ALT-C 2008 Preview

University of Leeds Graveyard
University of Leeds Graveyard!

ALT-C is the annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).  ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the Digital Divide is being held at the University of Leeds, 9th-11th September.

My last ALT-C was 2003 (Sheffield) and the learning technology landscape has changed a bit since then, or has it…

The most obvious change on the technology-side has been the emergence of ‘social technologies’.  At the time of ALT-C 2003, Google had only recently bought Blogger and the likes of Facebook & Flickr didn’t exist (both born 2004).  My first web 2.0 presentation was summer 2006 and although we now regularly offer courses such as Blogging for Beginners, Social Bookmarking and Teaching with web2.0, interest and take-up remains low here at the LSE and, I suspect, elsewhere in HE.

Back in 2003 I was at London Met and my primary focus was working with staff to encourage & support the use of the VLE, WebCT.  Jumping forward to today… different university, different VLE… but it’s still really the primary focus of both my work and the use of learning technologies by teaching staff.  (Although, to be fair, I’m doing at lot more too – Second Life, the above courses and soon e-portfolios).

So, to ALT-C 2008… the  conference theme is the different dimensions of the digital divide and those submitting papers were asked to focus on at least one from:

  • Global or local
  • Institutional or individual
  • Pedagogy or technology
  • Access or exclusion
  • Open or proprietary
  • Private or public
  • For the learner or by the learner

Should be interesting.  The conference is already under way in that a lot of delegates are already communicating online via the ALT-C 2008 social networking site.  I’ll be blogging about the conference on our work blog (and probably here too!) but I also have the privilege (ahem?) of writing a conference review for the ALT Newsletter.  Thankfully my colleague Kris and our soon-to-be colleague Athina have both ‘volunteered’ to be co-authors.


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