Image of 2016 conference audience
Picture by Chris Bull 6/9/16 ALT Conference day one.

Meet the #altc keynote speakers

We are pleased to have three inspiring keynote speaker for this year’s conference, who promise to give thought-provoking and engaging talks.

You can access the live stream via the links below.

Bonnie Stewart – The new norm(al): Confronting what open means for higher education

This talk opens up the intersection of learning technologies, open practice, and the idea of “norms” in learning and education. An exploration of the tensions around gatekeeping in higher education, the keynote examines our histories of norms and gatekeeping and the current trajectory and possibilities that openness offers learners and scholars, via learning technologies and digital practice. It also examines some of the dark corners of society opened up by the digital, and considers what this ‘new norm(al)’ means for higher education. The talk frames our current moment as one of constant confrontation, and offers ideas for navigating confrontation overload while still preserving the spirit of openness and learning.

Siân Bayne – The death of a network: data and anonymity on campus

This keynote will talk about a recent research study which traced the slow death of the anonymous, geosocial app Yik Yak at our university. I will provide a description of its use and decline but, more importantly, use it to understand what is at stake in the loss of the possibility of anonymity within universities in an age of data profiling, extraction and personalisation. Linking to the conference theme which explores issues at the forefront of innovation, I will use theory drawn from literatures on surveillance capitalism and the data economy to focus on developing our institutional values surrounding anonymity through and within our learning technologies.

Peter Goodyear – Shaping Spaces

This talk is about new learning spaces in universities and the scope for learning technologists to help shape better learning spaces. I will focus on design knowledge: knowledge that is useful in (educational) design work. Two ideas are core to my argument. The first is that the analysis and design of complex learning spaces – and learning situations more generally – must pay close attention to students’ activity: what it is they are actually doing. The second is that we need a shared set of actionable concepts that can connect human activity to the physical world (material/digital/hybrid), recognising that activity can be influenced, but is rarely determined, by features of its setting. Without such connecting concepts, it becomes very difficult to design, or to explain the rationale for a new design, or to understand how an existing set of learning arrangements actually works. The title of the talk captures the idea that ‘we shape our spaces and then our spaces shape us’. When learning spaces work well, students also learn how to shape the spaces they need.

Bonnie Stewart

Bonnie StewartBonnie Stewart is an educator and social media researcher fascinated by who we are when we’re online. An instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and Founder/Director of the media literacy initiative Antigonish 2.0, Bonnie explores the intersections of knowledge, technology, and identity in her work.

Bonnie speaks and consults about digital strategy, digital pedagogy, and community capacity-building around the world. She has done extensive research into academic Twitter and the implications of networks and social media for institutions, and her work aims to enact the open, participatory and collaborative ethos that she examines. She is currently lead researcher and writer of a 10-year Cultural Strategy for the province of Prince Edward Island. Bonnie is widely published in peer-reviewed journals as well as in public and media venues.


Siân Bayne

Siân Bayne is Professor of Digital Education, in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, and Assistant Principal for Digital Education at Edinburgh.

She is Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education in the School of Education (, and teaches on the online MSc in Digital Education programme at Edinburgh (


Peter Goodyear

Peter Goodyear is Professor of Education at the University of Sydney – a position he took up in 2003. He is the founding co-director of the University’s Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, a multi-faculty collaboration involving over 200 academic staff and PhD students. Previously, he set up and led the Centre for Research on Computer-Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) and the Sciences and Technologies of Learning research network.

Peter’s research interests include design for learning, networked learning, complex learning spaces, the nature of professional knowledge and professional education. He has published 11 books and over 120 journal articles and book chapters.

Find out more about the keynote speakers.