Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Looking Back and Forwards - It's that time of year again - Part One


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It's that time of year again for some quick reflections on 2022 and a look forward to 2023.

On the learning technology front it's been an incredibly busy and rewarding year.
  • The focus has been around delivering a whole College move from a self hosted version of Moodle to Canvas by Instructure.  It was really gratifying to get student feedback from Class reps in November on a complete sea change on learners feedback on our virtual learning environment.  You can get a tiny glimpse in at the first window we opened for learners pre-induction. Prior to procurement we polled and held focus groups around what learners wanted in an ideal learning environment. - Learner feedback is that we have met all of their requirements.
  • Along with Canvas we've enabled Blackboard Ally to support greater accessibility across the platform and later than planned added Panopto to our internal tool set to make it easier for teachers to embed recorded teaching content in their blended learning materials. 
With a big internal focus on the technical roll out and the associated internal communications, I've had less space for outward looking activities and blogging. My quietest year ever. No Awards this year ;-) barring nice Fujitsu Ambassador Award for the College in April.

A big shout out to the learning technology, and IT teams , the faculty canvas champions and all of the staff at City of Glasgow College for overcoming the daunting challenge of moving our materials and refreshing the look and feel of blended learning at City of Glasgow College.  

We are just on first chapter now of what will become a rewarding journey for staff and students. 

Other highlights of year 

  • Attending #BETT22 great to be out and among people and ideas again.
  • On going co-chairing of ALT Special interest group in Scotland and sharing challenges. Here is our "three stars and a wish" summary from December.
  • Chairing 'I Was Gonnae' charity and watching team grow business
  • Chairing Old Hall Scout Group and almost completing the hall refurbishment. 
  • Watching my daughter thrive at first City of Glasgow College and now Dundee Art School and son enjoying his schooling and rugby.  

Lowlights of year 
  • On going uncertainties around national awarding , SQA and Education Scotland - no longer directly in my ambit but so awful to see press and general idiotic feeding frenzy. I hope in the end it's a good news story for Scottish Education - but I still see little sign of progressive thinking and all the signs that the system is seriously destabilised. I think many of my initial concerns are still live and no sign of any progressive solutions
  • I usually just blog about education. I worked internationally for years - I am a great believer in education as a force for good.  Thoroughly sickened by Russian imperial aggression in Ukraine.  I still remember a senior Russian civil servant telling me that there should have been no plebiscite in Scotland, apparently in Russia they would just have sent the tanks in to deal with the separatists. As my jaw dropped a Polish Civil servant quietly explained I had just met the Russian bear.  Peacefully I will do all I can to support Ukraine.  
  • The state of public finances will have a long and sustained impact on education at all levels.  
Next post looking ahead - 

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