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Guest Post: ‘Virtual Participation at the ALT Annual Conference 2019 #altc’ by Frances Bell


You can participate in the ALT Annual Conference 2019, without being in Edinburgh.

At the ALT Annual Conference 2019, hundreds of delegates will attend in person: for the whole conference or just for one day; and as presenters, organisers, session chairs, exhibitors, sponsors  or in other roles. As there are 7 streams at this year’s ALT Annual Conference, even delegates attending in person can see only a fraction of sessions.

Sessions can be made available to more people, at and far beyond the conference by the work of presenters, chairs and attendees who tweet and blog about sessions they have presented or attended. Each session has its own space on the programme where you can find the session description and content, for example this session from Suzanne Faulkner. Presenters can interact with participants, post slides and other resources.

Lorna Campbell will be posting on this blog next week about the use of social media at the ALT Annual Conference. In fact, social media participation has started already for this year, as you can see at #ALTC on Twitter.

Over many years, ALT has developed excellent support for virtual participation by those who cannot attend, detailed on this helpful page on Remote Participation. A good place for remote participants to start is the conference web site: read about the Keynote Speakers who will be live-streamed; and the themes of the conference. You can also vote in the Community Choice Award during August.

Regular checking of the News section will help you find guest blog posts that may offer other ideas on participation. A recent blog post from Helen Beetham ‘Looking for Critical Frameworks’  is an excellent read, and offers an additional mode of participation in this year’s Annual Conference. Helen will be curating the #femedtech and @femedtech network throughout the Conference, and would welcome a co-curator during #ALTC. If you would like to join Helen please contact her @helenbeetham. You could be at the ALT Annual Conference, perhaps from FE or from a different country; or a virtual participant who could be on the look out for useful things to retweet to #femedtech from the #altc stream.

Once you are ready to start planning, check out the conference programme. All of the keynotes and sessions in the McEwan Hall, and marked with a Youtube icon will be livestreamed and available immediately afterwards as recordings on Youtube. If you are new to ALT Annual Conference’s, you can get a flavour of previous conferences at ALT’s Youtube Channel. The ALT Annual Conference 2018 was the 25th anniversary conference, and its playlist is definitely worth a look. The archive of recordings is not just useful for remote participants, but also for conference delegates to catch up on what they might have missed.

One of many ALT member benefits is the opportunity to log in to the conference web site. You can create your own personal schedule and link it to your calendar.  This is a good time to consider getting more involved by joining ALT if you are not already a Member.

Since 2015, Virtually Connecting have collaborated with ALT to offer opportunities for remote participants to have conversation with speakers and delegates at the conference. Details of these are posted on the Virtually Connecting website and @VConnecting Twitter account.

Just this morning, I heard of another opportunity for remote participation in Northern Ireland, where people will get together to watch the livestream and discuss the ideas. Please contact  Clare Thomson from Ulster University, @slowtech2000 on Twitter for more details.

“Session 1: 4th September – venue Queen’s University Belfast – Geography Building 0G/033

Session 2: 5th September – venue Ulster University, Jordanstown Campus, Learning Lab (Room 2F05)

Join us from 9am, for pre-keynote chat and introductions. Everyone is welcome to join us.”

Remote participants don’t get the same conference experience as conference delegates but they can enjoy a variety of opportunities to engage virtually at the ALT Annual Conference 2019.

Note: This blog post was developed from earlier related posts including, most recently, the post OER19 and Beyond: Portals to Participation by Frances Bell and Leo Havemann.

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