This week (6th-8th September) I attended the the 18th International Association of Learning Technologies Conference (ALT-C 2011). The theme of the conference was “Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate”.
The conference was held at the University of Leeds, before I reflect upon the content of the conference and what I learnt, I like to say how impressed I was by the Wireless Network of the Leeds campus. The conference presentations took place in three buildings to the south and east of the campus, social events held in the Refectory to the north and my accommodation was towards the west. The great thing was the connectivity to the wireless network, inside and outside of buildings. It was an eduroam, so I could easily access with my University of Leicester details. This constant connectivity made cloud and online learning and living really easy.
During the conference I used my iPad and iPhone, which where connected to the wireless network throughout. This meant, during sessions I could tweet, make notes on online services like Mindmeister (although this is available online, but connectivity ensure constant backup) and instantly look at and social bookmark webpages and references that were described during presentations. This meant I could easily watch TV via the iPlayer etc. on my iPad whilst in my accommodation. I will reflect more on my use of iPad at the conference in a later post.
Nevertheless, the conference wasn’t about the location, it was (for me) learning and discovering about use of learning technologies across the education sector and also networking/meeting fellow practitioners. I attended several session over the three days, when I started writing this post I started reflecting upon them all within this post. However in the interest of digestible readability and ease of referential purposes, I decided to separate these post into sections:
- Keynote: Miguel Brechner, One laptop per child
- more to follow…
The session themselves, as you can tell, were very thought provoking, helpful and informative, however like with most things nowadays Twitter provided an amazing back-channel, with people using the hastag #altc2011 it gave further insights into other thoughts and reflections. This great graphic by @psychemedia shows those who were contributed and the level of influence, the original is available on Flickr.
The conference was also a great chance to meet face-to-face people who I’ve followed and chatted to on twitter for years.
What was also pleasing about this years conference was the consensus of Leicester’s strong position on the elearning map, including: Josie Fraser’s work with Leicester City Council, the work of people like Richard Hall from DMU and a great representation from the University of Leicester (Alan Cann, Alex Moseley, Ale Armellini, Terese Bird and yours-truly), plus the work of Gilly Salmon and the reputations that comes with here replacement Gráinne Conole.