Introducing our keynote speaker: Anne-Marie Scott

by Lawrie Phipps, Co-Chair Annual Conference 2023

When we started looking for keynotes there was no shortage of people who could do an excellent job, some of them even got in touch with me and told me they would be an excellent choice! But when we wrote the themes for this conference, we had an idea about the kinds of people we wanted and the experiences they bring.

We are seeing huge changes across the sector, changes to technology, changes to the political environment, and increasing pressure on university staff to react to those pressures. We wanted one of the keynotes to be able to speak about experiences of being in an institutional role around educational technology, but also how they had made the shift to more strategic leadership. Ideally, someone who had dealt with both institutional politics, and the real politics of government pressure. With increased commercial pressure from vendors, we also wanted someone who had been responsible for those relationships, and who could be an advocate for the student and staff voice when talking about educational technology.

Anne-Marie Scott is the Board Chair of the Apereo Foundation, a member of the board of the Open Source Initiative, and a member of the Government of British Columbia’s Digital Learning Advisory Committee. She was the Deputy Provost of Athabasca University – Canada’s open and online university, where she worked at a strategic level with the University, and with the regional politics. Many of the audience will also remember Anne-Marie as the Deputy Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh.

In her most recent blog post, she said:

I fundamentally believe that unless we are able to understand, evaluate, and critique the educational technologies that we use, we cannot make strong claims about the quality of digital education.

This was in response to a specific legal case that a vendor had brought against a learning technologist, but it holds true for our day-to-day work. Through Jisc, I have been fortunate to work with Anne-Marie on Next Generation Digital Learning Environments, Learning Analytics, and a range of other initiatives. Her approach has always been scholarly and pragmatic, and her ability to evaluate and critique is one of her greatest strengths. In providing a keynote for ALTC, she brings wit and wisdom from a host of experiences and projects, both successful and less so. I look forward to welcoming her to the Conference.

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