"Into something rich and strange" - making sense of the sea-change
The 17th international conference of the Association for Learning Technology was held at the University of Nottingham, UK, 7-9 September 2010
Learning technology is part of the fabric of formal and informal learning. Meanwhile, a sea-change is taking place. The sea-change involves a structural and pervasive shift in the nature of the Internet. Specifically: we and our learners are always connected; the devices we use are growing in capability and diversity; the information environment and the tools and services that we use to navigate and to interact with it and with each other are in great flux.
The challenge posed for education is great. It is to increase effectiveness, productivity, and quality, whilst institutional and agency budgets are reducing, rather than just to promise improvements. At the same time we need to ensure the spread of innovations that are scalable and of long-term value, both educationally and financially, whilst keeping learners and learning at the heart of our thinking.
The ALT-C 2010 themes were:
1. the changing paradigms and structures for learning;
2. increasing productivity and effectiveness, whilst mitigating risks;
3. responding to and shaping the organisational landscape;
4. meeting the changing expectations and needs of learners, employers, and society;
5. the changing design skills and knowledge needed to support learning and teaching with technology.
ALT-C 2010 provided a broad forum for practitioners, researchers and policy-makers from all sectors to explore, reflect, and learn.
“But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange.” Ariel sings in Iii of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Vanessa Pittard, Director of e-Strategy, Becta, UK;
Richard Noss, Professor of Mathematics Education at the Institute of Education, Co-director of the London Knowledge Lab, UK, and Director of the Technology Enhanced Learning phase of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme.
Barbara Wasson University of Bergen, Norway (Unfortunately, illness prevented Barbara from travelling to ALT-C and giving her keynote. Her session was replaced by a panel session.)
Sugata Mitra Newcastle University, UK
Donald Clark Board Member of Ufi, and former CEO of Epic Group plc
Hans-Peter Baumeister Reutlingen University, Germany
Heather Fry Higher Education Council (HEFCE), UK
Sudhir Giri Google, UK;
Martin Hall University of Salford, UK
Frank McLoughlin City and Islington College, London, UK
Aaron Porter National Union of Students, UK (Aaron Porter was substituted for by Alex Bols, NUS Head of Education and Quality)
Josie Taylor Open University, UK
David White University of Oxford, UK
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