The Wheeler Centre is an institution that is dedicated to the discussion of reading and writing. Based in Melbourne, the centre hosts a number of excellent events and panels related to reading. A regular event at the Wheeler Centre is the Texts in the City series which explores texts from the Victorian upper secondary (VCE) English reading lists. Many of the novels or plays discussed, such as The Quiet American or The Crucible, are being studied in other states as well. You can view or download all of the Texts in the City talks here.
One excellent aspect of these discussions is that they provide students with original and varied perspectives about a text. In senior levels when detailed text studies are being completed there can often be a level of fatigue that sets in amongst the students. Hearing the text discussed by fresh voices with new views helps to avoid this common problem. The talks would be perfect for a revision or homework task.
The Texts in the City recordings also provide a great example of how teachers might record their own video discussions or podcasts about texts. With relatively easy to use video and audio recording devices now available (even a mobile phone will do) there is an opportunity for teachers to record their own discussions about a text, which could then be shared across a whole year level and many classes. Check out free tools like Audacity or the YouTube Video Editor for some simple tools that can be used to edit together audio or video.
To keep up to date with the Texts in the City series and any other events you can follow The Wheeler Centre on Twitter, or subscibe to the video and audio podcasts using the links below.
Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre Video Podcast