Educational Design and Engagement

Educational Design and Engagement

Enriching the student learning experience & supporting development of on campus and online courses.

Control, ALT and Tweet

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It’s September and it’s far colder than it should be for this time of year in Scotland, but on a brighter note ALT-C arrived at the University of Edinburgh for their annual conference. Even the colder weather could not stop me from enjoying my first ALT-C conference.

McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh

On the Wednesday of ALT-C, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 Learning Technologist of the Year Awards and witnessing the success of the UoE Lecture recording team as Learning Technology Team of the Year. The awards ceremony was a nice preview of what to come the next day at the full-day conference. The day started with an excellent keynote from Ollie Bray from the LEGO foundation. This was a really engaging and fun keynote with free LEGO bricks handed out to the audience (he had already won the hearts and minds of the audience by then) and set us the challenge of building a LEGO duck in 40 seconds, to great amusement – How do I do this? What does a duck look like?……. This is what a LEGO duck looks like (I think):

My LEGO Duck

The keynote is definitely worth a watch (there is more to it than just LEGO) if you have some time: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2019/sessions/altc-keynote-ollie-bray/. There were many great talks over the day, but not enough time to transport myself from venue to venue. However, a lot of the talks were recorded and are available on the conference site, including the excellent and entertaining Gasta’s: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2019/programme

Not only was it my first ALT conference, but I was also tasked with presenting with the chatbot crew (Myles Blaney and Stewart Cromar) on our building conversations with chatbots. This is always a fun experience, no two chatbot sessions are ever the same! We had chatbots ranging from lunchbots to Moodle bots, including illustrations.

MooBot Flowchart Conversation from chatbot workshop, ALT

Of course, we ran over time and we were super grateful we didn’t get chased out the room, but I think that is more to do with that fact there was a coffee break after. It was a great conference to be part of and one that I have been meaning to attend for a number of years, but it was worth the wait. It was really good to be part of the community of people who work in the field of Learning Technology and to be able to have exciting conversations about what we are doing and listing to great talks from other institutions around the country.

To round off a busy day at ALT, I have to say it was worth attending the conference just for the Twitter name that Myles had so kindly created for me. Due to my non-existent presence on Twitter I was aptly named Marcello (Not on the Twitter) Crolla, in his tweet for our workshop alongside @stubot (which is so much cooler). He has asked me to make this my official Twitter name should I ever join the Twitterverse… hmmm I will get back to you on that one.

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