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Reflections on ALT-C 2007

September 6th, 2007 · No Comments · Eduspaces

My intention to blog regularly at the conference didn’t really happen. This was the most exhausting conference I’ve been to, so much to see and not wanting to miss anything, so many people to talk to, so many social events. Something had to give and I’m afraid it was the blogging. As I said in an earlier post, I will do it differently next time – little and often – rather than trying to sit down at the end of each (very long and exciting) day and trying to make sense of my notes and get going before falling to sleep. This will mean taking my laptop everywhere with me which I decided not to do for some reason that now escapes me.

All the key notes are on line on ALT-C 2007: Beyond Control Home Page  and I shall watch these again as well as try to track down the papers and slides for the presentations that I found most useful and provocative as well as the ones I would have liked to go to but clashed. Some of these have been blogged on by others which is great. This also helps to identify the presentations that are worth seeking out the abstracts, papers and slides. It is particularly useful when the post includes the full title of the session and links to the on-line information and slides as Helen Keegan did in a comment on a post in Graham Attwell’s blog Facebook questions. I also went to this presentation about using Facebook to support students and link with VLE activities. I found this particularly interesting as I have also, to my surprise and entirely on the invitation of the students, got involved with supporting learning within FB, something I will probably post on in due course. An aggregation of RSS feeds from ALT-C 2007 is listed at http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=0DXClBNS3BGKXshsxQnzeQ with 413 items so far. I expect this will continue to grow for a few days at least.

This post will summarise the main things I have brought away with me and which I think will make a difference to what I am currently doing. I won’t always remember exactly where a particular note comes from but I will be very happy if someone reminds me! Much of this will be a bit of a ramble.


Therdigital natives, social networking, informatl learning (but how msuch learning) but schools not in the main exploiting this and many students are in teh same pedagogivally impoverished mind set as teachers with same expectaions and comfort zones. Need to suppprt studetns as much as staff. Who ar eth expert learners amongst our colleagues – who is most explicity engaged in knowledge construction – resrach active staff be that discovery reserach or schalrship reserach (most teachers do some of the later). Who are those that change with the times, reinvent themselves, steer carrere and development cnscioulsy and autonomously – us lot in eduspaces! But academnics who are expert learners are not necessarily expert at passing on these skills to students – the importanc ef pedagici design that draws on the apprenticeship model. Also teach to learn by example.

Link to students don’t want to shae resources (mine for competetive advantag) use of wikis don’t like to change others text, don’t like anyone changing theirs, may work elsewher and past nto wiki at end see it as a presentaion toll not a collaborataive work tool

VLE as panoptican. Social networking as another my space and not subject to surveilance ans censure.

Learning by doing, not be wrote – activities that specify, find, evaluates and builds knowledge with tutors on the side. “Without community individual knowledge discovery is slight” p N. Apprenticieship model. Links to my notiosn that we are expert leaners and it is passing these skill sonto studetns that is more important than emptying the knowledg contnet out of our brains into theirs.

Links to froamtive assesemtn and feedback via planned activities as produces biggest increase in performance, but how measured? Podcating didn’t increase perfotmance etc but as measured traditionally – outcomes rather than process, enthusiasm, motivation, etc

look for list of what employers want Wilian?

Imortance of pedagogy. Getting this right crucail. Pedagoccal design under pinng teh scafflding and activities to induct and support students in their use of blogs and wikis and networking/collaboration.

Arm folding exercise. Outside comfort zone of usual behaviour and activity. Just beyond this is good, not too far beyond. Become more reflective, more self conscious and in teh process learn a little about the process not just the end product.

For me not VLE or web 2.0 and social networking. Exploit some of this in the VLE but encourage and help students use their own apps adn resources – issues to do with privacy, reputaion, quality etc. apply to all tools. Make explcit to teh students the nature of their informal learning so they can exploit this explicitly and consciously in formal education and beyond.

Demise predicted end of the age of the monolithic institution vle and more an age of Student information systems and interoperability of many differnet tools OS, prorriety (genuinely interoperable or won’t do well in teh market). Don’t see this reflected in teh purchasing aroudn me – stil lall buying big vles. But perhaps these will begin to diagregat ethe tools and allow integration with plug ins and modules form other providers, OS etc.

Message – make the specification of your exit stratey a central componemtn of the ovreall spec. If there is no relativley easy way out we won’t be coming in.


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