Category Archives: altc2011

Down the #altc road


Reading Maren Deepwell’s recent post about her #altc journey, it reminded me of the many conferences I have attended and like her the impact that they had on my life and professional practice. Going back to my experiences of my first ALT-C I was surprised I even went again!

Continue reading Down the #altc road

ALT-C Live

ALT-C 2011 saw the successful launch of ALT-Live Beta; an informal conference backchannel streamed live to the internet and featuring exclusive interviews and chat with conference organisers, keynote speakers, presenters and delegates. The intention was to provide another channel which, along with social media such as the official conference Crowdvine, Twitter, and delegate blogs, would serve to amplify those hot topics and discussions from the conference.

ALT Live Beta at ALT-C 2011

Presenters James Clay (Gloucestershire College), Prof. Steve Wheeler (Plymouth University) and Graham McElearney (University of Sheffield) broadcast daily from 08:30 to 19:00 to capture both the breakfast bowl chatter in the morning and the end of day reactions as the sun went down. Over the three days various luminaries of the learning technology community graced the sofa. Miguel Brechner gave a fascinating follow-up to his opening conference keynote, Sugata Mitra – previous ALT-C keynote speaker and chair of that year’s closing keynote by The Observer’s John Naughton – gave his insights into conference hot topics.

ALT Live Beta at ALT-C 2011

Elsewhere, Diana Laurillard spoke about her most recent research project, Gilly Salmon provided fascinating insights into current learning technology debates in the Australian context, while Doug Belshaw, John Traxler, Fred Garnett, John Cook, Josie Fraser, Dave White, David Kernohan, Helen Beetham, Nigel Ecclesfield, Peter Twining and others fielded questions about their own conference presentations and shared reflections on the rest of the conference. Having been so well received in its first year, for 2012 ALT-C Live officially comes out of beta promising more of the same, as well as a few new features as well!

ALT Live Beta at ALT-C 2011

This year, thanks to the ALT-C planning committee, we have been afforded a more spacious studio area and will be hosting more joint interviews and roundtable discussions that allow us to reinforce this year’s conference strands: mainstreaming, entrepreneurialism, openness and sharing, sustainability and problem-solving.

Technical Support

We are looking to recruit volunteers to the technical support team for this year’s ALT-C Live. This is a great opportunity for learning technologists with an interest in audio/video production to gain experience of live broadcast. Full training will be provided in the use of Newtek Studio TriCaster and various cameras and microphones for broadcast but we would ask that only those who are confident and have some experience of filming apply.


We are also looking to recruit volunteers to act as presenters for the ALT-C Live, this will be your opportunity to chat and interview live on camera. You may be interviewing one of the keynote speakers, you may be talking with ordinary members of ALT. It’s a chance to gain confidence in front of the camera, add to the experience that is ALT-C and have a new and interesting experience. Due to the nature of the broadcast you will not be in front of the camera for the whole time period you commit to.

Support and Runners

We we also need volunteers to help us run ALT-C Live to provide support and act as runners. So if you don’t have the experience to run the broadcast equipment, don’t want to be on camera, you can still help out with ALT-C Live and add to the experience that is ALT-C, whilst having a new and interesting experience.


We are looking for a half-day commitment (AM/PM) from volunteers and this means that there will be plenty of available slots over the three days for each of the three roles (technical, presenter, runner). If possible, we would ask that volunteers are available on Monday evening for initial training.

Please let us know if you wish to volunteer for this year’s ALT-C Live. If you could please also include the following information:

1) First name, Surname
2) Job title / position held
3) Institution
4) Please let us know whether you wish to help with technical support, general support or to be a presenter.

Contact us on Crowdvine.

With thanks,

James & Darren
ALT-C Live Executive Producers

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #081: In conversation

At ALT-C this year I interviewed Steve as part of ALT Live Beta and he interviewed me….

With James Clay and Steve Wheeler.

This is the 81st e-Learning Stuff Podcast, In conversation

Audio MP3

Download the podcast in mp3 format: In conversation

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Jimmy Wales on Wikipedia

I really enjoyed this talk by Jimmy Wales at LWF11.

Jimmy Wales is the US Internet entrepreneur and wiki pioneer best known as the founder of Wikipedia. “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge” Jimmy asks us in this talk and discusses how Wikipedia has grown, the impact it has made and the people who contribute to its creation. Jimmy discusses future directions and plans for Wikipedia and Wikia, Inc. Presented January 11th 2011.

I mentioned this recently in the final ALT-C Keynote.


More audience #altc2011

I am writing some more reflective stuff on ALT-C, but wanted to post this about FE at ALT-C.

There has been a fair bit of coverage of day one of ALT-C by FE Week, a new publication for FE. Article and page spread.

Details of the winners of Learning Technologist of the Year 2011, would be nice to see some FE winners next year, so why not enter.

Blogs about ALT-C, a feed of blogs about ALT-C, this will expand as more people reflect on the conference.

I enjoyed ALT-C again this year. As well as going to keynotes and sessions I also spent a bit of time streaming live video with my experiment ALT Live Beta and here are some thoughts from Steve Wheeler.

Met a fair few people from FE, congrats to Claire Donlan from Middlesborough College who is now vice-chair of ALT.

Well done to Ellen Lessner who blogged about the event on behalf of LSIS TEN.

Was nice to meet Kieran from Sheffield College, Jo from Blackpool & Flyde College and Mel from Milton Keynes College. Good to see many old friends too, like Phil from Aberdeen College. Also met loads of people from HE, local and far away, good to meet Thom Cochrane from Auckland who I have known for many years, who incidentally won the best proceedings paper award.

ALT-C has so much to offer the FE sector.

Now I know (as you do, as do the others from FE who attended) that the first week in September can be busy for FE.

What I would like you to do, is look back over the week and ask yourself, how busy were you doing ILT stuff, and how much stuff were you doing that could have been done by others?

Could you have been not in college for one day perhaps?

Now is the time to decide if you can get out of college next year for ALT-C 2012. Talk to your manager now about what you actually did and how you wouldn’t really be missed if you attended probably the only and best learning technology conference currently happening.

I know how challenging it can be to get out of college for the four days of ALT-C, I know because I do it. Luckily I have a great team behind me. I did check my e-mail when I was away and to be honest there wasn’t much there as people were busy back at the college!.

If your place gets manic and people get all panicky, I would ask why are we always surprised by the fact that students arrive in September and as a result things get busy.

It’s not as though it happens every year is it…. oh!