Category Archives: altc2012

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

Taking the tablets

Taking the tablets: How are tablets being used in learning and teaching? What is the impact? What are we going and where might we finish up?

Invited Speaker session by James Clay, ILT and Learning Resources Manager, Gloucestershire College, at a confrontation with reality, the 2012 conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT). Session given in Manchester, UK, on Tuesday 11 September 2012.

Slides available here.

ALT-C Final Keynote Panorama

Panorama just before the final keynote at ALT-C 2012.

Taking the Tablets

James Clay presenting at ALT-C 2012

Here are the slides from my presentation at ALT-C 2012 this morning.

The tablet computer is not a new idea, but recently has had an impact on learning and teaching across a range of institutions in the UK and elsewhere. In this session I will try to tackle the following questions.

What do we currently understand to be a tablet? What is the primary functionality? How are tablets being used right now for supporting, and enhancing learning and teaching? What sort of learning activities and scenarios are making best use of the tablet format? Are these devices for content consumption, content creation, interaction, or all three? So where next? Where will tablets take us? Do institutions purchase tablets for all their students? Or do we let or require students to buy and bring their own? And if the latter what does this mean for how we organise provision?

I will conclude with a personal reflection on the overall direction of travel, and where I believe we may finish up.

Photo source

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