Beyond islands of innovation – how Learning Technology became the new norm(al)
5–7 September 2017, University of Liverpool, UK
I went to ALT-C last week and as ever it was the conference that delivered. I’m always in awe of the sheer brilliance of the (very tiny) ALT team when it comes to pulling this off. Just check out the size and scope of the programme
Keynotes from Bonnie Stewart, Sian Bayne and Peter Goodyear were simply fab and are available to view from the ALT-C Website.
Bonnie’s talk ‘ The new norm(al) ‘ : Confronting what open means for higher education’ really made me think about things. She has such a brilliant way of connecting with the audience. What struck me about her talk was how important it is to be aware that what is normal for me is not necessarily normal for others – it’s all about perspective and the position from which you view ‘ the normal’. It was a well-timed reminder for me that just because those of us working in Learning Technology experience TEL as our ‘normal’, I can sometimes need reminding this may well not be the case for other colleagues who may not be willing to take risks that move them out of their comfort zone. I’ve heard Bonnie talk before in podcasts and of course on You Tube for example in her live thesis defence but havent had the pleasure of watching her present at a keynote before – she was simply brilliant.
(If you have some spare time to watch them over a coffee they are definitely worth a look ALT have also pulled together an ever growing collection of various blog posts from the community.
Some of my Key Highlights included
VLE to PLE – The next generation of digital learning environment. 
I loved this session and am really interested in Simon’s project looking at the potential for thinking outside of the box when it comes to a VLE.
Evidence Bases and Business Cases 
Developing Staff Further: The additional benefits of a TEL Toolkit 
Yes, we are open’: Exploring definitions of openness in education 
I had a lovely conversation with the amazing Bryan Mathers and Martin Weller about the value of sketch notes and graphic recordings … we talked about how different people capture different aspects of the talk. For me, I am still taking baby steps into the world of Sketchnoting and I do them for me and don’t really expect them to make any sense to anyone else but it always nice when people like and comment on them. If you like Sketch notes James Clay has done some fab ones from the conference …
I also attended the ALT OE SIG Meeting
… and helped to facilitate the #LTHEchat
I had a lovely time. It was so great to catch up with people and make some new friends along the way. I think one of the key things for me at a conference is the opportunity to network with people and find out what is going on. It’s also a chance to pick up some hints and tips about research, teaching and learning, and as it turns out on this occasion I found out all about the joys of quilting from the amazing Frances Bell 🙂
I am very excited about next year’s conference – it’s the 25th Anniversary of ALT so it will be a bit different – you can read more about it here …
Photos from ALT-C are available on Flickr.