Thursday, June 11, 2020

Sign Up for Scottish Association of Learning Technology SIG Event with a difference 22nd of June


Learning technologist in a University , College , local authority schools or other learning environment ? 

Could you please take a few moments to upload a video of yourself talking about what has helped you with the transition to remote learning and teaching, either from an individual or institutional perspective?

Don't be shy - we want to hear your voice ! 
If you are really shy - wear a disguise ;-) 
Is that asking for trouble ;-) 

And look forward to seeing you in person at the ALT Scotland SIG 
Please also remember to register for the event:

If you are reading this message - could promote the event within your institutions too that would be great!

Very best wishes,


ALT Scotland Special Interest Group Co-Chairs
Joe and Vicki



Dr Vicki H.M. Dale,   University of Glasgow
Joe Wilson MA, MBA , DipEd , PGCSE City of Glasgow College


Monday, June 01, 2020

Busy , Busy , Busy



I started trying to record what the new Learning and Teaching Academy has been up to on a weekly basis . I can't really believe this is week 10 of the lock down . 

I'm just about to push around a newsletter that is testament to all the hard work put in by teams and staff across the College.  June will be just as busy with virtual events across the College and nationally .  Hoping to finalise details of an ALT Scotland Special Interest Group meeting for end of this month - this week. 


( with thanks to Tom Duff) 

Here is a wee list of what we have achieved in 10 weeks.

  1. On day college closed we had advice in place for teaching , support and students on working remotely.
  2. We moved all support on line - our inbox every day has now dealt with around 1500 support requests ( at 27/5)
  3. We immediately rolled out Zoom as a practical delivery tool for teachers and provided associated support.
  4. We’ve run 2 webinars a day covering critical systems and support – with more than 950 staff attending sessions . Through online booking platform and we've had great feedback.
  5. Our offer has tracked staff demand – initially focusing on communication tools , now focusing on assessment and evidence gathering tools and we will focus on learning design to make courses more digital and blended for start of next session. ( we are using our own version of ABC Learning Design. 
  6. We have continued both to support a number of commercial projects like https://www.offsiteready.com/  and have won more commercial funding during lock down – and we are still bidding for new business. ( we are just about to roll out a UFI Project - watch this space) 
  7. We documented our approach and it has been picked up as good practice and will feature in a future GTCS Magazine.
  8. From 17 March we have offered a digital first library service with advice, support, guidance and access to resources for students and staff.
  9. We have designed, developed and launched the Learning and Teaching Academy online presence. Re-branded existing pages and building whole new libguide platform and creating a wordpress site and created a suite of short instructional videos and guides for staff working remotely.
  10. Our team has offered an online landscape to enable and support teaching teams to deliver online. With daily learning opportunities such as webinars to online learning courses that encourage and exploit digital technologies such as Teams, Zooms and many educational technologies and software.
  11. The LTA has successfully created a team ethic that is centred on supporting academic development and enhancing teaching and learning within City and beyond.
  12. We just managed to squeeze out a Jisc Digital Insights Student survey - which I know will give us some valuable data on how learners are coping in lockdown.
  13. We are now well positioned to start the real work of transforming delivery at City of Glasgow College in a new working landscape.
In amongst this I've  continued to support the College Scotland's #DigitalAmbition work now morphing into a more directed bit of work to deal with the immediate crisis . I've to completing data gathering for feedback to be in this week. 

Also managed to present  on a CDN/Jisc Virtual Bridge Sessions along with some of my colleagues. 

whew ! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#OER20 Still reverberating around kitchens and home offices around the world.

The  #OER20 conference was an interesting experience . It was brilliantly switched from face to face to becoming a wholly on-line conference in a matter of weeks and it proved to be a great experience on many levels. What a great achievement by ALT team who have even shared the methodology they employed to run the online conference.

The #OER conference always has great speakers and explores a broad range of open educational practice from around the globe. In some ways with us all sitting isolating in different parts of the world and beaming into home offices , kitchens in my case ,  it seemed to emphasise the global nature of open educational thinking and practices.

I'm guessing we were all balancing our institutional commitments. I've reflected these in some earlier posts and workload and on-line meetings did get in the way of some of the sessions I would have liked to tune in to.

The on-line conference grew from it's usual physical size of around 400 delegates to 1300 delegates , the social hangouts and back channels allowed some of the networking and chatting that is a critical component of the learning that comes from a conferences, though I have to say I missed the mingling and meeting old friends and new.

It was topical and on the ball and even managed to have its own Blackboard Collaborate Bombing - it's not just Zoom, it  can happen on any platform folks.


I've embedded the conference playlist here ..




You can sneak a peak and many of the attendees who completed a splot and played social bingo.
As Lorna Campbell succinctly highlights

Please note, the OER20 conference wasn’t just free as in speech, it was also free as in beer, so if you participated in the event, either listening in to the presentations, or even just following the hashtag online, please consider making a donation to the conference fund. Every little helps to support ALT and cover the cost.

Our own session went well ... without rehearsal we summed up what we have achieved through a collaborative partnership around a shared G-Suite for Education - and the travails of getting staff to work in the open. You can find a recording of session and be your own judge.  The site is in transition to NMIS and Strathclyde University and is currently not sitting on it's usual domain - the resources are open and reflects well on what was a real team effort and a development that I think breaks the mould in Scottish education at least.

And finally delighted to be chairing next year's conference along with Lou Mycroft and Louise Drumm . Wherever the conference physically happens and I am hoping we can bring it to Glasgow ,  I know it will be very different.

I look forward to shaping it with the ALT team and my co-chairs.

In meantime I have three days off - I mooted this with rest of family,  I am going on a camping trip into my suburban back garden.  Initially, they thought I had finally cracked , but I think they maybe joining me. Now is the time to think differently folks.







Thursday, April 02, 2020

A week in learning technology #Clickview #OER20


So update we ran 10 webinars last week and over 250 staff tuned in .Between the learning tech and library team we dealt with over 1000 inquires through help desks and social media.  We now have around 700 staff across teaching and support with an active zoom account and we look good to go. 

In between the full on workload I managed to support a Clickview Online Conference presenting to some 418 colleagues across UK. It is worth checking out video, not for my input , but for the excellent overview of ClickViewYou will find out in session how we are using ClickView - many of our own staff have not yet embedded this in their teaching.  That's the next target - we have just started rolling out Click-view Training . I am publishing this a bit prematurely simply to show a workshop how to embed publicly available click-view content . 


In this current week ..

We’ve worked out that the wider community need some Zoom training so we are opening that up - offering free seats to the public - to make sure staff in front line services are confident Zoom users. We will open up our subsequent offers too.

I wonder what other colleges and universities could open up for to colleagues across public sector - we are now living in a remote working, on-line world.

Our own programme is expanding, having covered key communication channels, we are adding ClickView Training and for some Microsoft Teams training and we’ve added an online booking system - to make sign up easier.
And we are planning on building around a community of practice https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/teach-online while promoting the bridge initiative from CDN and jisc . Tomorrow we are creating a What's On Page to capture more of the on-line events and training that are available to the College staff across the UK and beyond.


And I delivered a paper on how we harnessed google sites to deliver a national programme at #oer20 on Wednesday - Blackboard Collaborate this time globally 1200 delegates making this biggest #OER conference yet . Special thanks to my co-presenter Dr Lewis Ross and in the background Dr Julian Hopkins , John Casey and colleagues who supported delivery of this project including Jim Hannigan at SDS . They included a nice platform for delegates to introduce themselves https://oer20.socialbingo.oerconf.org/participants/joe-wilson
I borrowed the meme from Clint Lalonde .

I'll post later on fabulous online #oer20 experience and some exciting news.
In meantime this is what's making us laugh this week.




Monday, March 23, 2020

Remote Working Across Large Scottish College

Sunday on a remote beach near Glasgow - self isolating 

At City of Glasgow College, this is what we’ve been busy doing.

Last week, as the College closed to face to face teaching, we jumped from developing more blended approaches to full on , online learning.

Our priority has been working on improving communication between lecturers and their students. It has been a real team effort from shaping the offer to communicating across the College. 

  • We’ve prepared and published guides for teaching staff , support staff and students around all the systems we have in place for remote learning.
  • We’ve changed the way we can be contacted and how we deliver our support services for those who run into technical challenges or simply need some online support.

We’ve always had a rich set of training and support resources around blended learning. To this point they have mainly been used by those who wanted to pioneer new approaches to learning and teaching. Behind the scenes we are refreshing parts of this but mainly we are just reminding folk what is there already.

This week we are rolling out a webinar programme. Two sessions a day, 10-11am and 2-3pm. A cycle of :

  • Reminding staff by running webinars on how to use enquirer, our MIS system, to send emails and sms messages to class groups and individual students.
  • Showing staff who haven’t been using forums inside their Moodle courses. How to set one up and how to make use of it to engage with learners.
  • All sessions delivered by Zoom with additional training for staff on how to use Zoom with their students. We anticipate Zoom is our new face to face.
We can deliver most digital skills remotely. But the digital divide is wide , staff and students don’t all have reliable internet connections or devices capable of coping with webinars. We have some staff who are really just learning what our systems can do for the first time.

Some of this links back into our Moodle and is unavailable to those outwith College but I hope process and some of guides are helpful to others.

Remote learning guides:

Support staff :: Lecturing staff :: Students :: Staff Help guides and videos

Learning Technologies Help

I think this will be similar pattern to most further and higher education institutions. When this process is finished I don't think we will be going back to the bad old world.  

If I had one wish it would be that SQA applied some of the same rules they have just applied to end the School session . Universities seem in main to have found ways to wind down for the year , schools have effectively ended - we need a tidy national way to close off the end of year for students in Colleges across Scotland. 

As an end piece here is a good commentary on what happens when on-line learning goes wrong.  We need to keep expectations realistic . 



Friday, March 06, 2020

Blended Learning Consortium in Scotland / save the date @FeBlc

Next Thursday in part due to the collapse of FlyBe we have switched the national Scottish gathering of the Blended Learning Consortium to an online gathering by Webinar - from 10-12 noon on Thursday 12th of March.

https://ca.bbcollab.com/guest/04f58e6003e945f58448288573a27210

Why not pop in to hear latest from what is the largest vocational learning content sharing collaborative across the UK.

Over the next few months many more of us will be polishing up our webinar skills. Here is a guide we are using across this large College, aimed at teaching staff.