Sunday 28 October 2012

ALT-C Wednesday and Thursday

The highlights and interesting points from the second and third days of the ALT conference were

  • The Pecha Kuchas were varied and interesting and are good sessions to go to at the end of the day when you are starting to flag as they rekindle your interest and inspire you.  I have found that the presenters put a great amount of effort into the presentations and engage you in a performance.  I've learnt a great deal by attending a number of pecha kucha sessions and there is a distinct lack of white backgrounds with bullet pointed black text ......
    • Open Nottingham - knowledge without borders - social responsibility
    • MMU - Peter Reed - attitudes to OER - openness is like a dimmer switch, not on or off.  OER is still mostly a bottom up phenomenon
    • Tim Neumann All the Worlds a Stage - hat with a light bulb - using the concept of a media production for learning.  Screen writer = curriculum designer, Actor = student, Director = lecturer, blended together by the tutor
    • UEL Steve Brand European Virtual environment for work based learning - blended learning model - open source VLE E-VIEW platform - scalability is the most important thing.
    • Richard Lilleker Middlesbrough College - The Mobile Journey.
  • One of the most interesting sessions was by Steve Bunce Can knitting develop programming skills?  It was a great talk with practical activities too.  Knitting has many similarities in that you have to learn and work out the sequence of events which will lead to the correct pattern.  The correct pattern or sequence of moves will lead to the result working out correctly.
  • Tracey and I did a short presentation entitled Innovative Inductions and Feedback
  • Pandeli Glavanis from the American University in Cairo gave a fascinating talk about lecture capture and how it had been essential due to the political crisis in Egypt.  Training was given to lecturers for 12 minutes then they recorded lectures from home and students viewed them via the Internet.  Enhanced active learning.
  •  Gilly Salmon talked about the real renaissance for learning - innovation not invention - flying not flapping, got to do something different - mainstreaming.  Work on capacity building rather than staff development, stop face to face workshops and scale up. 
  • The other big topic of the conference (along with OER and upscaling) was big data and analytics.  Big data is hitting the world - 90% of digital data has been generated in the last 2 years.  Analytics dashboards are needed in all VLEs.  Predictive models can be used to predict whether students are at risk of not achieving even before they have started.  There is a shift from data collecting to data connecting.  
The conference dinner was excellent and very well organised by ALT staff.  The awards were presented before the meal which is a great improvement.  Attending a conference is an exciting and challenging experience (obviously not as challenging as organising one) but for people who are not extroverts or socialites in particular like me it is good that the social activities are structured too and don't become overwhelming.  
On the Thursday the conference ended, we held the ALT Committee Convening meeting and then I went to the Museum of Manchester to look at the Turing expedition. 

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