I’ve just come back from ALTc – a learning technology focussed conference, three days at Warwick University. I wanted to record some of of it before I get consumed by the day job.
1. I noticed that there seemed to be less about the technology in particular and more about the human interactions with it. A number of sessions mentioned its all about the people for example. Of course I would say that being a very people orientated person but Bryan Mathers mentioned it in his talk and it goes without saying that education technology systems are a waste of time if people don’t use them.
2. Digital literacies – yet again, underlying theme for everything we do. I noticed that there were many sessions mentioning online skills. The wonderful project with Leicester Council (Josie Fraser and Lucy Atkins) which is a lovely example of collaborating with external organisations to develop skills. They are sharing all their project outputs and I think that there will (or should be) many more intiatives like this to extend skills. There were other sessions as well, that were not specifically about digital literacies skills but essentially that’s what they were talking about. Spread the word.
3. Online learning is mainstream. It’s not going anywhere and can only flourish (see point 2) MOOCs have played their part in attracting those who may not have necessarily been interested in doing anything online (purely because senior leadership teams weren’t interested) so if nothing else. MOOCs have opened the door.
4. People – so many people I know ‘online’ and I got to meet them face to face. Thats the cool bit. Yes, I am all over social media, but I stiil want to see and hear from people in the flesh. Jeff Haywood (I always like hearing about Edinburgh), Catherine Cronin (really interesting, all open and getting people to embrace the world at their fingertips) and Audrey Watters. She has tatoos. Lot’s of tatoos. And some of them are techy tatoos which did distract me a bit. But she was funny, engaging and had something to say about the use of the web and how it shapes our thinking. Really fun and interesting which wasn’t a disappointment at all.
Next years conference is going to be all about ‘Shaping the future together’ at Manchester 8th – 10th September. I hope it will be as much fun as this years, the ALT members are a blast and I hope to see as many of my online and offline friends as possible.