Apologies for the delay in writing something up for our last meeting – September some how whizzed by and suddenly we’re part of the way through October!
So, our meeting at ALT-C (the annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology) took place on the 11th of September at the fantastic venue of the University of Nottingham. We had attendees from all over our region which was great to see and the fact that people came who weren’t attending the conference itself but had made a special effort to come along anyway was much appreciated and helped add to a positive buzz for our group. Thank you!
Other than sharing sweets and biccies (food is always good / fun at our meetings!), it was good to catch-up with friendly faces from across the East Midlands. As a group we talked about the role that special interest groups might play and some main issues were identified which we all felt were worth further exploration:
- sharing tools and innovation
- training / staff development
- partnerships with students / understand the learners’ perspective
- CMALT / FHEA mentoring
- classroom technology
- regional benchmarking
- openness / MOOCs.
The overriding message was that everyone valued the regional nature of the group and this was what we wanted to build on. We all felt that active themes for our meetings were more important than SIGs, because the meetings could be themed where collaborative partnerships / connections could be made and followed up after the event rather than splitting into sub-groups ahead of a meeting. The suggestion that a register of experts was needed was made and this is a fantastic idea. We have so many skills and so much experience in such a range of sectors in our region that we’d all love to be able to tap into our own network’s expertise and use our ‘local’ location to get together. We’ll try to pull pulling it together in the next few months – so keep your eyes peeled for that! Another terrific suggestion was the idea of us acting as critical friends for one another as well as building on collaborative relationships across our region – so at the next meeting we’ll be having some pecha kucha sessions where ideas can be shared and feedback given as well as the usual opportunity for networking.
I also asked who would be interested in writing for this blog as I’m keen that we let everyone know about the innovative and exciting work that’s going on in the East Midlands. I had plenty of volunteers but we could always do with more… and if you’re interested in writing on topics related to learning technology and you’re based in the East Midlands… then please get in touch using the Google form we’ve set up. I’ll try to get in touch with all volunteers in the next few weeks with further details!
I’m already looking forward to our next meeting which we’ll announce the details of shortly, but it’ll probably be on a Wednesday afternoon during the first couple of weeks of December.