From education to employment

Wired magazine’s “The Explainer”; VC designate of the OU; and international distance learning

The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference, ALT-C, begins next Tuesday (8th September) and runs until Thursday 10th September. Over 700 delegates are booked to attend over the three days. High profile keynote speakers are: Michael Wesch of the "A Vision of Students Today" and "Machine is Us/ing Us" YouTube videos (each of which has had more than 1 million views) and Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, USA (Tuesday 0925); Martin Bean, formerly of Microsoft and now VC designate of the UK’s Open University (Wednesday 1155); and Terry Anderson, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Canada’s Open University (Thursday 1155).

Invited speakers include Jonathan Drori (Director, Changing Media and former Head of Commissioning for BBC Online), Diana Laurillard (Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education), the magician Matthew McFall, and Aaron Porter (National Vice-president of the NUS). Sponsor sessions include presentations by Dick Moore, Director of Technology at Ufi and by leading agencies and vendors in the world of technology in teaching and learning.

This year’s conference themes under the conference title "In dreams begins responsibility" – choice, evidence, and change, are:

– learning from history to build on past gains and avoid previous mistakes;

– spreading innovations that are of true value, rather than mere fads;

– redesigning pedagogy, the curriculum, and assessment methods to secure a substantial positive impact on learning;

– ensuring cost effectiveness by various means, from working effectively at a large scale, to supporting peer-assisted learning cultures;

– developing a research culture that informs practice, and a culture of practice that uses research evidence.

David Lammy, MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, in his statement of support for the conference said, “I very much welcome the theme of the 2009 ALT Conference and in particular its emphases on the spread of innovations that are of true value rather than fads and on developing an evidence-based approach to technology decision-making.”

For more information visit: ends – Notes to editors:About ALT ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) is a professional and scholarly association which brings together all those with an interest in the use of learning technology. There are over 200 organisational members from higher and further education institutions, private and public sector organisations and over 500 individual members. Sponsoring members include Becta, JISC, HEFCE, Sun, the Scottish Funding Council, Adobe, and the Learning and Skills Council. The keynote speakers for ALT-C 2009 are:

– Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor Designate of the Open University, formerly General Manager responsible for product management, marketing and business development for the Worldwide Education Products Group at Microsoft.

– Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, USA and active in research in new media, particularly digital media.

– Terry Anderson, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University, Canada. He teaches and advises students in the world’s largest Masters of Distance Education program at Athabasca University and is active in research in the field of distance education, and elearning.

Related Articles