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Accessing ALT-C 2007 keynote sessions remotely and in real time

This year, working with conference sponsor Elluminate, ALT will be opening the 3 main keynote speeches for remote participation, in real time. The keynote sessions will be by Michelle Selinger, Education Strategist, Cisco Systems, Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google, and Dylan Wiliam, Deputy Director of the Institute of Education. Short abstracts of their sessions are at the bottom of this page.

This page tells you how to take part. It covers:

  • getting set up before the session, which you should not leave until the last minute;
  • finding out how to use Elluminate;
  • joining one the three keynote sessions.

1. Getting set up before the session

We strongly encourage you spend time in advance of the conference week, to check your computer's configuration and to ensure that you have the minimum requirements to enable connection to Elluminate.

  • The minimum requirements for accessing Elluminate can be found at Once you are happy that your system has the minimum requirements, please go to, this will enable you to test your configuration.
  • Once you have checked that you have the required software to launch Elluminate, select the link 'Join the configuration room', this will enable you to set audio and sound. When accessing an Elluminate session, you would usually use headphones with a microphone. However as ALT-C's Elluminate sessions are not enabled for two way audio communication, basic headphones will be fine. As part of joining the configuration room, you will be asked to "set audio". You can also do this, but it won't be required for the ALT-C Keynotes sessions.

2. Finding out how to use Elluminate

If you have any questions regarding setup, Elluminate also provide a support help desk, you can use the URL From here, you can access Elumminate's searchable knowledge base, submit a ticket, and call for help.

3. Joining a keynote session

Keynote sessions will be moderated. Remote participants will be able to listen to the keynote speeches, watch them (depending on the quality of their connection to the Internet, and their system set-up), comment using text-based chat as the session progresses, and pose questions (in English!) by text message when the keynote speaker takes questions.

Each keynote sessions will be accessible from 10 minutes before its scheduled start time from this secure link on the Elluminate web site. When joining please enter your full name when requested, as this will enable us to identify you during the conference, if, for example, you pose a question by text message.

The dates and times of the keynotes are below, along with brief abstracts. All times are "British Summer Time", which is "Greenwich Mean Time" plus 1.

Michelle Selinger, Education Strategist, Cisco Systems - 'You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps' - 9.40 - 10.30 on Tuesday 4 September 2007
In the 21st century gaps in many facets of our lives are quickly becoming vast chasms: chasms between cultures; chasms between what learners do with technology informally and what formal education allows them to do; and chasms between learners widened by the opportunities that the new technology affords those that have it and can use it. The lifelong learning agenda assumes smooth transitions between school, college, university and the work place, yet the changes in learning paradigms in these institutions are so variable that the chasms between them are widening too. David Lloyd George (1863-1945) said, "Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps". It is now 2007. Isn't it time we bit the bullet and made some bold changes to our formal learning systems: changes that really take advantage of what technology can help us do to improve the quality and richness of the learning experience?

Dylan Wiliam, Deputy Director of the Institute of Education - 'Assessment, learning and technology: prospects at the periphery of control' - 11.00 - 12.00 on Wednesday 5 September 2007
Dylan Wiliam will explore some of the ways in which technology will change how learners are assessed. The technology or scoring multiple-choice items has been in widespread use for well over half a century, but more recently it has become possible to score automatically short-answer constructed-response items, graphs, and even essays with the same accuracy achieved by humans (although this feat is less impressive when it is realized how poor the agreement between humans can be). These changes will lower the cost of large-scale authentic assessments, thus improving the validity of the assessment of student learning. More significantly, however, recent developments in classroom aggregation technologies suggest that it will be possible to use automated scoring of student responses to allow teachers to make real-time instructional decisions, thus increasing student engagement in learning, and the responsiveness of instruction to student needs.

Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google - 'Learning in an Open World' - 11.45 - 12.45 on Thursday 6 September 2007
What happens in a world where students have instant access to trillions of words of information (and disinformation), without need of a teacher as an intermediary? What roles do the student, teacher, and other citizens play in this world? We'll soon find out........


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