Two days of ALT-C

Life’s been busy lately, what with starting a new job and all… but this week I have been lucky enough to attend the ALT-C conference. It’s my favourite type of conference because:

  • I know I have at least one thing in common with everyone :)
  • nearly everyone is friendly and willing to share experiences
  • people have gadgets to drool over and save up for by next year (I want an HTC Desire phone – thanks Clare Denholm!)
  • lots of inspiration and some very practical experiences (as well as the benefit of excellent research studies)
  • I get to catch up with people I’ve worked with or had contact with in the past or people I follow on Twitter or in other online networks.

The disadvantage is that there are so many parallel presentations that it’s almost impossible to choose, and if I’m presenting it’s inevitable that all the people I REALLY want to hear are on at the same time!

I was like many others a bit ambivalent about Donald Clark on stopping lectures, especially towards the end of his talk – of course there are no students on campus before the beginning of term! Come back in 10 days’ time!  Still, at least he got everyone going!  Sugata Mitra I have heard before a few times, but his work cannot fail to awe me.  Love the idea of Gateshead being deprived because it’s so far from Delhi.

My favourite quote so far was the speaker today (who I will keep anonymous) who said that his central learning technology support unit was re-assessing their policy of embedding learning technologists in schools because “some of them went feral”….  I do sympathise, I do… but.. dare I suggest that perhaps they started listening to their academics and students?

Thanks to Alan Cann, Susannah Quinsee, Carol Shergold, Mark Gamble and Emma Purnell who, among others, were inspiring, and to everyone who came to my workshop on ELESIG and Cloudworks (even though Cloudworks went down in the middle!).

I have piles of notes which I must write up properly, but I think that will take longer than a few minutes – I am in awe of those who can come out with rational and well-argued opinions and reflections in a few minutes!