Chief Executive’s report, November 2015

Dear Members of ALT,

The last time I reported to you it was August and we were in the midst of ALT’s busiest time of year. This time I want to share with you some of the achievements in our community over the past months as well as looking ahead to the upcoming Winter Online Conference and this year’s Annual Survey.

First, this year’s Annual Conference in Manchester in September was a bigger event than we had anticipated, bringing together over 500 participants face to face and more engaging online – generating over 15000 #altc tweets. For the first time this year we ran a public vote for the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards and celebrated the achievements of individuals and teams from across the UK. If you’d like to look back at the event you can watch the videos, browse a long list of blog posts and also have a look at the photos. Most pleasing of all for me personally were the 300+ new members we welcomed over the summer months and at the conference, and to each of you I would like to extend a very warm welcome!

No less important is the milestone reached on 9 September 2015, with the Association now operating as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Members have the same voting rights as before the transition and our governance information provides additional information and updated documents.

Over the past month we have been actively contributing to policy, submitting consultation responses to the Commons Select Committee of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for the digital economy inquiry, and to the Commons Select Committee of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for the inquiry into assessment quality in Higher Education. I have subsequently given oral evidence on the digital economy inquiry at the House of Commons in relation to skills and professional development. In addition an ALT Scotland Policy Board on 16 November brought together representatives from Scottish member organisations and policy makers, with a view to submitting a response to the consultation on the development of a Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland, and further discussing issues relating to the Open Scotland Declaration. Representing the members of ALT and influencing policy is a key aim for the Association and I am pleased that we are able to make so much progress in this area.

Elizabeth Charles, CMALT Holder no. 300
Elizabeth Charles, CMALT Holder no. 300

One of the areas in which our community has grown the most is CMALT, the professional accreditation scheme run by ALT. This month we are celebrating the awarding of our 300th CMALT Holder, Elizabeth Charles from Birkbeck – congratulations!

Usually December is a more quiet month in our community as we get ready for a well deserved break – but from 9-10 December many of our members together with Special Interest and Member Groups will have the opportunity to showcase and share their work online at the ALT Winter Online Conference. Building on our experience of running ocTEL, the open course in technology enhanced learning, and previous blended events, we are delivering this event wholly online with webinars and tweet chats as well as other online activities over 2 days. The event is free to attend and open to all, but we are inviting individuals and organisations who want to show their support to make a financial contribution. With a full programme due to be announced I am looking forward to this event bringing together our community before the end of the year.

Last, but not least, look out for our update on delivering the ALT Strategy 2014-17, to be published together with this year’s Annual Survey in December. Running until mid-January, the survey the results will be published as usual in spring and will help inform our activities for the coming year.

Maren Deepwell
Chief Executive, ALT

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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