ALT

An Open Covid Pledge for Education

ALT News - 10/08/20

As we begin to imagine - and to shape - the ‘new normal’ in education, we need every opportunity to learn from each other.

Today the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) is proud to support the launch of the Open Covid Pledge for Education, covering all forms of research, data and know-how that can support the COVID-19 response in education around the world. The creation of the Open Covid Pledge has been co-ordinated by Helen Beetham, Researcher and Consultant, and ALT Member.

Categories: ALT, News

Pre-service primary teachers’ views and use of technology in mathematics lessons

RLT Journal - 07/08/20

Pre-service teachers who are future practitioners of the curriculum cannot be considered independent of their views on education and technology. The goal of this study is to determine the use of technology and the opinions of pre-service primary teachers (PPTs) regarding the use of technology in classroom activities in mathematics lessons. The research was conducted with 62 PPTs studying in a state university. The study is based on a case study. The PPTs designed and implemented activities with respect to the objective(s) in the primary school mathematics-teaching programme. These activities were observed and recorded in video. At the end of the semester, the opinion form prepared by the researchers was applied to the PPTs. Descriptive statistics, descriptive analysis and content analysis methods were used in the analysis of the data. According to the findings of the research, almost all of the PPTs expressed opinions about the positive and negative aspects of technology usage related to education. Furthermore, while 83.86% of the PPTs indicated that they wanted to use technology effectively in their professional lives in the future, only 19.35% of the observed activities benefited from the technology. PPTs advocated two main reasons for not using technology in classroom activities. The first was that concrete material is more effective where physical conditions are inadequate and the difficulty in accessing materials, especially at schools in rural areas. The second main reason concerned time constraints while following the curriculum.

Categories: ALT, Publication

ALT Assembly online meeting

ALT Events - 06/08/20

The ALT Assembly meets monthly online, with two annual face-to-face meetings in March and September.

 

The meeting will run in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. If you have not used Collaborate Ultra before, it may be helpful to consult our webinar FAQs at https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/webinar-faqs

If you have any specific questions about the ALT Assembly please contact Debbie Baff Membership Manager (debbie.baff@alt.ac.uk

Categories: ALT, Events

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis (closed session - tbc)

ALT Events - 06/08/20

Weekly online meeting with Jane Secker and Chris Morrision for those interested in talking about copyright challenges at the current time and how we can address them. Jane and Chris have published a summary page full of resources, which includes links to content from previous sessions. No registration is required to join this week's event, but to join the session the link will only be shared on the LIS-Copyseek mailing listVisit the list if you need to subscribe (subscription is free).

The webinar will run in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. If you have not used Collaborate Ultra before, it may be helpful to consult our webinar FAQs

Categories: ALT, Events

Guest Post: 'Can we afford not to think about affordances? Usability lessons from the ecological psychology of design'...by Dominic Lukes

ALT News - 05/08/20
About

This blog post is a preamble to my session at the ALT 2020 Online Summit on what we can learn from UX principles for making more accessible and inclusive learning experiences. It outlines some of the key concepts and gives background for thinking about them.

Categories: ALT, News

'Becoming President when everything is online'...a blog post from ALT's new President, David White

ALT News - 05/08/20

‘President’ is a loaded term, but my Tweets are of a higher standard than that American one, so I think it’s ok. My first ALT conference was in 2004. I remember it was at Exeter University and that I didn’t know what I was doing. Since then I’ve learnt a few things and the ALT community and events have been an extremely important to me. The conference was where I connected with the first people outside of my office.

Categories: ALT, News

Becoming President when everything is online

#ALTC Blog - 05/08/20

‘President’ is a loaded term, but my Tweets are of a higher standard than that American one, so I think it’s ok. My first ALT conference was in 2004. I remember it was at Exeter University and that I didn’t know what I was doing. Since then, I’ve learnt a few things and the ALT community and events have been extremely important to me. The conference was where I connected with the first people outside of my office. They became the kernel of a network I still rely on today, including Martin Weller who I pick up the President’s baton from (there isn’t an actual baton but I might try to get one instated).

The opportunity ALT gave me via an invited talk at ALT-C in 2010 was a turning point for me. The positive response to that talk gave me a lot of confidence, especially in the Visitors and Residents idea which was very new back then. Since 2010 I’ve seen ‘edtech’ and ‘elearning’ rapidly move from the fringes of institutions to become central to how they run – even if some institutions still haven’t quite realised this yet. 

(Youthful Dave on the ‘big’ stage in 2010)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/h-l-n/4982145291/in/pool-daveowhite/ CC heloukee
Advocating for the community

I applied to the President role because I had to admit that I was no longer one of the ‘new’ people in Digital Learning. Having managed, and advocated for, people in Digital Learning roles for 17 years I can clearly see that it can be a bumpy ride and, even today, institutions do not always recognise the valuable expertise Digital Learning folk contribute on a day-to-day basis. I’m looking forward to helping ALT provide events, advice and opportunities for the growing Digital Learning community in the same way it has supported me over the years.

Since applying for the role, COVID-19 has hit, and I find myself President at a time where online is the sole location of the institution for just about all of us. It has been an exhilarating, stressful and occasionally frustrating time. Suddenly everyone is interested in what we have to offer in terms of technology, if not always expertise. Educational institutions have been walking a difficult line between pedagogy, safety, politics and student expectations. I have seen some academics and journalists discussing approaches to online learning which we have been developing for circa 20 years as if the topic hadn’t existed pre-COVID. We have also seen standard-issue entrepreneurial proclamations about ‘revolutionising’ education by attempting to remove teaching as a practice, or by simply being as exclusive as our most retrenched institutions, but this time online…

It’s been busy…

The one thing that I’m most certain about during COVID is that ALT and everyone in Digital Learning has been working harder than ever before doing what we do best, including:

  1. Making sure the wheels don’t come off
  2. Supporting colleagues in developing their digital teaching practices 
  3. Supporting students in developing their learning and getting the most out of what is available
  4. Developing all the ways in which we can make digital spaces safe and inclusive 

That is why I so pleased that ALT is planning the community award, which goes to all those working in the field as an acknowledgment of the community’s labour and commitment over 2020. Personally, I deeply miss being co-present in physical spaces. Materiality and embodied discourse are just a couple of the reasons I chose to work at the University of the Arts London. What I found over Lockdown is that it’s important to remind people that we are where we are not because digital has taken over but because it’s the only safe option.

As to the future, I’m hoping that physical co-presence for teaching is treated with respect, in that we most-often use those rarefied moments for that which doesn’t have a close equivalence online. That will involve a significant culture-shift, but I am certain that our institutions will continue to operate significantly online even as COVID-19 becomes part of history because students will not want to lose the positive aspects of teaching during lockdown. Given that, I’ll be working with ALT to create spaces where we can discuss the value and direction of Digital Learning not as a process of ‘solving’ or erasing teaching but as a context with it’s own practices and opportunities.

You can find out more about David by visiting his website.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Cheap, accessible, and virtual experiences as tools for immersive study: a proof of concept study

RLT Journal - 03/08/20

Virtual and augmented reality technology is becoming more commonly available within a plethora of environments in which we exist, including educational environments. With advances in technology, and more exposure to its capabilities, there is a greater expectations and reliance on it. However, much of the hardware (and some of the software) which makes this technology usable is expensive and inaccessible to many. This article introduces a method for capturing and providing cost-effective virtual reality experiences, used here as a tool to give students improved accessory data and context regarding geological lab samples. The method introduced utilises the Google Cardboard camera app and Google Cardboard viewers. The virtual reality environment created is a mini-immersive experience that could be provided to students, or collected by students for their own use. The article reports results from a study of 20 participants who answered a questionnaire outlining their experiences of implementing the method. They responded positively, highlighting the applicability of the method to the task, the ease of use of tool and the accessibility of technology. Image quality of the method was raised as an area for improvement.

Categories: ALT, Publication

The role of library and knowledge specialists in moving education and training online

ALT News - 03/08/20

This is a statement by the Information Literacy Group, a special interest group of the CILIP, the library and information association. Our members come from a range of backgrounds, including significant numbers of librarians and knowledge specialists within Higher and Further Education Institutions, schools, and the health and voluntary sectors.

Categories: ALT, News

Guest Post: 'E-assessment evangelism: Sure-fire strategies for onboarding students and staff'...by Anja Sisarica

ALT News - 03/08/20

In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, education has been rapidly transformed by the increasing necessity to deliver remote learning and teaching, and consequently, online assessment practices. Assessment, either formative or summative, is an integral part of teaching and learning, and that holistic approach demands alignment of tools and modes of education experience and delivery, and continuity of technological support from the beginning to an end of the course.

Categories: ALT, News

Students’ video viewing habits during a flipped classroom course in engineering mathematics

RLT Journal - 31/07/20

A flipped classroom lecture approach was utilised in an engineering mathematics course (118 students). This article reports on student viewing habits based on 104 videos over a period of 12 weeks. The video statistics indicate that many students waited until the last day before assignments to watch the required videos. There are also indications that the students would try to reduce the heavy workload induced by watching all videos on a single day by skipping videos perceived as less valuable. The data show a strong negative correlation between the length of a video and how much of that video the students watched per viewing setting. However, although students watched less of longer videos, the data also indicate that the students still watched, to a large degree, every part of the videos, just not in a single viewing session. Based on these results, recommendations on video creation and flipped classroom implementation are given.

Categories: ALT, Publication

Apply for a scholarship to take part in ALT’s Summer Summit 2020

ALT News - 29/07/20

We are delighted to announce that a number of free scholarship places are still available for the Online Summer Summit this year, thanks to our first Scholarship Sponsor, Vevox.

Categories: ALT, News

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis (closed session)

ALT Events - 28/07/20

Weekly online meeting with Jane Secker and Chris Morrision for those interested in talking about copyright challenges at the current time and how we can address them. Jane and Chris have published a summary page full of resources, which includes links to content from previous sessions. No registration is required to join this week's event, but to join the session the link will only be shared on the LIS-Copyseek mailing listVisit the list if you need to subscribe (subscription is free).

Note: This session will discuss teaching with audiovisual material online.

The webinar will run in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. If you have not used Collaborate Ultra before, it may be helpful to consult our webinar FAQs

Categories: ALT, Events

ALT Communities of Practice Sector Audit Report now published

ALT News - 28/07/20

The Communities of Practice project is led by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and funded by Ufi - the VocTech Trust. The project goal is to establish a successful ‘community of practice’ (CoP) where vocational teaching staff are able to acquire, develop and share the digital, and digital pedagogical skills they need to thrive in vocational education. 

Categories: ALT, News

Using social media to support teaching and learning in higher education: an analysis of personal narratives

RLT Journal - 23/07/20

The increasing trend of using new media technologies and particularly social media (SM) among students provides an advantage for lecturers. Apparently their importance accelerated with the application of social distancing during a pandemic crisis such as the one World has been experiencing since the end of 2019. In this article, the stories of two academics are used expressing experiences, motives and perceptions on benefits and challenges of using SM to support teaching and learning in the classroom. The stories which form the data of the research describe how and why the participants started to use SM, their intended purpose and the ways of use. Besides, reasons, difficulties and positive as well as the negative sides are explored. The findings show that the virtual learning environments provided by SM facilitated the development of students’ enthusiasm and interaction with peers assertively, thus increasing the students’ participation. Because of emerging technologies, SM platforms surge and plummet quickly; therefore, it is important for institutions to either develop their platform or to subscribe to existing ones for effective knowledge sharing at an institutional level with clear ethical rules.

Categories: ALT, Publication

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