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In a recent blog post I mentioned the impact of Twitter for me at ALT-C. Overall from my experience, Twitter has really added value to conferences I have attended and made them more joined up and much more a social affair. It has helped to build a real community, especially at ALT-C. I first went to ALT-C 2003 in Sheffield and to be honest found it quite a souless affair. I didn’t know many people and it was “quite hard” to get to know people wit... [read more]


Thu, Sep 16 at 6:29PM

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ALT-C this year once more brought the use of Twitter at conferences to the fore again and discussions on the value of the back channel. Last year in November danah boyd delivered a speech at the Web 2.0 Expo and according to her own words: From my perspective, I did a dreadful job at delivering my message. If you read the rest of her blog entry you realise that she was having a bad day. So that happens to us all. However what marked out danah’s b... [read more]


Wed, Sep 15 at 9:26PM

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So I have spent a week in Nottingham at ALT-C that is in many ways a traditional academic style conference. We had keynotes and invited speakers, papers short and long, symposia with panels and workshops. The focus of ALT-C as I see it is very much about bringing together a community to share practice, network and move one’s own learning forward. I do enjoy the conference and learn a lot from it. It’s great to network, discuss, debate and share ... [read more]


Mon, Sep 13 at 9:42PM

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Finally some overall reflections on the ALT-C conference. It has been a couple of years since I last attended and I noted a couple of emerging themes. Firstly more and more institutions are making their learning material available via open channels such as YouTube and iTunesU and this material is very much seen as beneficial in marketing the institution. Secondly there is growing use of distance learning techniques in commercial activity which is... [read more]


Mon, Sep 13 at 10:55AM

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I wrote this post on an early morning train a few days ago, but didn’t get chance to publish with links until now – did consider writing a more up-to-date version, but decided against it as i wanted to capture/remember how I felt at the time… A 4am start the morning after the ALT-C Gala Dinner isn’t what i’d have hoped for (on the way to another event), but on the plus side it does mean there’s some time for bleary-eyed train reflection on what h... [read more]


Mon, Sep 13 at 9:42PM

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So, a few days recovery, and my reflection on ALT-C 2010. For someone who works very much at the technical end of learning technology, it was refreshing to see such good usage of the backchannel (twitter, crowdvine, etc), although the pace was sometimes overwhelming – even for a near-digital native such as myself. Additionally, it was good to see some of the projects that have been attening ALT-C for the last few years, to come to their conclusio... [read more]


Sun, Sep 12 at 9:21PM

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On my way to the final day of the ALT conference I was driving along the Derby Road at about 8.45 whan I heard a bang behind me. A white van had hit a post at the zebra crossing. People ran towards it, presumably to help. I was grateful that I had been in front of it as I imagined the hold-up to the rush hour traffic.Musing over this and the importance of timing. Right place, right time vs right place, wrong time. How consequences change accordin... [read more]


Sat, Sep 11 at 11:46AM

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The ALT Conference is always a good conference to challenge your assumptions, make new discoveries and question your practice. This year’s conference was no exception, there was plenty to make you think, question, challenge and importantly learn from others. As with many conferences the discussions outside the sessions (either on the back channel or over coffee) are just as valuable as the content of the sessions themselves. However they can’t ex... [read more]


Mon, Sep 13 at 10:55AM

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New wine, old bottles was possibly the key theme of ALT-C in that much of the discussion flowed around questioning the relevance and role of traditional delivery methods of education in the digital age. From Donald Clark’s dissing of the lecture format, which he puzzlingly delivered by giving a pretty good lecture (in the sense that it was entertaining, polemical, well illustrated, he didn’t read from a paper, he engaged the audience, and he swor... [read more]


Sat, Sep 11 at 10:37AM

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Just for fun… I was going to do more with this, but my editing skills and lack of useful photographs, as well as not wanting to offend too many people, means that this is it!


Mon, Sep 13 at 10:55AM

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Here are the results of the ALT-C 2010 Best Paper Award the Best Poster Awards, and of the 2010 ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Award.Winner of the Award for the ALT-C 2010 Best Proceedings Paper 0188 "An analysis of first-year business students’ mobile phones and their use for learning" Claire Bradley and Debbie Holley London Metropolitan University http://tinyurl.com/36vldzz -  1.3MB PDF of full paperWinner of the ALT-C 2010 Best Poster... [read more]


Fri, Sep 10 at 12:21PM


Fri, Sep 10 at 11:13AM (0 comments)

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Sugata Mitra’s keynote on the second day of ALT was really inspiring. There’s quite a lot written on the Cloudworks site about this keynote so I’d suggest you take a look at this and also the TEDtalks video that is linked from this site, entitled Can children teach themselves. His keynote at ALT was entitled, ‘the hole in the wall, self organising systems in education’ and Sugata spoke about his work in India where he had installed numerous ... [read more]


Fri, Sep 10 at 12:42AM

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One paper stood out for me as particularly interesting - it came out of a JISC study on user behaviour carried out at Middlesex University. The paper was entitled Electronic resource discovery systems: do they help or hinder when searching for academic materials and it was presented by Balbir S. Barn. This qualitative study examined students and researchers in economics and business studies, based at Cranfield University, LSE and Middlesex. The s... [read more]


Fri, Sep 10 at 12:42AM

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I seemed to attend quite a number of sessions over the past 3 day in Nottingham about either open educational resources (OERs) or digital literacy. I deliberately chose these parallels as they both relate to my new project: DELILA. I’ll share a few thoughts from some of the sessions I went to. In terms of the keynotes, I arrived just as Donald Clark was starting his opening keynote so had to stand at the back. The Twitter stream suggested quite... [read more]


Thu, Sep 9 at 8:42PM

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This year's Association for Learning Technologies Annual Conference alternated between highs and lows, controversy and comfort. Let me explain: One of the most controversial parts of the conference was the opening keynote, which I and many others have already reported on. I have heard just about every possible reaction to Donald Clark's speech, some mirroring the invective he unleashed, even the profanities. Enough said. Other (slightly less) con... [read more]


Fri, Sep 10 at 5:07AM

Julie Voce posted ALT-C reporters wanted!

Each year the ALT Newsletter publishes a report on ALT-C and we are looking for volunteers to write this year's conference report. Ideally, we'd like 3 or 4 people to collaborate on writing the article, so this is an excellent opportunity to get your name in print and work with others. The report should be between 1,000-2000 words and describe the conference in terms of a general overview, interesting sessions, award winners, social events and an... [read more]

colin loughlin: Hi Julie - like Mary I will be putting something together for Kingston, so I would be happy to make a contribution (assuming grammar and punctuation aren't priorities). Colin
Julie Voce: Thanks for all the responses. I think we have enough people now :)
Louise Egan: Hi I would be happy to help out in any way, but would be from a exhibitor perspective, and the ALT Jorum learning and teaching awards. Just let me know. Louise Egan Jorum Communications Officer louise.egan@manchester.ac.uk

Thu, Sep 9 at 10:18AM (5 comments)

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It’s the final day of ALT-C, not a full day, but certainly lots to keep me busy. An early start for me, but a late one for Thom Cochrane and Roger Batemen who will be delivering their session remotely from Auckland in New Zealand. Their session is entitled Strategies for mlearning integration. This paper, which Thomas Cochrane will present remotely from New Zealand, outlines the third iteration of integrating mobile Web 2.0 within a Bachelors l... [read more]


Mon, Sep 13 at 10:55AM

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A few weeks ago, @maricarjagger and I were discussing ideas for Cafe Scientifique. I can’t quite remember what triggered it, but I suggested that something about perceptions and reality of social networking could be interesting. I ended up volunteering myself and @timpaa. At the time, I was thinking about both those who’ve shared things – and are surprised when others find it (though a recent Pew report suggests that teens are increasingly ... [read more]


Thu, Sep 9 at 6:43AM

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One of the presentations today at ALT-C focused on an analysis of student use of mobile phones as part of their learning. The report highlighted that students spend large sums on their mobile phones (not surprising given that an earlier presentation noted that students saw owning a mobile as more important that owning a television) and as a consequence have significantly higher specification phones that their tutors. So are they looking to use th... [read more]


Thu, Sep 9 at 5:02AM

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At the ALT-C conference today, Teresa MacKinnon from Warwick University gave a great presentation on the use of Wimba voice tools for language teaching. (Wimba voice tools include Voice Board, which is like a discussion board but offers the option to record and post audio messages, and ‘Voice e-mail’, which is an e-mail system that allows users to send private audio messages to one another.) One of the interesting comments Teresa made was that so... [read more]


Thu, Sep 9 at 9:22PM

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Life’s been busy lately, what with starting a new job and all… but this week I have been lucky enough to attend the ALT-C conference. It’s my favourite type of conference because: I know I have at least one thing in common with everyone :) nearly everyone is friendly and willing to share experiences people have gadgets to drool over and save up for by next year (I want an HTC Desire phone – thanks Clare Denholm!) lots of inspiration and s... [read more]


Thu, Sep 9 at 7:56AM

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Time really does fly when you are enjoying yourself. Have enjoyed all my conversations here whether they were work or social. Am I detecting signs of the drawing together of techies, geeks, academics, technologists ( who may overlap the aforementioned categories!) uniting in a common purpose? I admin I'm an optimist but what a lovely bunch of people. Maybe austerity does bring out the best in us, let's hope so :)


Wed, Sep 8 at 5:26PM

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At the start of Sugata Mitra's keynote today I joked on Twitter that he was about to speak through a hole in the wall. I have seen one of his previous speeches about his famous 'Hole in the Wall' projects and I know how astounding the results are. But my joke turned out to be quite apposite, because in my estimation, Professor Mitra spoke through many holes that are appearing - in the wall that we call formalised, traditional education. It's impo... [read more]


Fri, Sep 10 at 5:07AM

Tim Vincent posted Medical education

Are there any medical schools presenting here? I'd love to know if there are.

Gillian Armitt: Hi Tim, I'm from Manchester Medical School and will be showcasing language-technology-based automatic feedback to PBL learners (demo 266 on Fri AM, also poster 265). A lot of the medical education people are at AMEE this week (Association of Medical ... [read more]
Tim Vincent: Thanks for getting in touch Gillian. Yes, I expect people are at AMEE. Shame not to see more medical schools represented here although I guess several people here could be representing med schools as part of their institutions...

Wed, Sep 8 at 3:35PM (2 comments)

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Part way through a busy ALTC conference I’m just trying to jot down a few of my thoughts on things so far (largely for my own benefit rather than anyone elses). Yesterday was a bit of a slow start. Donald Clark’s keynote was, I felt, provocative but lacking in any substance or evidence. Mostly I’ll remember him for not having a lot to say that was constructive and swearing a lot. It got better after that. Geoff Stead’s mobile learning dem... [read more]


Wed, Sep 8 at 4:41PM

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Time to get personal!The boundary between the personal and the professional was a thread that wound its way through this morning's debate on ethics. Steve Wheeler traversed the territory of the ethics of Web 2.0 engagingly. He started by taking a photo of us all and threatening to post it to Facebook. How would we feel? What are the issues? What if the photo were of us reeling out of the conference bar at 11.00 pm? Steve argued that the new issue... [read more]


Wed, Sep 8 at 11:11PM

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So it’s day two of ALT-C here in Nottingham. It’s another very busy day with lots on. First up I am going to attend the New Bottles, Old Wine? Symposium. Educators have started using popular digital technologies, including mobile phones and media players; social networking sites like Facebook; blogging sites such as Twitter, immersive virtual environments, mainly Second Life; and online gaming platforms such as World of Warcraft and connected... [read more]


Wed, Sep 8 at 9:26AM

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The opening keynote from Donald Clark at ALT-C provoked a great deal of feedback on the Twitter back channel – and although quite a bit was uncomplimentary there was some agreement that a keynote that provoked and stimulated conversation had probably done its job…. So what was it that stirred so much feeling amongst the delegates? Clark’s presentation suggested that the lecture was very much dead – in terms of educating students it achieved preci... [read more]


Wed, Sep 8 at 5:04AM

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Personal response to the opening Keynote of ALT-C 2010: If he’d just said that we should get rid of bad lectures I would have agreed with him but… It’s like the calls you hear to ban PowerPoint. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with PowerPoint, there is with bad PowerPoint presentations. Similarly, a call to get rid of lecturers is simply missing the point. We’ve probably all had a bad meal in a restaurant, we didn’t call for a ban on restau... [read more]


Tue, Sep 7 at 11:41PM

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A couple of matters mentioned at today's proceedings were red flags to me so they can't go unmentioned! Blackboard presentation: mention was made of the psychological impact of voice in provoking greater response. (Yes, people connect through their voices, I seem to remember being unable to ignore my childrens' cries! its a primal thing)Assessment presentation: Physicist remarks that if you try to create algorithms for marking passages of human w... [read more]


Tue, Sep 7 at 8:51PM