Chief Executive’s Report

The 2011 and 2012 ALT Conferences

By the time this report is available, ALT-C 2011 will be upon us, having absorbed the lion’s share of the ALT staff team’s efforts in recent weeks. Alongside this, we are working out the overall focus and shape of the 2012 conference, which will take place in Manchester between 11 and 13 September, and which will be chaired by a “troika” of Jonathan Drori, Sarah Sherman, and Julie Voce. We will announce full details of the conference on 8 September at which time we will also be inviting expressions of interest in membership of the ALT-C 2012 Programme Committee, with a substantial proportion of those involved in the 2011 committee being given the option of continuing their membership for a further year.

HE White Paper and the HEFCE’s new Strategy Statement

The HE White Paper and HEFCE’s “Opportunity, choice and excellence in higher education” [PDF] were published earlier this month. The White Paper is largely silent on technology in learning (its focus is much more on the long term shape of the HE system in England). In contrast, the HEFCE Strategy Statement has a couple of helpful references to learning technology, with one of six HEFCE objectives for learning and teaching being: “To support the continuous improvement of teaching, learning and assessment, diverse forms and modes of provision, the effective utilisation of learning technologies and the increased accessibility and use of open educational resources.” ALT will be responding formally to the consultation questions for the White Paper, and, by arrangement with HEFCE, we will also be summarising briefly for HEFCE our perspectives on “the effective utilisation of learning technologies” consideration by HEFCE as it develops its business plan later this year.

Election of two new Trustees

ALT is governed by a board of 13 trustees, nine of whom are elected by the membership as a whole, with three vacancies filled each year. This year there has been one nomination for the role of vice-chair (who will become chair in 2012 and president in 2013): This candidate will be declared elected unopposed at the ALT Annual General Meeting on 7 September in Leeds. There have been four nominations for the two vacancies as trustees. We have engaged Electoral Reform Services to run an online ballot of the membership to choose the two new trustees. The four candidates are: Alastair Clark (NIACE), Lesley Diack (Robert Gordon University), Matt Lingard (LSE) and Stuart Sutherland (National College for School Leadership). All ordinary and certified individual members, and the representatives of all organisational and sponsoring members, will be sent voting instructions on ALT’s behalf from ERS, by email, during August. The closing date for voting will be 1 September 2011. Please use your vote.

Vacancies on our four operational committees

We have some vacancies on each of our four operational committees (Further Education, Membership Services, Publications, and Research), for an initial three year term, with effect from autumn 2011. Becoming a member of one of these committees is a good and reasonably “low-hurdle” way to get involved in ALT. Membership is open to non-members – although anyone appointed to a committee who is not already an ordinary or certified member of ALT is expected to join before taking up their role. Current memberships are shown here You can express an interest from the ALT website. The closing date for expressions of interest is 9 September 2011.

An honour for ALT founder member and ambassador Wendy Hall

We are proud to announce that Wendy Hall, who is a founder member of ALT and who is now one of our three ambassadors has just been honoured (with Manuel Castells, Vint Cerf, David Clark, Joi Ito and Niklas Zennström) with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of her significant contributions to the development of web technologies and web science research.

Seb Schmoller

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

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