Tag Archives: alt live beta

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

ALT Live Beta

This has been an experiment I have been thinking about doing for a while now, and I emphasise this is an experiment, hence the beta moniker. I have no idea if this will work as planned or is something that people will engage with.

Amplification of conferences is something that has been happening for a while and I have discussed at length in a previous blog post.

In that post I talked about my social media experience of the ALT Conferences I had attended since 2003. I said that ALT-C 2007 was a bit of a sea change and the first of the ALT Conferences that social media really started to amplify the conference beyond the walls of the physical conference. Amplification can take many forms and Brian’s post about providing an Amplified Event Service is well worth reading.

There are many people who can not make ALT-C for a variety of reasons, sometimes no funding is available, many people interested in the conference don’t live in the UK so making it more difficult to get funding and from my own sector, the first week in September for FE Colleges is the busiest one of the year, so very few FE people can attend the conference in person. For these people amplification of a conference can allow them to “attend” and engage. For some the end result will be that they enjoy the experience and attend the conference the following year.

In the past at ALT-C, though we have had the live streams of the keynotes and invited speakers, most amplification has been textual through Twitter and blogs. A few people used Flickr to share photographs and back in 2009 we did live stream “The VLE is Dead” to a remote audience, however using wireless and no remote microphone meant that the final half of the session, the discussion was either difficult to hear and at one point the stream failed!

However it did make me think about doing something more at ALT-C than twittering and writing blog posts. The inspiration was the experiments on live streaming I had done via my mobile phone at the JISC Conference and a MoLeNET Conference and also the live presentations I had done as part of the MoLeNET programme. Experiences of the JISC Online Conferences had also demonstrated the value of video and audio for amplification in addition to textual stuff.

One of the things though I find with existing ideas on amplification is that they focus on the core content of the conference and miss all the stuff that happens outside the sessions. The chat and discussions people have over coffee. I have been at events that have had a fantastic Twitter stream that gets suddenly cut off as everyone has coffee or lunch. The delegates at the event are continuing to discuss and converse, however it all goes silent for the remote audience!

So at ALT-C 2011 I am trying a new idea in order to capture, create and engage in that “silent” online time. Probably the best way to describe what ALT Live Beta is, is if you have ever watched Glastonbury or T4 on the Beach on the television, as well as the “front stage” stuff, they also have a room back stage where they chat, discuss and interview the people who have just been on stage. ALT Live Beta is a live internet video stream of the “back stage” of ALT-C 2011.

Me and Darren Moon (from LSE) will be hosting, broadcasting and doing all the technical stuff. We will be based in the exhibition area at the conference, we have a little booth to act as a studio. We will be streaming live from 8:30 – 6:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday and 8:30 to 1:00 on Thursday. Though you might want to tune in on Monday afternoon as we set up the equipment and do some final testing.

The video stream will be embedded into this page.

If you have an Android phone then there is a Justin.TV and one for iPad and iPhone. You may need to search for “jamesclay” or go to www.justin.tv/jamesclay/ to watch the stream on your mobile device.

With interviews, chat, commentary, guests, discussion and more, ALT Live Beta will be bringing you the best of ALT-C 2011 and lots of back stage conversations live over the internet.

Now we also want to bring in remote participants and I will be using Skype to do this, so if you are interested in participating remotely please e-mail me with your Skype name. You will need to sign a release form which I will send to you.

If you are attending the conference we do need delegates to come and be part of the broadcast. We want to give you an opportunity to talk about what you are getting from the conference, your views on the keynotes, the invited speakers, the papers, the workshops and all the other sessions. Come and discuss your session with remote participants or continue the discussion that didn’t happen because you ran out of time. Without the contributions from delegates, presenters and speakers this may not work as we want it to.

Recorded highlights from ALT Live Beta will be made available later on the ALT YouTube Channel.

Photo source.