Press release: ALT annual conference 2014: Disruption in education on a global scale?

Issued 27 August 2014
Opening with a keynote speech from Jeff Haywood (Vice-Principal Knowledge Management, CIO and Librarian at the University of Edinburgh), the 21st annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) takes place from 1-3 September 2014 at the University of Warwick. This year the conference theme is 'Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave'.
The opening conference day (1 September 2014) is supported by Desire2Learn and has a focus on international collaboration and leadership. 
Welcoming addresses will be given by Conference Co-Chairs (Sarah Cornelius, Linda Creanor and Joe Wilson) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning, at the University of Warwick (Christina Hughes). The opening keynote from Jeff Haywood is going to ask participants to consider what sort of future for education we are seeking.
The second conference day (2 September 2014) is supported by City & Guilds and focuses on further education and cross-sector engagement. 
The day's programme features sessions and activities related to ALT's work in FE and across sectors including a keynote speech from Catherine Cronin (Lecturer & Academic Coordinator of online IT programmes, National University of Ireland, Galway) with the title 'Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education' in which Catherine will explore the challenges of being open in Education and will pose the question whether openness is a "survival trait" for the future.
Later that day, participants have the opportunity to join in an open policy debate chaired by the Chair of ALT, Professor Diana Laurillard. 
Together with research and practice, policy is a key element of the intelligent use of learning technology and this debate will explore the recent developments across sectors including the Government's response to the recommendations from the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) and also the work of the Education Technology Action Group (ETAG).
Opening the third day is Audrey Watters, writer at Hack Education, with her keynote 'Ed-Tech, Frankenstein's Monster, and Teacher Machines'. On a romp through literature and the cultural history of ed-tech to talk about teaching machines and monsters, participants will be questioning what it means to create intelligent machines? What does it mean to create intelligent teaching machines? What does this mean in turn when we talk about using these technologies to create intelligent humans? Day 3 is sponsored by IBM/Tectrade.
Featured also in the day's programme together with researchers presenting findings from current research are talks from invited speakers Andrew Law, Director of Open Media at the Open University, UK, and James Fanning, Director of Emerging Technologies at Education Scotland. Andrew will explore lessons learnt from the open education provision at the Open University and James will engage participants to think about the phenomenal growth in the ownership and use of personal mobile technologies and what it means to get it right for every learner.
Other highlights of the third day include a session about ocTEL, the Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning, led by Martin Hawksey, Chief Innovation, Technology and Community Officer at ALT; a researcher-focused workshop on how to get published as well as a number of practical showcases by exhibitors.
In addition, we will also host the following Invited speakers: 
  • Jim Fanning (Education Scotland): Mobile Technologies: Getting it Right for Every Child
  • Bryan Mathers (City & Guilds): Space to Breathe - Growing a Creative Culture around Technology
  • Fiona Harvey (University of Southampton): Watching the MOOCs go by - where we have been and where are we going?
We will also announce the Learning Technologist of the Year Award on Tuesday evening at 18.30 (2 September) following a showcase session earlier that day where finalists will present their work at 11.35. 
Conference co-chairs
Sarah Cornelius (University of Aberdeen); Linda Creanor (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Joe Wilson (Scottish Qualifications Authority).
The programme is available on the conference online platform
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Press passes
If you would like a press pass to attend the conference, please contact Allison Stevens, Communications & Support Officer, by 29 August 2014.
Notes for Editors
  1. ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) is a professional and scholarly association which brings together those with an interest in the use of learning technology. As the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field, we work to improve practice, promote research, and influence policy.
  2. About 1200 individuals belong to ALT, as do about 230 organisational and sponsoring members across education sectors in the UK and internationally.
  3. If you are writing about, blogging or sharing images and videos about the Annual Conference using tools that support tagging, please use the tag 'altc' - without the quotes. On Twitter, please use the '#altc' hashtag - again, without the quotes. Thank you.
  4. More information about the conference:
  5. Association for Learning Technology, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP Tel: +44 (0)1865 484 125 Fax: +44 (0)1865 484 165 URL:
  6. ALT is a Registered Charity in the UK, number: 1063519