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Here at VCU ALT Lab, we are driven by the act of transformation. Not only do we work everyday to transform learning experiences with and for VCU faculty, staff and students, we are also driven to transform the conversation around teaching and learning.

For 3 days in May 2015, VCU ALT Lab and the Office of Online Academic Programs will be hosting ALTfest. During the Academic Learning Transformation Festival, VCU’s Academic Learning Commons will be transformed into a buzzing hive of learning activity, featuring a diverse program of special events, presentations, and active spaces celebrating stories of learning transformation and exploring new possibilities.

ALTfest is designed for educators and learners to engage in active learning experiences and share stories of learning transformation. ALTfest includes:

  • ALTCamp – an unconference with an academic learning transformation theme to kickoff ALTfest
  • Active makerspace  – in partnership with K-12 schools and university-based groups, this will be an open, active space with activities ranging from screencasting to robotics.
  • Stories of Academic Transformation – there is a call for proposals, but not for papers. We’re looking for presentations with narratives around transformed learning experiences. Forms of storytelling might range from TED-style talks to interpretive dance.
  • Hackjam – Hack the syllabus! A ½ day experience wherein participants will have an opportunity to hack syllabi.
  • Gaming + Learning – two gaming stations will be available for a combination of “free play” time and conversations about games and learning.
  • Editing Wikipedia – in partnership with VCU Libraries, participants will take advantage of unique primary materials in the Cabell LIbrary collections to edit Wikipedia.
  • Workshops by Transformers-in-Residence – on the final day, there will be 1/2 day, hands-on, minds-on workshops led by invited scholar-practitioners who’ve done the work of academic learning transformation.

In addition, we are really pleased that Dr. Mimi Ito has agreed to serve as a keynote speaker for ALTfest. Dr. Ito is the MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning and Professor in Residence at the University of California, Irvine with appointments in the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the Departments of Informatics and Anthropology, and the School of Education. She is a cultural anthropologist of digital culture and an advocate for connected learning—learning that is youth-centered, interest-driven, hands-on and social.

VCU ALT Lab and the Office of Online Academic Programs welcome lifelong learners and educators to join us for ALTfest in Spring 2015. ALTfest will not only celebrate stories of learning transformation, but will also inspire creation of new, transformative learning opportunities. Come, learn, share your story