will bring the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) annual conference to Christchurch in 2023.

ASCILITE is a community of professionals, academics and researchers working to enhance teaching and learning practises through digital technologies. Some 350 delegates are expected to attend the conference in December 2023 at Te Pae Christchurch, the newest purpose-built convention centre in New Zealand.

Co-directors of the University of Canterbury’s Digital Education Futures Lab (DeFL), Associate Professor Cheryl Brown and Associate Professor Kathryn MacCallum were integral to securing the conference for Christchurch. Both are leaders in the field of technology enhanced learning, an invigorated field given the advanced role technology has played in tertiary education during the Covid pandemic.

Associate Professor Brown says it’s important to understand how young people use technology and learn from that, especially because it’s not the same for everyone.

“We want to build on our reputation for engaging with youth and community and ensure youth voice is foregrounded in our Kaupapa at this conference. We need to partner with youth in the design and development of our research and teaching. After all it’s our youth’s futures that we are seeking solutions for.”

The academics have a strong vision of enabling equitable access and showcasing Aotearoa New Zealand’s strong practice of bicultural teaching and learning and how digital education is shaped for the future.

Associate Professor MacCallum says, “Education in Aotearoa is increasingly reflective of te reo Māori, mātauranga knowledge and tikanga values. Māori concepts of reciprocal teaching and learning, sharing knowledge and establishing relationships help to frame our interactions. These underpin how we integrate and share our experiences and how we draw from each other in our learning.”

Working in partnership with Tourism New Zealand Business Events and ChristchurchNZ, the University of Canterbury was able to secure the bid to bring ASCILITE to Christchurch in 2023.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Domestic & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says, “This is an excellent conference win for New Zealand, showcasing our research strengths and bringing focus to an important issue for young New Zealanders.”

ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events Megan Crum says ChristchurchNZ was pleased to partner with the University of Canterbury in the bid for ASCILITE.

“We know delegates will find in Ōtautahi Christchurch not only a thriving tech sector and a deep knowledge pool, but also an epic conference destination in the heart of New Zealand’s stunning South Island. Our friendly welcoming city is compact and beautiful. It’s an easy walk to Te Pae Christchurch, lively riverside restaurants and bars, boutique shopping, and all the city’s many highlights,” Crum says.

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