07 September, 2007

ALT-C 2007: Looking Back... and Forward

Well it's OK going to a conference and hearing people speak... but how had that affected the way I intend to go about my role as a Learning Technologist?

What we using the potential of the technology for?

I think I've had time to reflect on how we work while at the conference - helped by talking to people in similar role. I see a clearer distinction between the work we do enabling administration using technology, and the work we do enabling learning using technology. I think that is an important distinction to use when talking with academic staff and will help us and academic staff keep away from investing all our time in what is really administrative work. Examples would be putting course booklets online, or using discussion tools for announcements. Even uploading learning resources that would otherwise be photocopied and handed out in class is using the technology for administration, rather than using it's power to aid learning in a way that photocopied documents couldn't.

Formative Feedback

Partly because it is part of the focus of my SOLSTICE research I noticed a lot about formative feedback, both the importance of it and potential ways of using computers to assist with this. I want to do a bit more thinking and reading in this area and then perhaps work with some staff creating learning objects. These might involve creating complex multiple choice questions for use in sessions with voting software, and for use on the VLE. It might involve games that give immediate feedback on actions, like the Traveller IQ Challenge game on Facebook.

Recording Lectures

Regarding recording lectures, I can better see that there is a definite limit to the amount of lectures we can really manage the recording of manually. If the institution wants to record all, or most lectures we'll need a automatic lecture recording system like Lectopia. I'm not sure of my opinions on the benefit of recording all lectures, but it has certainly been beneficial to record some, from an accessibility point of view.

Don't Be Scared!

Talking to people and listening to presentations, I feel a lot more comfortable about trying things on Mobile devices and in Second Life. Small projects might not be as time consuming in development and student support terms as I had thought.

It was well worth attending a conference to help me move these and other projects forward a bit. I hope next year I can perhaps present, and put a little more into the pot of ideas, as it were.

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