(Keynotes viewable on Elluminate from the conference website.)
Enjoyed Peter Norvig’s keynote today. Questioned why lectures didn’t die out with the printing press (after all, students can read books can’t they?). Very strongly in favour of tuition instead of lecturing. Some interesting similarities and differences with Dylan Williams’ earlier keynote, although on the surface they were both very different keynotes coming from very different perspectives – Dylan looking at ways to improve traditional classroom teaching, Peter suggesting ways of replacing it.
Submitted my blog details too late to get on the conference feed-of-feeds. Also didn’t make it onto the blog post of bloggers blogging.
Are national e-Learning initiatives going down the wrong path? What makes communities successful? Second Life discussions a-plenty. My day at ALT-C… detail below.
Sitting in the 2nd of two paper presentations on blogging.
The first was ‘Exploring students’ understanding of how blogs and blogging can support distance learning in higher education’
Lucinda Kerawalla, et. al. (ALT-C 2007 Research Proceedings pp169-178). Part of this detailed earlier work which recorded resistance by students to the use of blogs for education. Not insurmountable, but they emphasized the need to be able to justify and explain the use of blogs to students you expect to use them. Also to be clear with yourself how you want the students to use blogs, and which features do you want them to be using. Consider – is it for discussion within a class, or open to the public. Are there any reasons why you might not want open commenting? Follow up work looking at students who continued blogging after the class completed was also detailed.
The second is ‘Postgraduate blogs: beyond the ordinary research journal’, by Rebecca Ferguson, Gill Clough, Anesa Hosein. (ALT-C 2007 Research Proceedings 179-189). This highlighted the advantages that using blogs instead of traditional research journals can bring. Creating a more active community of research students, with better communication is perhaps the basic advantage. Other than time-consumption, few draw-backs were identified.
I previously posted the link for the papers, go check em out.
ALT-C is pretty large. 10 parallel sessions of talks, demos and workshops. And naturally, the sessions I’d most like to see are running at the same time as my own…
So I’ll miss the talk “Cultural Capital and community development in the pursuit of dragon slaying. (Massively Multiplayer guild culture as a model for elearning)” as I’ll be in another building talking on “Bridging 3D and web-based virtual learning environments” at the time. I’ll also miss one of the more interesting sessions packed with talks on the use of blogs for reflective practice. Given my own experience of using blogs with students (worked quite well, though students hated blogging), I’m interested in seeing how others get on with them. Ho hum.
Best session for me so far, certainly most useful, one from Glenaffric on a 6-step process for planning and conducting project evaluations. More here: http://glenaffric.co.uk/gem/ . Not as interactive a session as expected, but a useful resource. Open to the public for the duration of ALT-C apparently, so check it out now if project evaluation is your thing.
The papers for the Association of Learning Technology conference, ALT-C 2007, are now online:
Handbook and abstracts [2.6 MB]:
Research papers [12MB file]:
Should be some good reading in there. I’ll see how much I can work through on the plane in the morning.