25 Things I took away from of #ALTC 2018


I feel it’s important to remind myself that I’ve been fortunate during my career in learning technologies, that all the institutions I've worked for have recognised and valued my participation in my at the ALT conference. Not everyone receives the same support in their personal development and for that I’m grateful. My attendance at the 25th birthday in Manchester will be the eighth time I’ve been active in this wonderful community event and the second time I’ve delivered a presentation.  Although this time I not only presented with the bubbly #byod4l team but also led the #ALTNWESIG meeting as well. Busy times, so it is useful to look back over the conference and reflect (in a light-hearted way) on my key take away moments.

1.  I didn’t enjoy the commute. The Northern Rail train I traveled on from Liverpool was leaking. Yes, leaking. For all the criticisms of this service, surely the very least can expect is a dry train. This is North in 2018.
2.  Presenting with four lovely colleagues about #BYOD4L is chaotic and fun. Much like the course. Get involved for 2019!
3.  Reflecting on how the regional groups can work closer together with each other and also ALT itself. One to explore as we go forward.
4.  This is the first conference I've attended with three female keynotes and they were all fantastic. Well done Tressie, Amber, and Maren.
5.  The ALT deck of cards covering the history of #edtech is great. I still haven't figured out the puzzle yet.
6.  The #altc hashtag was red hot before, during and after the conference. When it ends I always feel a tiny bit sad.
7.  The UI of Snapchat on the iPad is awful and made me feel like a sweaty octopus using it.
8.  I seem to be synonymous with Tunnocks products. Other products are available...honest!
9.  Moodle looks a lot different from the last time I saw it. Have a look at this excellent resource
10. Moodle folk are community driven and super friendly. Thanks to all that have offered to help me. 
11. I met a number folk I've followed on Twitter for the first time in real life. Hello again to @catherincronin, @mweller @josiefraser, and @francesbell
12. I learned that drinking chocolate stout 12ABV is not a very enjoyable or clever thing to do.
13. Criticality of learning technology and its perceived benefits is very evident in the presentations this year. This is a refreshing change to many technology conferences that only extol the virtues of edtech and none of the very complex issues we face.
14. The community is strong in this group. Reconnected with old colleagues, technology providers, and new people. Twitter helps me with this. Follow me @alexgspiers
15. Disappointed I didn't win a penguin, but my super fun #BYOD4L colleague did @SFaulknerPandO
16. Trust and ethics are crucially important. People > technology. People > systems.  
17. The conference confirmed that post-it notes are an essential piece of physical technology that helps Learning Technologists do their job.
18. Music nonstop – The opening reception had a live jazz band playing, the conference dinner was soundtracked by the attendee curated Storify playlist and the final keynote quoted the right honorable Chuck D (Go Maren!): music, noise, and creativity weren't that far from the surface. Many of my learning technology friends make music, DJ or collect vinyl. Another great reason to love my #altc community.
19. During Tressie keynote, I created a tweet that generated some engagement by asking a very simple open question. Nice to read about the unusual routes into learning technology.
20. Old fashioned use of Twitter. I'd asked people to say hello if the seen me at the conference. Thanks, @catbazela for saying hello!
21. I did a #shoetweet and nobody cared. Sadface. Shame as I think my shoes are pretty cool. 
22. City-based conferences mean the post-conference networking becomes atomised. There is something to be said for the campus-based conference like Warwick. Keep the community together.
23. Realising that the majority of peers I respect and admire are all open educational practitioners. Too many to name and single out but this does mean I need to try and get to OER 19 in Galway.
24. This is the first time I’ve been part of a presentation that included juggling of a hard-boiled egg. Well done @SFaulknerPandO It may never happen again
25. The conference in September 2019 will be held at the University of Edinburgh. Salt and sauce? Aye, alright then.