ALT-C logo Contact Us | Sitemap   

Conference Committee | Venue, Travel and Accommodation | FAQs


ALT-C Home | ALT Home | Latest | General Information | Programme | Papers | Booking | Sponsors


Keynote and Invited speakers

ProgrammeKeynote and invited speakers | Academic | Social | Pre & Post | Timetable

Keynote speakers

Barbara Wasson

University of Bergen, Norway

Picture of Barbara Wasson Barbara Wasson is Professor of Pedagogical Information Science at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway and Scientific Leader of InterMedia, University of Bergen. She has led the FLEXIBLE research group at the department since 1997. Wasson has been involved in research involving the use of information and communication (ICT) technologies in learning since 1983. Her research interests include collaborative learning in distributed settings, socio-cultural theories of learning, design-based research, methodologies for studying virtual environments, and pedagogical agents.

Design and Use of Technology Enhanced Learning Environments

A fundamental challenge for Technology Enhanced Learning is how to design technology enhanced learning environments sensitive to the complex interconnections between pedagogical, technological and organisational issues and how to understand their use. Using examples from my own research I will focus on my understanding of the intricate relationship between design and use. In the Norwegian DoCTA projects we aimed to bring a theoretical perspective to the design of ICT-mediated learning environments that support the sociocultural aspects of human interaction and to evaluate their use. By taking a sociocultural perspective on learning activity focussing on the interpersonal social interaction in collaborative learning settings we contribute to knowledge about the pedagogical design of network based learning scenarios, the technological design of the learning environment to support these learning scenarios, and the organisational design for management of such learning environments. Through various empirical studies we improved our understanding of the pedagogy and technology of networked learners, and increased our understanding of learner activity. In this talk I will focus on the VisArt artefact design scenario and the gen-etikk collaborative knowledge building scenario both of which supported co-located and distributed students collaborating over the Internet during a 3-4 week period.

Keynote Session - Thursday 9 September.


Sugata Mitra

Newcastle University, UK

Picture of Sugata MitraSugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. He is also Chief Scientist, Emeritus, at NIIT. He is the instigator of the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment, where in the year 1999 a computer was placed in a kiosk created within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to freely use it. The experiment aimed at proving that kids could be taught computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). HIW has more than 23 kiosks in rural India and the experiment has been repeated with similar results in many different locations.

The Hole In The Wall: Self Organising Systems in Education

Introducing Self Organised Learning Environments and Remote Presence technologies, the talk hints at a future of education that may be very different from what we have today.
The talk is based on the following premises:
  • The quality of traditional primary education declines with 'remoteness'
  • Groups of children, given the appropriate resources, can

  • a. Learn to use computers and the Internet on their own.
    b. Achieve many objectives of schooling on their own.
    c. Attain levels of achievement close to traditional schooling with the help of a friendly, but not knowledgeable, mediator.
  • Learning is a self organising system.

These premises are proposed based on experimental results, often referred to as 'the hole in the wall' experiments, as well as more recent experiments that will be discussed. The talk then moves on to the design of facilities and technology for areas where good schools cannot exist and good teachers do not want to go.

Keynote Session - Wednesday 8 September.


Donald Clark

Board Member of Ufi, and former CEO of Epic Group plc

Picture of Donald Clark Donald Clark was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK e-learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. Describing himself as 'free from the tyranny of employment', he is now a board member of Ufi learndirect (a Government agency delivered e-learning to 2.6 million learners), Caspian Learning (a learning games tool provider), LearningPool (content provider), and Brighton Arts Festival. He is also a school governor.

Don't lecture me

As student numbers increase and cuts are implemented the HE sector has to do more for less. This means less low occupancy building, cutbacks in second and third rate research, cutting low student number courses and a rethink of how we are to deliver higher education. The sector has largely ignored the most important event in 20th century HE, the creation of the OU, and therefore the opportunity to increase student numbers. However, there's a dark secret at the heart of HE that really holds it back - the lecture. Apart from being pedagogically suspect, many are badly delivered and few are recorded. Donald will do some deconstruction of the lecture in terms of its history, lack of relevance in the terms of the psychology of learning and serious limitations for students. He will use the teaching of science, physics in particular, to show the shortcomings of courses anchored in lectures.
And before you ask, yes he is aware of the contradiction.

Keynote Session - Tuesday 7 September.


Saul Tendler

University of Nottingham, UK

Picture of Saul Tendler Saul Tendler, who will welcome delegates to the conference on behalf of the Univerisity of Nottingham, is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning and is a Professor of Biophysical Chemistry. Previously he was Head of the University's School of Pharmacy and the Dean of the Graduate School. Saul's research is directed towards the biophysical investigation of molecular systems and their interactions. In 2007 Saul was awarded his DSc by the University of Nottingham. He was a founding director of Molecular Profiles Ltd and is currently a Director of Nottingham University Industrial and Commercial Enterprise Ltd, and BioCity Ltd. Previously Saul was a member of the HEFCE Strategic Committee for Research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and was designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 2000.


Invited speakers

Hans-Peter Baumeister

Reutlingen University, Germany

Picture of Hans-Peter Baumeister Hans-Peter Baumeister is a Professor at and Co-Director of the European School of Business's Research Institute. His research interests are in the field of innovation for knowledge societies and regional clustering processes ("learning regions"), with particular emphasis on the role of universities. Hans-Peter has extensive knowledge of developments in distance education, e-learning and e-learning methods, and of the major fields of application and organisation.

The Future of Knowledge Acquisition

Knowledge society, knowledge economy, knowledge management - knowledge everywhere. What does it mean for our approach to education?
The Internet has a major impact on the culture of the acquisition of knowledge, but educational institutions, both for children and for adults, are still based on a model stemming from the area of enlightenment combined with the emergence of the nation state: Open access to new information, but keep it under institutional control, represented by the teacher. On the other hand we know that already the current workforce needs skills and qualifications to deal with the so-called knowledge economy. But what are those skills? And are our institutions and the people working within them prepared to analyse the required skills and to act accordingly or are we still following a model of top-down teaching? Or more to the point: Do our students know better how to deal with new forms of knowledge acquisition than the teachers and lecturers?

Invited Session - Wednesday 8 September.


Heather Fry

Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), UK

Picture of Heather FryHeather Fry is HEFCE's Director of Education and Participation. Heather has wide experience of working in universities, holding academic appointments both in England and abroad, and is an expert in higher and professional education policy and practice. Heather started her career in Nigeria. After teaching and lecturing there she took up an academic post at the Institute of Education, University of London, working for some years in the Centre for Higher Education Studies, Department of Policy Studies, and also at the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London. Immediately before joining HEFCE, Heather was the founding Head of the Centre for Educational Development at Imperial College London, where she was a Reader in Higher and Professional Education.

How national funding and policy supports learning and teaching in higher education

Heather will briefly consider some of the challenges for learning technology in meeting the needs and demands of the diversity of students and provision in higher education. She will also touch on current and past HEFCE funding and policy initiatives in this area, in particular on institutional learning and teaching strategies, on how HEFCE continues to work with the JISC and the Higher Education Academy to support teaching enhancement and learning technology, and the open educational resources programme, the latter now being in its second phase. She will also make reference to the Online Learning Task Force and share some early insights about its work, prior to the publication of its recommendations in October / November 2010.

Invited Session - Wednesday 8 September.


Sudhir Giri

Google, UK

Picture of Sudhir GiriSudhir Giri is Head of Google Learning Labs having joined to help establish an operational infrastructure for learning. Additionally, he is experimenting on how we can innovate corporate learning especially using Google technologies. Prior to working for Google, Sudhir managed learning programs for Accenture and Deloitte Consulting for nine years. His work included delivering an e-learning program to Kenyan nurses to increase school capacity to meet health care demands. With a biomedical engineering background, he spent four years at NASA developing and testing biomedical flight hardware for the Space Shuttle program which included astronaut training. Sudhir holds an MBA from the University of Texas and a bachelor's degree in bioengineering from Texas A&M University.

Developing a learning ecosystem

In this session Sudhir will outline how Google uses and plans to use learning technology to support the learning and development of its own 20,000 workforce.

Invited Session - Tuesday 7 September (changed from Thursday 9 September on 26/8/2010).


Martin Hall

University of Salford, UK

Picture of Martin HallProfessor Martin Hall is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford. Martin ia a historical archaeologist and strategic leader, and his career has spanned both political change and transformation in South Africa and new directions in archaeology over the past four decades. Martin has written extensively on South African history, culture and higher education policy. He was for a time President of the World Archaeological Congress and General Secretary of the South African Archaeological Society. After working at two major museums in the 1980s, he moved to the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1983, where he led the Centre for African Studies. After stints as Head of the Department of Archaeology, and as Dean of Higher Education Development, he became in 2002, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCT prior to his move to Salford in 2009.

When worlds collide - revisiting experiential learning

How can universities incorporate the collision between informal education and social networking, and the formal curriculum and accreditation?
What happens when the worlds of formal university education and social networking collide? The imminence of this collision is now widely accepted. But what happens when open, byte-sized bits of knowledge come up against the need for sequence and structure, for curricula that build systematically on prior understanding and insight, and formal accreditation? This is not primarily a technological issue - it is more a question about the nature of knowledge itself. Social networking is transforming the nature of "tacit knowledge". By revisiting formative concepts of experiential learning, leading-edge experimentation with new technologies can themselves be codified and theorized, and translated into organizational change within the universities.

Invited Session - Tuesday 7 September.


Frank McLoughlin

City and Islington College, London, UK

Picture of Frank McLoughlinFrank McLoughlin has been Principal of City and Islington College since July 2002. The college is one of the largest general further education colleges in England and is one of only a handful of colleges judged by Ofsted to be outstanding in every measure. Frank is a trustee of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, a board member of Action Aid UK, a member of the All Souls Group and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Frank was awarded a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2009.

One college's journey - a view from the bridge

City and Islington College, where Frank McLoughlin has been principal for many years, has long been committed to the systematic use of ICT. In this session Frank will reflect on the college's overall journey in its use of ICT to support learning, focusing on the impact of the college's web-based services on learners' relationship with the college, and on the changing nature of the college's learners and their use of ICT in learning. Frank, who is also Chair of the 157 Group, a membership organisation representing an influential group of large, successful and regionally influential Further Education colleges in England, will also provide a 'forward look' covering how, in the new political and economic climate, publicly funded education can continue to innovate in learning technology.

Invited Session - Tuesday 7 September.


Aaron Porter

National Union of Students, UK

Picture of Aaron Porter Aaron Porter is President of the National Union of Students, responsible for leading and campaigns and representation for students in UK higher education. Previously, Aaron served two terms as Vice-President (Higher Education) having graduated with a BA English from the University of Leicester. Alongside his role, Aaron holds Non-Executive Directorships on the Boards of the Higher Education Academy, UCAS and the European Students' Union. He is also a member of the HEFCE Online Task Force.

A student perspective on the use of technology in 21st century higher education

My session will focus in on the expectations and perceptions of students on the use of technology in higher education. Taking forward the work of the HEFCE Online Task Force, and giving my perspective on what the sector should take forward to meet the needs of students in the 21st century.

Invited Session - Thursday 9 September.


Josie Taylor

Open University, UK

Picture of Josie TaylorProfessor Josie is Director of the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. She has a bachelor's degree in Dance, Drama and Psychology (University College, Worcester) and a D.Phil in Cognitive Sciences (University of Sussex). Her research focuses on understanding the ways in which people learn from complex media (traditional and digital) and how best to design those media to support learning. This spans system design, interface design, interaction design, user requirements, and evaluation, and entails understanding user psychology, the nature of learning and the contexts of learning.

Literacies, learning and people's lives: where practice and real life collide...

Digital literacy is much debated at present, and there is no one clear definition. However, such a literacy is a vital 21st century skill without which people will not be able to operate effectively and safely in the digital environment. It is central to enabling people to be lifelong learners. It is also a key employability skill. The Digital Britain report (2009) highlights the economic necessity of people possessing these skills.
Digital literacy not only needs to be taught and learned in its own right, but it is also increasingly part of learning and teaching in a disciplinary context. Being digitally literate enables students to shape their own learning and to effectively manage the ever-increasing amounts of information they are exposed to. They also need to be able to share what they find, in new ways. Trust and sense-making are essential if this is to happen.
But do we know what we are all talking about? In this session, I will outline some of the major issues being raised in debate at the moment, and stimulate conversation around them.

Invited Session - Wednesday 8 September.


David White

University of Oxford, UK

Picture of David White David White is Senior Manager: Development with Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL) at the University of Oxford. TALL is an elearning research and development group, which David co-manages, with responsibility for the production and delivery of a wide range of online distance courses. David has worked in the overlapping space between education, technology and media for nearly 16 years, and was an early observer of 'web 2.0' in learning and of the blurring of the boundaries between 'social', 'studying' and 'professional' activities. Recently he has been closely involved in the work of the HEFCE Online Learning Task Force, which has been set-up with the aims of maintaining and developing the position of UK higher education as a world leader in online learning.

Sailing against the trade winds? How online distance learning could help to maintain the character of higher education in stormy seas

Earlier this year my group at the University of Oxford were commissioned to undertake a study of online learning for the HEFCE Online Learning Task Force. Our research showed that the vast majority of online distance learning provided at higher education level is in postgraduate 'professional' courses which in these Return-On-Investment times offer an attractive income stream from employers and employees alike. Increasing activity in this area could lead us to believe that we are in danger of generating a parallel 'training 2.0' HE sector but the reality is far more complex.
Using evidence published in the study, this presentation will explore how the emergent culture of the web is encouraging online students to expect a form of engagement that many in the HE sector have been advocating for years. It will discuss how this is challenging the role of the academic and what strategies institutions are taking to meet the demand for discursive, activity based pedagogies. The presentation will also discuss the need for non STEM disciplines to move online to maintain a balanced representation of the character of our university system in the mjlie of course offerings from around the globe.

Invited Session - Wednesday 8 September.