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ALT RELEASES CONFERENCE PROGRAMME for ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the Digital Divide

The Association for Learning Technology has released the programme for its annual conference ( This year’s theme is Rethinking the Digital Divide. The conference runs from 9-11 September, at the University of Leeds, England.  The list of papers being presented is available at  The conference will explore and extend the debate over the digital divide, providing an opportunity to develop both thinking and practice. The basic premise to be explored in the conference is that the digital divide is multidimensional, rather than just being a problem of access, and that the divide is, in different ways, prevalent in many settings, and is not limited to lesser developed countries. The closing date for bookings is 15 August 2008 (book at John Fisher, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds will welcome delegates to the conference, and there will be major keynotes from: · David Cavallo, Chief Learning Architect for One Laptop Per Child. David’s keynote will stress how solutions to the digital divide solutions should support the development of collective agency that gives users power over their own lives.· Itiel Dror, Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton. Itiel brings a unique perspective on learning and its fit with cognitive systems, and the bridge between cognition and learning technology.· Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute, Han’s Gapminder Foundation invented the Trendalyzer data visualisation tool. Hans will use this to analyse the economic, social and environmental divisions that exist in the world, and while pointing to the severity of the situation note that there are some reasons for optimism. Alongside keynote speakers, the programme will be interspersed with sessions addressed by eight invited speakers: George Auckland (Head of Innovation, BBC Vision); Lisbeth Goodman (Professor of Creative Technology Innovation, Founder and Director of the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute); Jane Hart (Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, and creator of the Top 100 Tools for Learning list); Denise Kirkpatrick (Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, The Open University); Richard Noss (Professor of Mathematics Education at the Institute of Education, Co-Director London Knowledge lab, TLRP Associate Director for Technology Enhanced Learning); Gilly Salmon (Professor of e-Learning and Learning Technologies, University of Leicester); Clive Shepherd (Chair of the eLearning Network); and George Siemens (Associate Director, Research and Development, Learning Technologies Centre, University of Manitoba). You could plot a route through the conference that consists almost entirely of keynote and invited speaker sessions. However, there are also over 100 other conference sessions to choose from: · 34 paper sessions (containing 110 short and research papers), with, for the first time, logical groupings of related papers;· ten symposia and fourteen workshops on topical subjects;· nine demonstration sessions (containing 23 demonstrations, some of which are hands-on);· pre- and post-conference events and workshops on 8 and the afternoon of 11 September
(;· 59 posters on display with an opportunity to talk to their authors;· 11 sessions run by major sponsors of the conference, ranging from vendors to ALT partner organisations;· An exhibition hall with 27 stands. Seb Schmoller, Chief Executive of ALT, says, “This year we’ve instigated various changes that we hope will result in a more enjoyable conference experience for all – for the first time (and as an experiment) we are using Crowdvine, a social networking service that is designed specifically for conference attendees. Crowdvine will help you schedule your conference activities, and allow you to easily to hook up with buddies, friends, and even find totally new acquaintances with similar interests at the conference. We recommend that you bring a wireless laptop (or other wireless-enabled device) to the conference to take full advantage of Crowdvine’s facilities. If, however, you are adverse to toting a laptop around, there will be a new format printed conference guide that you can use to choose sessions and navigate your way around the conference.”

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