ALT-C 2009 (2)

One of the sessions I attended was the Online Identity workshop run by Frances Bell, Josie Fraser, James Clay & Helen Keegan. As usual from that crowd it was interactive, thought provoking & they’d set up an accompanying Wiki.

They started off by asking us to write our names on a postit. Trustingly we all *did* (At least, I think everyone wrote down their name, not someone elses). It wasn’t until afterwards on the train that I realised they’d lost a wonderful teaching point – the fact we all trusted them not to use our names in some malicious way. That said, we did have to find out 3 facts about someone we didn’t know … and Frances then took the flipchart away with her. Should I start to worry…
This was really a start into looking at what data’s out there about each of us – whether it’s things over which we (think we) have control, or that over which we have no control. The issue of uniqueness was also raised – do those of us that have (more or less) unique names need to exercise greater or lesser control than those who haven’t. Guess, in part, it depends what those you share a name with do online!

I joined in with James’ offering on video. I really have no excuse for not using it, heck even the OLPC has a webcam (the 3rd laptop took the photo!), 2 web cams & a digital camera that takes video in my office most of the time. (Granted, my phone only does stills). However, I’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube, (though I did experiment with 12seconds recently – managing to mess up linking it with Twitter :()
The conversation we had surrounding accessibility was useful – it seems that most share my view – that especially with “quick & dirty” media developments (i.e. those that are only intended for the current cohort) should suit the needs of current students, not any that might come in the future. i.e. if no visually impaired screen reading students present, then video doesn’t all need subtitling (though, one could argue, it makes searching for sections much easier for all)
Unfortunately, time ran a bit short, so we didn’t really get to hear what the other groups had done, nor, for that matter, have a go with (later, later). Also, not really time to look at the sort of data folks had found out about each other – though at least one person pointed out it wasn’t their information that had been located.

ALT-C 2009

One of the issues that cropped up at ALT-C was “blog or twitter”. There’s an ongoing debate re. whether or not Twitter is killing blogging. I’m guilty of that – very much so! Just look at the twitter stats– and my frequency of recent postings on here.
This started off really as a small discussion at F-ALT, (which I actually missed, due to my poor map reading & the rain) – and has since continued, both in the blogosphere & elsewhere. As with other posters on the Cloudworks site, I’ve found I’m still *thinking* about & planning blog posts; just not quite getting round to doing them.

I’ll leave that aside, as it’s something I know that I want to sort out in my own mind – ALT-C has just brought it to the forefront!

Unfortunately I missed the last Keynote Speaker (Terry Anderson), as I got the impression from the twitter stream that it was the most interesting. That said, I did find Michael Wesch’s personally interesting, due to his references to Papua New Guinea. He saw a different side of it to me – though with the range of different cultures there, it’s hardly surprising! The way he spoke, though, implied that he was treating all students as a “they” – though his comments afterwards suggested that he’d not intended that to be the slant.
I also went to Martin Bean’s keynote – he’s a great speaker – I do hope for the OU’s sake that he’s able to use his insights (for that matter, I’ve heard a lot about Salford’s new twittering VC … he also seems really good!) (They are all archived)