Saturday, November 23, 2019

#UFITrust Showcase Event London 21/11/2019


It does not seem that long ago that I met with Donald Clark , Bob Harrison and assorted others in a meeting room borrowed from City and Guilds in London to offer some advice on what kinds of activity and what models should be adopted around distributing the funds from the UFI Trust.

It is great that it has gone from strength to strength - and very timely - in England the monies arrived just as public funding dried up for innovation in educational technology and the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group started looking around for models and partners to deliver more blended learning and assessment in vocational learning. To some extent the UFI Trust monies have filled a gap that might otherwise have come from BECTA , Jisc or other agencies that had funding pots to encourage innovative practice.  There is now a strong and growing legacy.

In Scotland while there has been no such drivers in the vocational space, we have been able to adopt some of the out puts from the UFI Trust and a number of Colleges have benefited from funding for a range of projects. But a good model for both current #digitalambition work in Scotland and broader UK #CollegeFutures work to take a careful note of.

It was great to see projects past and present on display and meet some old friends and colleagues.  It is good to see those who innovate in education being constantly resilient and inventive  - and great too to meet new people and projects trying to shake things up.  This is a list of all this years crop of projects .

Note these are mixture of private and public organisations - this is seed funding for sustainable projects so different from some of the more speculative experimental projects that may have been funded in past with EU Monies. The projects are funded here on their basis to be revenue generating and self sustaining when UFI funding ends.

City of Glasgow College have a number of projects funded with #UFITrust funds past, live and in development with a range of commercial partners.

Here are my own take a ways - some from wandering around the stands and some from networking at event. 

1. The great work done by Open University with Cisco - is open and available to any College . I am going to bring them up and see how we can get these materials used more widely. These are free.

2. STEM resources - I've come across Learning Science  and these materials before and I made some high level sector introductions . I don't think things moved on from there - so will bring them up for a conversation - their simulated lab materials are used widely in the HE Sector. They now have a special offer for maths and engineering.  Interested in price point.

3. Aftab and ADA Bolton College's digital assistant - just goes from strength to strengh - I'll shine a light on this again - I think model is great. The struggle in institutions is that this is so new and cuts across lots of silos - challenge is not technology but culture and ownership of data - that is the barrier to getting more projects like this moving.  ( we have some interesting conversations happening with Google and Amazon services in background)

4. I like the 'engineering apprentices mate' materials  nice simple training materials . I'll take these links back to relevant College team.  Looking for website that takes me straight to the materials.

5. If you are a college teaching dental nurses , dental receptionists then CHOMP looks great and from a very passionate team - turning learning into gaming.

I had some great chats around the room and would be great to get a similar showcase event in Scotland -waving too at Vikki and who are doing great job with focus on digital learning skills for College lecturers in England.

Always happy to make introductions to those in Scottish sector who are willing and able pick up opportunities.

All the projects are worth a look , I've just sampled the ones that caught my eye.

And I've a few other leads to follow up. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

#UNESCO , #Openscot Email to My Daughter.

 I got some great news yesterday and I tried to explain what it means  to my daughter who is in 5th year in a Scottish Secondary school. I thought worth sharing with a wider audience. I know some organisations that regulate teachers and lecturers like the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Higher Education Academy, as well as those that fund education developments across the public sector will now have to take notice. It's great news for learners across the world. 

How will we now embrace this in Scotland ?

In my immediate domain one for Colleges Scotland and College Regional Boards to sit up and take notice - this needs to be embedded in practice. We've already started at City of Glasgow College. 

MJ , 
You might remember I disappeared to Malta, Slovenia and Poland among other places over the last few years. I wasn't having a holiday.
This is what I was helping to draft. 

I was invited as the co founder of Open Scotland along with Lorna Campbell of Edinburgh University - as what they call domain experts. We were standing on the shoulders of giants from the Association of Learning Technology and early work done by Jisc and many others across the education sector in Scotland and the rest of the U.K. , especially those involved in the #oer , open education resource , series of conferences. 
At the heart of it is a really simple principle.

One that Scottish Education should find easy to embrace.

'That publicly funded learning and teaching materials should be open and shareable.' 
One day, this will make teaching and learning much easier for everyone.
For you, it’s an example of a real UN resolution and now you know someone that helped shape one. It’s just as complex as the resolutions you debate in the schools model UN.

Perhaps you can show it to your teachers and maybe they will start working to share learning materials with colleagues in other schools , colleges and universities.

It was approved to go forward yesterday ;-)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#DigitalAmbition City of Glasgow College

I plugged these sessions as they rolled out,  I am part of national consultation group . Yesterday, the roadshow came to City of Glasgow College and we had a good attendance from both the College and Colleges across Scotland. 

I know that following this roadshow that the findings from all of the roadshows will be tested again with the wider community and opened up for comment. I hope everyone is ready to chip in their ideas - there was a lot of good thinking going on yesterday. 
Ken Thomson OBE leading event cc Tom Duff City of Glasgow College
There was a lot of good use of feedback technology in the workshop and was pleasing to see used as part of consultation - if you want an ordinal list in a survey great way to do it - driven by Adaptive Comparative Judgement.

Tongue in cheek but perhaps one of our ambitions may be to find out what Scottish FE staff use in terms of social media #digitalambition , if it's Friends Reunited and MSN Messenger -we have a journey to travel - but clearly from engagement around the #digitalambition tag , at the moment perhaps it's not Twitter ?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

#OER20 #Openscot Tell Your Story , Find out how to become an Open Practitioner , Meet an international community.

I know there is a growing amount of open education activity beyond University and College initiatives in Scotland,  for my  international readership this is the  first and the best UK and international conference on Open Education and associated practices . 
Get a paper in and/or get the date in your diary.

We are delighted to announce that the OER20 Call for Proposals in now open. The deadline for submissions is 1 December 2019.

The 11th annual OER conference for Open Education research, practice and policy will be co-chaired by Mia Zamora, Daniel Villar-Onrubia and Jonathan Shaw. Read more about the conference co-chairs.

The conference will be held from 1-2 April 2020, in London, and is themed around Care In Openness. Covering issues of privilege, equity, precarity, power relations and public interest, OER20 will put the spotlight on both the value and limitations of care in open education.

We are particularly interested in receiving proposals from people who have an interest in the following conference key themes: 

Theme 1: Openness in the age of surveillance
Theme 2: Sustainable open education communities
Theme 3: Open education for civic engagement and democracy
Theme 4: Criticality and care in open education
Theme 5: Caring pedagogies and designing for diverse communities of inclusion.

And also Wildcard submissions : open education practice, research or policy session proposals that address the overarching conference theme.

To submit your proposal, please visit our OE20 Conference website where you will find full guidance, and our submission form. The deadline for submissions is 1 December 2019.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Scottish Training Federation Conference #STF19 September 2019

I was asked to do a quick provocation for the annual gathering of all of the training providers in Scotland. Thanks to Scottish Training Federation for the kind invitation to address all of their members.

I've been about a bit , I can't believe it has been nine years since I last addressed this gathering. Some of the issues have changed and some are stubbornly the same , for training providers it is still the uncertainty of year to year funding and the scramble around the bidding and tendering processes.

My reflections in this presentation are all based on working in and around the English Vocational Reform Programme. While it has different drivers, we do not appear to be learning lessons from this coordinated reform programme in England , rather we have set a number of fires in the heather - and there may be longer term consequences in tackling vocational reform in this more piecemeal way in Scotland. We are the only home nation that does not have something called a vocational reform programme. Though we have been made lots of changes.

Most of key messages are in the presentation, as I spoke I added that we need to make more of SCQF , decide who will actually fix Digital Literacy as a core skill across vocational learning and get on with it , Do more of a push on blended learning and sharing basic learning materials across Colleges and Training Providers and work towards cost effective on-line delivery for all knowledge based areas and some skills based ones too. STF members should tune in to digital skills courses appearing in FutureLearn and from the Education and Training Foundation in England.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Scottish Colleges #DigitalAmbition

I am part of this working group, so good to see this consultation now rolling out.

The College Development Network is running a series of consultation events on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council to inform the work of the #DigitalAmbition working group.

What is it all about ? : To find out what staff working in Colleges think the future of learning looks like !

Why is this important ? : There is a pot of capital funding for College buildings, but perhaps we need a pot of capital available for some national digital learning initiatives !

So the question is : What Digital Ambition do you have for Colleges in 2030 ?

Booking is now open for #DigitalAmbition roadshows.

This is your opportunity to shape the future! :
  • What will learning look like in 2030 ?
  • What will learners expect?
  • What will colleges look & feel like?
  • What will staff need to meet learner and employer expectations ?

Check out for all events.

Book here for Monday 11th of November City of Glasgow College Event

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Business Breakfast #heraldAI

Guest this morning at Herald AI briefing - so these are some quick jottings on proceedings.

The Sponsors:  Cathcart Associates , Brodies , The Herald , Incremental Group and Strathclyde University. 

Image result for data science hierarchy of needs

Everyman Cinema Glasgow Princes Square - is a nice venue but no wifi.

Pre meeting coffee, met microforming man from Strathclyde, charged with buying NMIS kit for next 4 years - Strathclyde have VR suite for developers - had useful conversation around and the establishment of the new manufacturing centre that is centerpiece of National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

To see other tweets from event check out #heraldAI on twitter.

Event starts with great marketing around GPT2, too dangerous to release into wild,  apparently. You can check out the back story here,  example implementation called Talk to Transformer.  And follow creator here @adamdanielking ,see it in the context of other current  AI solutions here 

Perhaps how Herald will be written soon, spotted Donald Martin Herald Editor in audience. 

Thinkpiece keynote from Dr Adam Sroka @adzsroka

Incremental Group data and AI . The organisation do Digital transformation through microsoft and associated technologies. 
Presentation gave some good examples :

  • AI and manufacturing - can now scan and find faults in sheet metal etc - autonomous inspection -
  • Retail - AI to analyse transactions around buying and returns - could focus sales and avoid customers who bought and returned most.
  • Insurance - predicting - risk and wealth - use satellite images of addresses - it’s illegal to price on ethnicity - but you can do scrabble score in surnames though. ( Hmmn  ) and hope HMRC are using the matching postcode to house image - wonder too how GDPR compliant this all is. 
  • Banks can monitor millions of transactions and stop your account when they see outlier behaviours.
  • Most banking communications now driven by AI people can text and get answer from AI not a human. 
  • McDonalds can do speech to order with AI  find Drivethru.wav speech recognition to burger order - good example.
  • Ethics and things like driverless vehicles - autonomous systems need rules
  • Data science hierarchy of needs - see heading. 
Then on to Question and Answer and some of the usual suspects on the panel - 

  • Digital Health and Care directory looking for more AI examples around Healthcare.
  • Centre of excellence in Satellite Applications Strathclyde - good question -. What are limits of data collection it does cost money and energy to collect and crunch.
  • Craig Patterson Data Lab - the aim to make Scotland famous for data - education advisor.
  • Aggreko ( the generator people )  have team of data scientists.
  • Stachastic solutions Sam Rhynas < girl geek scotland > commercial supporting data analysis for private companies - putting data at heart of business.
  • Prof Crawford Revie - data analyst working in health - data driven models to predict health outcomes - delivering new masters degree in artificial intelligence.
  • Stevie Grier Microsoft. AI example -
  • How do you analyse the data set from colonoscopy 40,000 images AI is better than consultant.
  • Martin Sloan Brodies LLP and Deryck Smith Clydesdale Bank.

Q and A 

Can you retrain business analysts to be Data scientists ? good question - I think Business Analyst covers lots of job descriptions.

Big focus on how AI is used to understand the customer actual and potential and their behaviours.
There is real fear and lack of understanding of how AI can bring benefits and a lot is simply still process automation - look where you have seen AI drive value and how you apply this to your own business.

AI danger of introducing bias in workflow - if not thought through.
Amazon example - used past data and then found no change in recruitment metrics - bias had been built into system - by using past data as system training methodology - they built in bias.

AI as seventh consultant - offers another opinion- human experts evaluate this - perhaps improves decision making.

Stephen Grier cites - thriving Modern Apprenticeship programme - but still 10/12k people shortfall digital skills - Stephen - banish word computing - industry pays on average 25% more than other occupations. Amen but familiar cry.

Check out 99% invisible podcasts and articles

Brexit is starting to drive skill shortages - BI < business intelligence systems > programmers not enough people doing this.

How do we promote neural diversity , maths is creative , mix of skills , data lab supports placements , daydream believers creates learning materials for teachers to help them understand . I knew about this but good to share again.

In banking used to prevent fraud - almost AI v AI and money is becoming obsolete.
In remote places card machines are easier than cash - when there is no bank to bank the cash. This is to me counterintuitive .  I think this is wishful thinking from the Clydesdale bank - case study Argyll where apparently you are most likely to see signs saying card payments only. I am wondering if this is, as all the rural banks have been closed down. I'm still used to seeing cash only in remote communities in Scotland. 

Usual collective moan from panel mostly composed of industry, it is  all education's fault apparently. 

Kudos, I think to Strathclyde who have just started an MSC in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. 

As a throw away someone recommended
Book -The 100 Year Life

Useful event now scrambling back to work.

That's all folks ! 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Wednesday 2nd October 2019 16.30-18.30 Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh College #NMIS #Openscot Please RT


I haven't posted on this for a while but this has been keeping us really busy and attracting a lot of interest around both the open assets and how we did this . The model is applicable to lots of cross educational partnerships. The NMIS is finally making the news more regularly too - as bidding opens for construction of the physical centre.

Here is an opportunity to meet the team and find out more - book up now event is free , places are limited.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) is a unique networked partnership of Colleges and Universities across Scotland with digital learning resources for everyone and tailored programmes of CPD for those with an interest in Industry4.0.

Come along to our Edinburgh Teachmeet to find out about the partnership, the resource and how to become an ambassador. This is relevant to all staff in Colleges, Schools, Training Providers and Higher Education institutions interested in digital skills and industry4.0.

Edinburgh Teachmeet
You are invited to our Teachmeet to promote digital skills, sharing and collaboration.
A Teachmeet is an organised (but informal) meeting where participants are offered a variety of nano (two-minute) or macro (seven-minute) presentations on any aspect of education.
Participants can be actively involved as presenters, or can simply relax and listen to all that will be on offer.

Click to book your place as a participant or as a presenter now!

Date: Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Time: 16.30-18.30
Location: Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh College, Bankhead Ave, Edinburgh EH11 4DE

Please share this information widely with your colleagues- we look forward to seeing you on 2nd October!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Musings on Educational Technology and Learning

Thanks to ALT and CMALT Programme Pages for image 

I was asked by a commercial organisation some questions around where I think technology around learning and assessment is currently and where it might be going .  I was presenting this week too at the Scottish Qualifications E-Assessment Group - so probably good time to share this generic thinking. Think some of CEAG stuff will be shared at a later date. The questions here specifically about work based learning.

What do you recognise as the current, most effective methods in training and assessment?

This is two questions but I think you mean in a formal learning and training setting where assessment is linked to training and competency assessment for regulatory purposes in the workplace.

Is there particular types of training you feel would best suited to deliver through technology, and is there other types you feel should stay the same in the way it's delivered?

It is actually all about cost and efficacy, some things are always best demonstrated in real life - so the skill and assessment at same time , But increasingly simulation will be used for formative assessment - how can AR and VR be used to give candidate experience without cost of running full summative assessment . Been happening for along time in things like pilot training or even container ship skippering - where people spend hours working through simulations both to develop basic skills and to deal with hazardous situations that could not practically be assessed in real life .You are also beginning to see good application artificial intelligence to both guide learners through materials and to assess their capabilities.

Training should be as real as possible and observed and recorded for reflection and evaluation, that should be staying the same.  

What are your reasons for that?

Almost everything that is knowledge and understanding should by now be assessed on line - dependent on nature of content by MCQ , Short answer questions etc - or simply assessed at same time by candidate being filmed performing the task and through this demonstrating they have the underpinning knowledge. This is within all organisation reach. 

What technologies do you use or know of that are in use today to train, develop and assess the workforce?

It is actually all about cost and efficacy, some things are always best demonstrated in real life - so the skill and the assessment at same time , But increasingly simulation will be used for formative assessment - how can Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality be used to give the candidate experience without cost of running a full summative assessment . Been happening for a long time in things like pilot training or even container ship skippering - where people spend hours working through simulations both to develop basic skills and to deal with hazardous situations that could not practically or cost effectively be assessed in real life.

Policy can be real barrier. In England the switch back to End Point Assessment in apprenticeships will actually skew the value of the assessments and have added a lot of cost to the assessment process. 
What are the benefits or challenges with using these technologies?

I've worked as an  independent educational consultant and  in large organisations, I use and appraise regularly a range of platforms and technologies - they all come with own benefits and challenges - the main thing is to pick technology that fits the aims and outcomes of the learning. Make sure it is as future proof as it can be and uses standards that are open. 

For training it's got to be video - at entry level a youtube channel - but you can use lots of platforms , for delivery you need a Virtual Learning Environment  or Learning Management System  - you choose - VLE normal in education LMS in workplace learning - systems have own strengths and weaknesses .  An e-portfolio and reflective approach if done properly along with some MCQs probably the most effective approach for learner - but often regulatory requirements stipulate assessment strategies. 

VLE/ Moodle/ Canvas / Brightspace/ Google Classroom - I am seeing as core currently or relevant LMS Totora , People Soft , Bridge etc in workplace environment 
The main challenge is getting whatever platform embedded in practice - the default for many trainers is still paper and or email. 

Do you know of any future technologies that will enhance training, development and assessment? What are you doing, if anything, to prepare for these new methods?

I am working with City of Glasgow College currently they have the full package of useful platforms that enable on-line assessment and feedback - Turnitin , Gradebooks etc 
We've invested in content Blended Learning Consortium , a platform for video - ( Clickview) , we are working out how to use Google Apps for Education and Microsoft 365 particularly teams in supporting our training.

We train training staff in use of H5P so they can build their own interactive content when they need it and we are working out how to get them thinking about learning design. So the VLE is more than a collection of powerpoints and word documents and 
we  are no longer reliant of a few staff with higher level learning object creation skills. 

We are looking at systems around artificial intelligence - how it can support learner journey , Blockchain - how badges can be linked to certification and verified evidence 
In a College setting we are looking at how we can share more open educational resources - massive open on-line courses may be beyond us - but we have platforms that can do the same. We should have offers for students and the broader community who can't engage with formal education .  Where you can everyone should be giving away learning materials. See Open Scotland Declaration. 

But it does mean we need to get all staff to think about digital learning design - it is more than blended learning or flipping the classroom - you can plan and use new delivery and collaborative learning strategies. - you need to re-think your engagement strategies.  In old money you lesson plans need to be different. Have a look at ABC Learning Design.

What are the barriers to using technology to train, develop or assess staff?  

These get lower all the time but often it is the digital skills of the staff who are being asked to change their delivery skills to a blended one that requires less face to face time. 
Learners in the main lap up being able to learn and be assessed at times and on devices that suit them.

It should leave trainers more time to focus on the learners who are struggling.
In Glasgow not everyone has broadband but most learners have a smartphone ! 

Our Skills Landscape work highlighted a shift towards new, innovative ways of learning including the use of simulation in training.  Do you think there will be a drastic change to the way we learn in the short term (5 – 10 years)?

Yes I do - what is holding things back is probably regulatory environment and the skill sets of training and assessment companies - and to be fair it is still the cost of some technologies,  building a simulation is still expensive and repurposing one - if for instance the assessment rubric changes can be equally expensive - I think we may see some more partnerships with games industry around building and creation of simulations. Or whole area may be rethought Augmented Reality and layering questions and problems over other media is probably more cost effective than full Virtual Reality. 

Have you received feedback from your workforce regarding recent training?  Any comments on what has worked well or what they would change?

A lot of the regulatory  mandatory training is simply bought off the shelf - repurposed slightly - company logo etc and delivered in chunks through VLE or LMS generally its is not very good - but delivers an audit record of those who have read materials and passed assessment - staff find it boring but realise it is a necessity - it should be better than this . As cost of development of materials come down we are creating and developing more materials in house. 
What is working well - re-thinking approaches building closer partnership with Google for instance - see for example 

How do you think we can assure competency using technology? 

Yes,  you certainly can - sampling and all the things you need should now be on line - audit trails , analytics , lots of things that should make both internal and external verfication easier across a very broad range of assessment strategies. And a lot of things I've suggested already - around real practical skills it is hard to fake doing something on video.
For the learner they should have an on-line digital portfolio showing their on-going CPD - 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

NMIS-Skills Soft Launch #NMIS

 I've sent out some initial invitations tonight to what will become a different sort of on-line community. The targets and mission are clear . You can find them here on the website . I'll move this post across to the project's blog site in next day or two.

While for some there is not much new in webinars and some teachmeets , nor in driving at the torpidness of the education sector and industry around sharing learning materials and knowledge. There are still many who have not changed their methods of working and we are really going to have a go at it in an innovative way.

What has been done before :

  • We are trying to summarise a lot of the excellent work that is already out there in one place.

What is new:

  • We are trying to model best practice by using open tools and resources and sharing with a creative commons licence.
  • We will showcase tools that are within the reach of anyone.  
  • We have quite a compelling offer for ambassadors. 
  • We are mapping our offer to the digital competency frameworks for education as they exist in Scotland, so that the offer is relevant to all who wish to boost their skills in collaborating , sharing and co-creating.
  • There will be plenty of space for collaborating and working together. 

The only thing that is out of scope is the kind of support that staff get already from within their own institutions and organisations . So we will be talking about learning design and tools for building learning content but we won't be talking use of specific virtual learning environments.

We have started by sucking up and pointing to the useful courses and resources that we know about already. We do know when the discussion gets going there are many that we have not discovered yet.

To some,  the website and resources,  might look a bit different . The whole resource is being built in a way that we hope can move from being a website with some interesting bits to being a community resource owned and led by the ambassadors.  This is thanks to some creative thinking and support from  Google Apps for Education.

I am sure this won't be without some initial technical hitches - but that is what learning is all about.

I'm afraid everyone can't be ambassadors, our target is membership from Scottish Schools , Colleges, Universities , Employers and Work-based learning providers with an interest in Industry4.0 and the innovation centres and agencies in Scotland around this. If we break some of the silos down around this we will have achieved our mission.

So why this post - if you work in one of the above please consider becoming an ambassador and start following NMIS-Skills . Have a look around the website and feedback please.

If you are from my network  and the bigger wider world of digital skills for education and open learning, then let us know what we need to add to help our community find your resources.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

ALT Annual Conference 2019, taking place 3-5 September 2019 in Edinburgh #ALTC #OpenScot

Image result for alt logo association of learning technology

It is only once every few years that the Association for Learning Technology Conference arrives in Scotland. 

The request below arrived today and I thought it worth simply blogging around.
It would be great to see a strong Scottish Education presence - public bodies , Schools and FE Colleges could both learn a lot and contribute a lot to the discussion at the conference.  It is also an opportunity for those working in the private sector to come along and share opportunities. 

The praxis in Education is a global one. Here is an opportunity to share with a UK and International Audience in Edinburgh and take some great ideas back to your own institution to support your learners , and build your network to weather the storms ahead. 

Joe Wilson 
Co-Chair ALT Scotland Special Interest Group 

The Call for Proposals for the ALT Annual Conference 2019, taking place 3-5 September 2019 in Edinburgh, is open until 13 March. We would be very grateful for your help in disseminating the information below within your networks and encouraging colleagues to consider submitting a proposal.

The Call for Proposals for ALT’s Annual Conference 2019 is now open for you to contribute to the critical dialogue we seek to foster on technology in education and its political, social and economic context.

All submissions are made via the ALT Online Submission Form
Call for Proposals open until 13 March 2019
We are particularly keen to look at the big picture across sectors and find common challenges, promote closer scrutiny of evidence and theory, and a stronger commitment to values that we share. Values that include creativity, community, social good, openness, and more democratic access to knowledge and learning. We invite you to submit proposals in response to one of the conference themes:
  1. Student data and learning analytics: Critically exploring the intersections between learning technology practice, policy and projects and student data, learning analytics, and evidence relating to engagement. Where do we need to strengthen these intersections, in order to make more critical and effective use of student data and analytics in enhancing policy and practice? What are the ethical dimensions to data and learning analytics we need to better understand and respond to?
  2. Creativity across the curriculum: Nurturing the development of curiosity, open-mindedness, problem solving and imagination. How can digital learning and teaching across the curriculum foster creativity skills? What benefits can this bring? What can educators working across the schools, further and higher education curricula learn from each other?
  3. Critical frames of reference: To what extent are established concepts, models and frameworks relating to digital education still relevant to emerging practices and possibilities? What are the concepts and theoretical frames of reference that can support further critical research and reflection, and inform more critically grounded digital education practices going forward?
  4. Learning Technology for wider impact: using Learning Technology to enable learning which is distributed across formal and informal communities, that supports more inclusive curricula and promotes accessibility, transcends established digital silos and institutional boundaries, creates digital ‘third spaces’ to enable learning amongst those who would otherwise not meet, or which locates opportunities for learning within contexts and communities where there is disadvantage, disenfranchisement or a lack of opportunity to engage. Work which has a high impact on lifelong learning, in democratising access to socially valuable knowledge, and in addressing wider societal needs.
  5. Wildcard: if your work doesn’t relate directly to any of the conference themes, then we encourage you to select the wildcard theme when submitting your learning technology research, practice or policy work from any sector including further and higher education, schools, vocational learning and training, lifelong learning and work-based learning.

How to submit a proposal

We look for session proposals that will make an innovative contribution to the conference programme and be of value to other participants.
All submissions are made via the ALT Online Submission Form.
You can only submit 1 proposal as lead author/presenter. You can add additional contributors to your proposal and be a contributor to other proposals.
All rooms will have a projector or screen and laptop as standard.
As there are up to 6 parallel sessions running at any time, you need to ensure that your session can work well with 10-50 participants.

Your proposal

You will need to select what kind of session you would like to run from the following options:
  • GASTA talk (5 min, concise, punchy talk, usually in the main auditorium)
  • Poster & GASTA talk (digital/print poster + 5 min lightning talk, usually in the main auditorium)
  • Research or practice presentation (20 min, with min.5 minutes for Q&A)
  • Reflective session (30 min, usually interactive and seeking feedback from participants)
  • Workshop, panels or demonstration (1 hour, usually BYOD for participants)
You will need to include a session title, description and further supporting information. You should not submit proposals that have been published, presented or submitted elsewhere.

What we are looking for

We review all submissions to ensure that we maintain the highest quality and include the broad range of learning technology research, practice and policy of interest to our participants.
Each proposal will be reviewed by two members of the conference committee. We ask that you remove any information from your proposal that will identify you as the author, so that the review is conducted impartially. Proposals are reviewed against the following criteria:
  • Does it explain how the session relates to the chosen conference theme?
  • Is it clearly written (i.e. acronyms are explained, and language appropriate for an international audience and from participants from different sectors)?
  • Does it state what participants will gain from the session and why they should attend?
  • Does it include details of what the session is based on, such as a particular project or initiative or practice? Does it critically reflect on this and evaluate it (i.e. state how many learners/staff are involved, what feedback was collected and how transferable your experience/findings/tools are)?
  • If it is a commercial proposal, we ask that it meets all the above criteria and clearly states what products are being demonstrated or discussed and acknowledges the role of the company in the session.

Increasing impact and professional recognition

If you are seeking to increase the impact of your work or looking to disseminate your work beyond the conference, we encourage you to make a submission to the Research in Learning Technology journal. The journal is a Gold Open Access journal and we do not levy any charges to ensure researchers can disseminate new work in learning technology as widely as possible.
We also invite you to consider entering the ALT Awards which are now open for entries from individuals, teams and research project, with winners announced at the conference.

Registration for presenters

At least one presenter for each proposal needs to register for the conference. We offer a special early bird discount for presenters and we also offer a discounted rate for presenters who are members of ALT or members of the conference committee.
Lead presenters need to attend in conference in person, but can facilitate contributions from virtually attending presenters.

Is this conference for you?

We invite proposals from learning technology professionals and learners from all sectors in the UK and internationally. The Association for learning technology (ALT) represents individual and organisational members from all sectors and parts of the UK. Our membership includes practitioners, researchers and policy makers with an interest in learning technology. Our community grows more diverse as learning technology has become recognised as a fundamental part of learning, teaching and assessment.

What to expect?

This is the 26th ALT Annual Conference. We will welcome 400-500 participants in Edinburgh over three days with a packed programme and social activities. We design our conference to be welcoming and friendly, with specific activities for first time participants. During the conference ALT members organise meetings and sessions such as annual meet ups of local Member Groups, meetings of Special Interest Groups and information sessions to offer ways to get involved and showcase what’s going on across the community.
We look forward to welcoming you in September and wish you good luck with your submission!
You can also view this Call for Proposals as a Google Doc or download a PDF.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

New CPD Standards for College Lecturers and Digital Skills Scotland

There are new CPD standards for all those teaching in Scotland's Colleges . The Standards are designed to support and encourage lecturers to develop a clear understanding of their role and how they contribute to wider student outcomes. Underpinning the Standards is the expectation that individual lecturers are expected to commit to and be responsible for their own continuous professional development, ensuring the quality of the student experience. The full standard can be downloaded from the CDN Website. They do cover a lot more than digital skills !

But with a specific focus on digital skills - staff need to :
  • Understand how to embed a range of digital technologies to enhance learning and teaching and assessment. 
  • Understand and evaluates critically the use of technologies in optimising students’ ability to learn and their relevance to the world of work.
  • Understands how to keep up to date with emerging industry / subject technological advances. 
  • Understand how to embed appropriate digital technology. 
  • Understand the safe use of technology and the necessity for cyber resilience and security. 
  • Understand the nature and agenda for sustainability, and works in partnership to ensure the most effective, efficient and inclusive development and use of learning resources. 
  • Adopt creative approaches to the embedding of appropriate digital technologies for effective planning, delivery and assessment of learning. 
  • Promote and supports the safe and respectful use of digital technologies and the impact on others. 
  • Engage with, and evaluates critically, the use of technologies and their impact on meeting student needs, and supporting learning, teaching and assessment 
  • Promote and facilitates wider access to learning and teaching and assessment through the effective application of digital technologies. 
  • Facilitate and engages in the use of local and global digital learning communities to enhance opportunities for collaborative practice. 

These competencies sit well alongside Citylearning4.0 and a range of support from Jisc and external agencies too.

From a distance I did try very hard to get some more focus on open learning and the sharing of learning materials using CC and or other relevant open licences. And to pick up too on strands emerging from Europe and USA on digitals skills frameworks for teachers.

As it stands the new standard is not quite aligned to what is happening in School space or what is happening in England. - but it is a good start !

The list above will be useful to anyone developing a digital service or preparing training for an FE audience in Scotland.  A baseline for aspirations to start !

To follow a mapping that ties these in to Jisc Digital Capabilities work , Microsoft Teaching Communities , Google Educator Certfication , Apple Educator Certification -
unless you beat me to it !