Posts Tagged ‘altc2009’

Social Media at ALT-Cs

September 9, 2013 1 comment

A look back at social media use at the ALT-C conference over the years. Very much personal recollections, certainly not a definitive history. Later today I’ll be heading to Nottingham for the ALT-C conference #altc2013 It’s ALT’s 20th conference which makes me feel like a relative newbie to the field of learning technology. My first ALT-C was in Sunderland in 2002, about which I remember very little – David Puttnam and the Stadium of Light. My first Social Media ALT-C My first social media fueled ALT-C was 2008 in Leeds and I think that’s the conference where social media first featured heavily. There was stuff going on before that (e.g. see #altc2006 photos on Flickr, #altc2007 RSS Yahoo Pipe) but a minority sport I think (I didn’t attend between 2003 & 2008, so can’t be sure). By 2008 I’d been messing quite a lot with blogs, wikis, Facebook, RSS and the like – I’d run my first social media workshop in 2006 “Social Software: Blog it, Digg it, Poke it!”.

Edubloggers at Work

Photo by samscam (CC BY-NC)

At the time of #altc2008 one of my tools of choice was Netvibes. Ahead of the conference I created this ALT-C 2008 Netvibes page and compiled an OPML file (collection of RSS) from it for others to subscribe to. I also created a conference wiki with Kris Roger (an LSE colleague) & Athina Chatzigavriil (UCL & future LSE colleague) to collate comments from delegates to help us write the 2008 Conference Review for the ALT Newsletter. The conference also featured Crowdvine which continued to be used as the conference site until last year. Crowdvine made a a lot of use of RSS and enabled delegates to add their various social media channels to their profiles e.g. my 2008 profile. The 2008 conference also saw the development of a conference Fringe with the introduction of F-ALT. I particularly remember the Edubloggers meet-up where I first met many people who have since featured heavily in my social media network. Talking of which, Twitter also arrived on the ALT-C scene at the 2008 conference with 310 hash-tagged tweets. See Twitter at ALT-C below. While ALT’s Youtube channel now features recordings from 2008, they weren’t actually added until 2011. I helped Seb Schmoller set-up the ALT YouTube channel in 2009 and the first uploaded video was Making Group-Work Work from the 2009 conference. Working as a WPC at ALT-C For the 2010 & 2011 ALT-Cs I was one of the four Web Participation Co-ordinators. This was a new role on the conference programme committee tasked with helping make the most of the online aspects of the conference including social media, crowdvine and the live streaming. I didn’t attend the 2010 conference in Nottingham in person but was very active from afar and did a lot of tweeting from the official @A_L_T Twitter account which I’d helped get off the ground in 2009. Twitter Usage at ALT-C Although Twitter featured earlier, as the chart shows it was 2009 that it really took off as the backchannel tool of choice.

Tweets at ALT-C

Tweets at ALT-C

These numbers have been taken from and for each year I’ve counted the number of tweets tagged within the same calendar year that included #altc20xx, altc20xx, or #altcxx. Despite a slight dip last year there has already been much more pre-conference tweeting in 2013. At the time of writing – lunchtime, the day before the conference, there are 1186 tweets for ALT-C 2013. I suspect the number of tweets will increase again this year despite the growth of other networks such as Google+. Top of the Tweeters

  • 2007 – @mmetcalfe (1 tweet)
  • 2008 – @andypowe11 (51)
  • 2009 – @jamesclay (252)
  • 2010 – @dajbconf (333)
  • 2011 – @digitalfprint (423)
  • 2012 – @digitalfprint (403)


Updated 08/10/2014 with the following tweet from @mhawksey:

Blog Off?

September 18, 2009 4 comments

Last week, following my quick poll on blogging & tweeting, Gráinne Conole started an Is Twitter killing Blogging? discussion on Cloudworks. The excellent discussion has ended now but I’d promised I’d blog and very much wanted to sooner but finding the time… what with all that tweeting…

First, the overall results of my poll, which are based on 53 responses as I have removed the 7 respondents who have never blogged.  Results in full

Interestingly, when I answered the poll I chose about the same but looking at my blog stats I now realise I should have said less!  I wonder if any others made my mistake?

Many of the comments on Cloudworks ring true for me. Like Kate Boardman, Terry Wassall & others I’ve struggled to ‘find time’ to write blog posts. My August contribution to the VLE – PLE debate was one I’d mentally drafted following Graham Attwell’s keynote at April’s Plymouth Elearning Conference! I’m also finding, like Juliette Culver, that since my tweeting has increased I’ve been following feeds less and get to many blog posts via Twitter.  However, as the majority of the bloggers that I follow also tweet this is not a problem for me.  I also agree with John Pallister’s suspicion that many of the bloggers I follow have been blogging less recently which in some cases seems to be Twitter-related. Read more…

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ALT-C 2009 Preview

September 7, 2009 1 comment

Later today I’m heading to Manchester for ALT-C 2009, the UK’s largest educational technology conference. By attending, I’m breaking my don’t-go-to-the-same-conference-twice-in-a-row ‘rule’ but I really enjoyed last year and looking at the list of delegates  and pre-conference chatter: twitter, crowdvine I’m sure I’ll get a lot out of it once gain. Plus the fact that it’s in Manchester where I did my undergraduate degree and became addicted.  If you’re new to ALT-C have a read of last year’s conference review, penned by myself and colleagues, to get an idea of what it’s all about.

Apart from catching up with old friends and meeting online friends face-to-face for the first time, I think there are three topics in particular that are on my mind for up-coming projects.  I’ll be looking for sessions and people where I can learn more about: audio feedback, the use of eportfolios for supporting group work and in a similar vein, the use of wikis for collaborative writing.  In all three cases it’s not the technical tools that I’m interested in hearing about but the successes and the pitfalls that others have experienced.

Conference review to follow on our team blog




August 14, 2009 1 comment

I’ve just finished watching another entertaining & fascinating talk given by Michael Wesch at the Personal Democracy Forum in June. The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity includes a ‘brief history of whatever’ and is definitely worth 30mins of your time.  If you’ve not come across him before take a look at my earlier post A Portal to Media Literacy for some background & links.

Wesch is one of the keynote speakers at next month’s ALT-C 2009 .  I’m really looking forward to hearing him talk and I’m hoping he’ll be saying more about his innovative approach to teaching; for example see his assessment scheme & collaborative lecture notes for next term.


I also like this quote from one of his students:

Dr Wesch taught me that teaching and learning is about asking really good questions not about finding answers

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