The ALT conference provides an annual opportunity for the ALT community to come together, either in person or online, to discuss and explore new approaches to learning and teaching, technological developments, implementation experiences, and recent research into technology enhanced learning. It is a conference that has evolved over 21 years, with the help of the learning technology community, to meet the needs of the community. ALT members play an active role in many aspects of the event, often in a voluntary capacity, to help before and during the conference by:
- Reviewing conference proposals and research papers
- Editing abstracts and conference proceedings
- Chairing the conference and individual sessions
- Promoting the event through professional networks
- Encouraging and supporting social media use before and during the conference
- Facilitating special interest group meetings around specific topics or regions/nations of the UK
The voluntary, community-focused endeavour that lies behind the conference helps to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at the event. Newcomers and regular conference attenders alike will find themselves engaged in conversation in lunch queues, meeting new colleagues at conference social events and sharing new ideas at various exhibition stands. altc also provides a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with colleagues who may be familiar through Twitter, blogs or other forms of social media. In fact we strongly encourage delegates to actively seek out Twitter contacts and those who contribute to our understanding through their insightful blogs and shared digital resources. Importantly, do not forget to share your own live experiences of the conference using the hashtag #altc.
The overall theme of altc2014 is ‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ and as conference co-chairs we (Linda Creanor, Sarah Cornelius and Joe Wilson) look forward to welcoming you to the event in Warwick from 1-3 September. We certainly cannot claim to be expert surfers, but we hope to learn some new ways of staying afloat in the choppy waters of innovation and change.
Anticipation is rising as the programme takes shape. Each day of the conference will focus on a specific aspect, including leadership, further education and research. We are also delighted to confirm our three prestigious keynote speakers:
- Catherine Cronin, lecturer and academic coordinator of online IT programmes at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Catherine describes herself as an open educator, whose work focuses on networked learning, open education, and digital identity.
- Jeff Haywood, Vice-Principal Knowledge Management, CIO and Librarian at the University of Edinburgh. Jeff leads major University-wide initiatives, including the substantial expansion of taught online distance Masters degrees, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
- Audrey Watters, a journalist specializing in education technology news and analysis. Audrey is the editor of Educating Modern Learners and is working on a book called Teaching Machines. She writes regularly on her own site, Hack Education.
For the community and by the community, altc2014 is for everyone with an interest in learning technology. We look forward to your participation in the 21st ‘coming of age’ event!
Sarah Cornelius, Senior Lecturer at the School of Education, University of Aberdeen
Linda Creanor, Head of Blended Learning, Glasgow Caledonian University
Joe Wilson, Head of New Ventures at The Scottish Qualifications Authority
If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member