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Notes from the ALT Scotland SIG meeting at #altc

At the ALT Annual Conference 2016 in Warwick the ALT Scotland SIG met. Around 15 Scottish delegates were welcomed by the groups co-chairs Linda Creanor and Joe Wilson. The group has a clear remit:

  • further the aims of ALT in Scotland;
  • promote the technology agenda in all sectors of Scottish education;
  • encourage sharing of expertise, resources and best practice in learning technology within the context of Scottish education;
  • influence relevant policy and strategy;
  • develop constructive relationships with related organisations and committees.

The steering group meets around 4 times per year and  plans one event each year based on current issues emerging across the constituency and as a place to share and exchange ideas. This year’s event was hosted by Dundee and Angus College and attracted around 80 delegates and was enjoyed by all. The report of this event has already been published in the #altc blog and there have been other posts including this one by  Lorna Campbell. As part of the meeting the floor was opened for suggestions to help with planning the year ahead. As part of this the following themes emerged:

  1. There is an interest in a relevant series of webinars to support educational technologists in addition to the annual Scottish gathering
  2. Either by webinar or event delegates are interested in the topics:
    • lecture capture both the technology and policy around this;
    • Analytics and data and ways to make this work for Universities and Colleges;
    • CMALT having a session on sharing and exemplifying candidates portfolios;
    • Models of open policy;
    • Methods of evaluating learners e-learning experiences;
    • What repositories are being used in Scotland and what they are being used for;
    • Potential of sharing MOOC learning in Scotland from the institutions that have been involved in MOOCs to date;
    • lessons around open learning from OEPs project and work of Edinburgh and GCU Universities and others.
  3. Continuing to work towards encouraging our policy makers in Scotland to think about open education.

On this last point it was decided to send a communication to John Swinney (Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in the Scottish Government) highlighting the benefits of open practice. It was also agreed that the group should plan holding another policy summit in 2016/17, similar to the policy board held in November 2015. In particular as this is the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Open Education and 10th Anniversary of the Cape Town Unesco Open Education Summits it is seen as an opportunity to move forward on the Scottish Open Education Declaration.

The meeting was also an opportunity for members to highlight other upcoming events:

  • City and Guilds to host a future meeting and noted an invitation to members to attend an event on Open Badges in Glasgow to be held on the 29th of September, which will launch among other things a more sophisticated Moodle plug in for open badges. This has been developed in conjunction with Borders College.
  • OEPS are hosting an event which will be of interest to the community Open Educational Resources: An International Perspective by Prof. Rory McGreal on 27th September 2016 at The Open University in Edinburgh. Rory is the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair in Open Educational Resources at Athabasca University. Drawing on his work on free open online courses, his presentation explores the opportunities and challenges facing the OER movement. The Seminar will be chaired by Melissa Highton, Director Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh
  • Kenji Lamb from College Development Network (CDN) flagged up the activity they are doing in supporting technologists across the College sector and that there is an ongoing programme of support in place. Kenji will provide an update on the progress of College CMALT candidates over the coming year to the SIG. In other news we heard how CDN is moving materials previously hosted by Jorum to a new Edsharing Platform for the FE sector.  Kenji would welcome delegates from other sectors to attend a CDN hosted gathering or webinar.

You can find out more about the ALT Scotland SIG and join it’s mailing list which now has over 140 members spanning school, college and higher education.

Linda Creanor,
Glasgow Caledonian University (Co-chair ALT Scotland SIG)

Joe Wilson,
Independent Consultant (Co-chair ALT Scotland SIG)

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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