I’ve been GASTA’d (Again) #ALTCSummit

After a full day of working behind the scences at the #ALTCSummit activities on Wednesday last week I also survived my second GASTA … and am now looking forward to my badge !

Honoured to be in the esteemed company of my fellow GO_GN Gastateers , Ada, Aras, Michael, Jo and Taskeen who all did an absolutely awesome job .. and of course we were all kept under control by the lovely Tom Farrelly and herded into position by my lovely ALT boss Maren Deepwell.

My ‘warm up’ act was strangely right at the end instead of first so by the time it got to me I was completely hyperactive but hey ho in for a penny in for a pound ..

Everyone else did their’s to time .. I just about got my last slide in before Tom kicked me out … It was such a giggle as expected. I managed to get across most of the stuff that I had hoped too but ended up screaming to the end in my usual breathless fashion… the recordings of the GASTA will be available openly in a few weeks but here are my slides in the meantime

What I did at #altcSummit

Quick collection of Wakelet Tweets ….


GASTA Presentation #altcSummit 2020

I’m really excited to be presenting at at the ALT Summer Summit 26th – 27th August 2020 Learning Technology in a time of Crisis, Care and Complexity #ALTCSummit this week.

I’m doing a GASTA presentation alongside colleagues from the most awesome Global OER Graduate Network GO-GN Network. The wonderful Dr Tom Farrelly, Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT) will be doing his stuff to keep us all in line.

Gasta means “fast, clever, quick, smart” and in that spirit sessions will involve active participation from everyone in the audience as well the invited speakers giving their Gasta for 5 minutes each ~ALT

This is actually my second GASTA, so having done one in real life, I already know what I am letting myself in for but I have to admit I am kind of nervous doing it online for the first time and to be in such amazing company with all these really clever folks (Ada Czerwonogora, Aras Bozkurt, Michael Paskevicius, Taskeen Adam and Johanna Funk) from GO_GN (.. think of me as the warm up act 🤪) so I just I just hope I can do it justice.

So I’ll be finalising my slides for my Presentation today … oh and there may be the odd one or two Bitmoji floating around …

#ALTC 2018 Debs Adventures Part 1

So this might actually be a record of me attempting to do a blog post within a couple of days of returning from the ALTC conference … I always have the intention of doing it but somehow I always get sidetracked .. anyhow, in the hope that this post actually gets finished I shall crack on as they say..


This years conference was a special one, the 25th anniversary to be precise. There were even cakes, both edible varieties and even really cool virtual ones courtesy of the fabulous Bryan Matthers, who despite not being in actual physical attendance at the conference was ever present where ever I went.   I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the full three days. It was a real packed programme and it was so difficult to try and select which of the sessions that I would go to. I’m sure I missed some absolute gems in terms of sessions but here are some of the highlights of the sessions that I did go to and some other fabulous experiences that were had along the way.

The Journey

I went up to Manchester by train and was accompanied by my new colleague Luke, who I have to say spent most of the journey looking after me and trying to avoid my usual travelling mishaps like spilling my coffee everywhere. My other colleague Chris Jobling very sensibly opted for a different train !
Throughout the journey the usual pre conference twitter exchanges were in full swing. This even included an impromptu Snapchat tutorial (through the medium of Snapchat) with my buddy Suzanne Faulkner. Chaos ensued as we attempted to snap our way through the various functions of adding bunny ears and sparkly unicorn horns. It was a giggle … there may even be a repeat attempt at some point .. watch this space. (I can feel my two children cringing from here ..) If you are interested in finding out more about snapchat in the meantime, check out Suzy’s video here ..
As it turned out Suzy, Luke and I were all at the same hotel, there were lots of minions, umbrellas and weather maps involved …
And that was all before the conference actually started !

Day One

The event itself kicked off with a brilliant keynote from Tressie MacMillan Cottom, you can watch it here.  I was blown away by Tressie, both in terms of the content but also in the delivery of her talk. It was so warm and heartfelt and she talked a lot about collaboration and connecting with each other which ticked so many boxes for me. She outlined that ‘Context’ matters in terms of that fact that we are shaped by who and where you are and that Learning Technologies ‘do not exist in a vacuum’ and that we should consider how best to open up the various spaces to make those connections in order to ‘make stuff happen’.  Here are my little scribbles of her talk, I’m sure I only touched the surface with my notes so I would encourage you to watch her talk. It’s fab.

Virtually Connecting

I took part in the Virtually Connecting session as an onsite guest on Day One where we shared what we were hoping to get out of this year’s #ALTC and got to meet some great virtual attendees from around the world.   You can watch the replay here if you are interested.
VC at #altc 2018v4

ALT-C 2017 Beyond islands of innovation

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. [1678]

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 [1702]

Developing Staff Further: The additional benefits of a TEL Toolkit [1717]

Yes, we are open’: Exploring definitions of openness in education [1837]

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.


ALT Learning Technologist of the Year 2016 Cast your vote now !

…dear me … so many amazing people to choose from but there can be only one winner of the ALT community choice. Check out the wee little videos for some fab insights into what these fabulous finalists have been doing !

ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards 2016 – Finalists and Community Choice Voting

You can have one vote using twitter or email so make yours count ! Deadline for voting is noon (BST) 7th September

ALT-C 2015 Day One < nearly

Well I’m on the train to sunny Manchester and feeling well excited to be at ALT-C …

Things I have discovered so far …

  1. Manchester seems a really loooong way away on a really slow train journey
  2. Train journeys make it tricky to try and use a pen … So much for sketch noting !
  3. I’m really hungry …
  4. I’m not entirely certain where my hotel is …
  5. A Caramel Latte and a choccie chip shortbread would make the journey much more civilised ..
  6. Ooh trolley on its way … Am filled with hope 🙂
  7. Cold tea and a Kit Kat it is then …

Anyhow Really looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones though  … Only another hour and a bit to go ….