Since my last report to you in June, much has happened in our community and the Association. From senior leaders to new recruits, everyone in Learning Technology has been working flat out to prepare for the start of the new academic year and continuing to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
Whilst it is gratifying to see the importance of the profession coming to the forefront in many organisations across sectors, the challenges we continue to face are enormous and the stakes are high for staff and learners alike.
Even without the usual preparations for our Annual Conference, we have had an exceptionally busy few months supporting Members, sharing expertise and providing input to policy makers.
Here is a quick summary of key developments:
- ALT’s Annual General Meeting on 24 June 2020 was well attended and Members met ALT’s new Chair, Professor Helen O’Sullivan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Keele University and President, David White, Head of Digital Learning at the University of the Arts London. Members welcomed ALT’s Annual Report and audited accounts, which you can also view on the Charity Commission website.
- ALT has supported Members launch the Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education which has gathered support from over 150 signatories, including UCU, Creative Commons and a growing number of institutions and researchers. I urge you to sign the pledge and support it if you can;
- ALT is also providing input to UUK’s Task & Finish Group in Transnational Education as well as Jisc’s Learning and Teaching Reimagined initiative, for which the next workshop hosted by ALT is on 16 September;
- ALT’s first Summer Summit meanwhile attracted 281 Learning Technology professionals from 24 countries, providing access to resources and new research which will soon be available to all Members and the wider community.
To support Members through the start of the new term, we have a full programme of events and activities planned for autumn, including:
- Weekly webinars free to attend
- New research adding to the 32 papers already published this year
- Weekly news digest via which vacancies can be advertised and the Members Directory of consultants and services
- Extra support for professional development to meet the extra demand from CMALT candidates
We are seeking input from Members to ALT’s response to the Sir Michael Barber Review of Learning and Teaching Online, and if you would like to contribute, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org .
Looking a few months ahead, we will be holding our usual Online Winter Conference, which this year will celebrate the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards. By popular request we are establishing a very special community award for all Learning Technologists, so save the date. On Thursday, 17 December everyone is invited to collect their award at our virtual awards ceremony!
Dr Maren Deepwell