Getting to know: Amin Neghavati, ARLT SIG External Engagement Officer

Getting to know the Antiracism & Learning Tech SIG Officers” is a blog series by ARLT SIG Chair, Dr Teeroumanee Nadan, to provide visibility to ARLT SIG officers who undertake this role in a voluntary capacity and to highlight the importance of antiracism work in the sector. It is a celebration of how ARLT SIG officers have grown in this role!

In this blog, she introduces Amin Neghavati, the new External Engagement Officer of ARLT SIG, who has been a keen community member willing to join hands to work on antiracism practices in the sector. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Tell me a bit about your educational and work background?

Amin: “I have a diverse background with a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Iran (I worked as an engineer for a couple of years too) and an MA in Digital Technologies and Communication in Education from the UK. I have more than 20 years of expertise in education management, workplace learning, leadership development, and technology management and have worked in 10 countries. I moved from Singapore to the UK in August 2022 and currently work at the University of Bath in a really exciting role focusing on management and leadership development as a learning and organisational development manager. I’d like to think I have an entrepreneurial mind and have been involved in setting up EdTech businesses a few times. I have a non-executive role at FuturEd Solutions which is an instructional design firm founded in 2019. 

Going back a little, I was born and raised in Iran and perhaps my first official involvement in all things EdTech was the management of an in-person language training centre in Tehran which back then was the only training centre in the capital with interactive whiteboards, instant teaching note transfers to personal devices and an online learning platform.”

What is your interest in ARLT SIG?

Amin: “More increasingly than before, education and educational practices are mediated and influenced by technology. This is not a new trend, but the speed of change and AI-enabled technology adoption has gone up dramatically and will be even faster in near future as AI is moving from its stage of disruption towards demonetisation, dematerialisation, and democratisation in its journey of exponential development. These technologies are being and will be used by a wide array of learners from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds all over the world yet there is a noticeable lack of diversity in the world of EdTech and digital education. 

ALT sits in a very critical position in this landscape with a particular HE focus and the work of the ARLT SIG can help initiate important conversations around how diversity and inclusion can have a positive impact on the development of tools for learning. I believe learning is an inherently cultural process.”

What motivates you to undertake your role of External Engagement Officer in ARLT SIG?

Amin: “I enjoy building professional relationships, connecting with people and growing my network to see how I can join forces with others and make the world a better place. What’s better than joining a team of like-minded people who are genuinely passionate about having difficult conversations about anti-racism in learning technologies in the most humane way to change the world one step at a time.”

What have you learnt so far in your journey in the ARLT SIG committee?

Amin: “I work more closely with Rachel and Teeroumanee in the SIG and there is always something to learn from them. Like all intercultural settings, I have also enjoyed observing how our similarities and differences show themselves in the way we work together and how they can help us grow as a team so we can all benefit from the diversity bonus in achieving the objectives we have set for ourselves.”

What are you doing to improve things within ARLT SIG, ALT, and the wider community in terms of antiracism & learning technologies?

Amin: Rachel and I work on all things External Engagement and we have some plans to work on to develop the visibility of ARLT SIG in the digital education space. I’m particularly working on steps we can take to connect with more people on LinkedIn to raise awareness and invite more people to our events. Connect with me on LinkedIn and come and join us. We need your help”

Since you joined in June 2023, what has your journey in ARLT SIG been like so far?

Amin: “It hasn’t been that long yet but it has definitely been an interesting journey of meeting people from various professional and cultural backgrounds who work in various places but have come together for a common goal and have decided to give up their time to make an impact.”

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