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May 6th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

The reviews have been released for the Alt-C2009 conference. I has two proposals for the conference. I was slightly irritated by the rejection of the workshop proposal I submitted along with Steven Warburton on Digital Identities. It was not, clear, said the reviewer, what would be the outcome for the participant. Hm…seemed clear enough to me. The workshop would allow them to explore their own digital identity and to consider the implications for tecahing and learning. Does that sound clear enough to you? One of the problems, I feel, is that workshops are very different to conference paper or symposium presentations. Or they should be. And all to often standard confernce submission forms do not take this into account, neither do reviewers. And do reviewers really understand how to structure a workshop? Anyway enough of the moaning.

I am very happy that the sceond proposal, submitted by James Clay along with Steve Wheeler (hi Steve – good to see you are up and twottering again) was successful. This one is entiltled “The VLE is Dead”.

The abstract goes like this. The future success of e-learning depends on appropriate selection o
tools and services. This symposium will propose that the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as an institutional tool is dead, no more, defunct, expired.

The first panel member will argue that many VLEs are not fit for purpose, and masquerade as solutions for the management of online learning. Some are little more than glorified e-mail systems. Others are overpriced aggregations of web tools that can be obtained for
free on the web.

The second member of the panel believes that the VLE is dead and that the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is the solution to the needs of diverse learners. PLEs provide opportunities that go beyond the VLE, offering users the ability to develop their own spaces in which to reflect on their learning.?

The third panel member, an advocate of web 2.0, however believes that the VLE is not yet dead as a concept, but can be the starting point of a learning journey involving multiple tools.

The fourth panel member argues for the concept of the institutional VLE as essentially sound. His position is that VLEs provide a stable, reliable, self-contained and safe environment in which all teaching and learning activities can be conducted.

Should be lots of fun.

And of course along with AltC goes FAlt09 – the Alt conference fringe. As last year FAlt will be organising a particpatory, open and creative fringe to the conference. If you have ideas just mosey along to the FAlt wiki and no doubt something will start happening there soon.

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2 Responses to “#FAlt09”

  1. Manish Malik says:

    I think this session will be very popular. I wonder if the debate really kicks off much before the actual event on twitter. pelc09 also had a similar debate – i did not attend it but read some twitter posts.

    I am supporting the thrid panel member – who is???

    see you all there 🙂


  2. Ricardo Torres says:

    Congrats, sounds like a very interesting workshop!!! I support PLEs (based on Web 2.0 tools), but am not sure that the VLE is dead yet… Hopefully I will be able to attend this one!

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