“Really inspiring”: the 2012 ALDinHE annual conference

So… the dust has now settled on this year’s ALDinHE conference, held at the University of Leeds from 2-4 April 2012. We think this has been our most successful conference yet, with 172 delegates attending from universities across the UK, and a myriad of lively discussions, both in and out of presentations. It was especially interesting to have representatives of such a wide mixture of roles, including librarians, learning technologists, subject academics and careers advisers, as well as our core community of learning developers.

If you were one of those attendees, we’d like to thank you for making the conference so successful, and to ask a favour – could you add a brief review of any sessions you went to via reply to this post? We will be making slides and handouts available, but there’s no substitute for physical reports. Thanks in advance…

The theme for this year’s conference was Learning Development in a Digital Age, so we thought it would be appropriate to refer to some of the views of the conference expressed by attendees on Twitter. Those Tweeting during the conference were invited to use the #aldcon hashtag to make Tweets easily searchable. We also introduced the #loveLD hashtag for Tweets about learning development generally. ALDinHe’s own Twitter account is @aldinhe_LH.

To start, two examples of the many positive views from @dturner and @zensto respectively:

“Thanks to the organisers of #aldcon really inspiring conference”

“Just back in Leicester after #aldcon what a great conference #LoveLD

And it wasn’t just the attendees who enjoyed it. As @crowcawl pointed out:

“When the keynote says it’s the best conference he’s been to you know we must be doing something right! #aldcon #loveLD”

We had two brilliant keynote speakers: Helen Beetham and Paul Andrews. Helen heroically stepped in at the last minute despite struggling with a throat infection. Paul stayed on for the whole conference and made many valuable contributions to sessions. @lucubrat put it perfectly when she said:

#aldcon First conference in a while where both keynotes have been inspiring, engaging and well-presented.”

All the presentations with be available on the website soon, but in the meantime you can access Paul Andrews’ Prezi for his keynote presentation… and his reflections on the conference. You can also view photos from conference attendees.

Responses to Tweets by other Twitter users (both attendees and non-attendees of the conference) suggested that they were finding the extensive ‘back-channeling’ of conference sessions useful: putting the tools into practice to talk about putting the tools into practice! This comment from @scholastic_rat was typical:

“this year’s #aldcon has been very much enhanced by twitter- I’ve enjoyed the community and discussion that’s been going on!”

The conference dinner at the Royal Armouries was enjoyed by all with The Bodgers, led by Pauline Ridley, the very worthy quiz winners of the coveted ALDinHE wooden spoons, and certain members of the community demonstrating a surprising enthusiasm for disco dancing – you know who you are. (See who you can spot in Andy Mitchell’s video evidence of this…) So let’s give the final word to @RouxCat who signed off with:

“Farewell Leeds. ALDinHE an exemplary community of practice: warm, engaged, welcoming, insightful, enthusiastic & good dancers all #aldcon

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