ALT

ALT’s Annual Survey 2024 closes 22 February

ALT News - 15/02/24

We invite you to complete ALT’s Annual Survey 2024 before it closes at 16:00 GMT on Thursday 22 February. 

Categories: ALT, News

ALSIG - Reflecting on supporting staff and students to develop critical AI literacies for active learning

ALT Events - 15/02/24

Following on from their recent blog post “Third-space reflections on how we channel the explosion of generative AI into respectful active learning communities”, Dr Catherine Elkin, Leanne Fitton and Dr Chris Little with further explore the work they have undertaken at Manchester Metropolitan University to provide support and guidance to both staff and students about generative AI.

In this interactive webinar you will have the opportunity to share how you have approached supporting staff and students to develop critical AI literacies. What has worked well? What challenges has it presented? How can we overcome them? We will work together to collate a set of resources and strategies that we can collectively draw on. As explained in the blog post, this can be a challenging topic to navigate, so let's use this webinar as an opportunity to support one another.

Categories: ALT, Events

Fewer than 10% of tickets remain for OER24

ALT Announce - 14/02/24
 

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[OER24] [3]

We wanted to let you know that fewer than 10% of tickets remain for OER24
[4]! Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to join us in Cork and
be part of an unmissable gathering dedicated to advancing open education.

Date: 27-28 March 2024

Location: MTU, Cork, Ireland [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

CEO Report to Members February 2024

#ALTC Blog - 14/02/24

By Kerry Pinny, Interim CEO

Dear Members,

A very belated Happy New Year! We have a lot planned for 2024 and I’ve tried to highlight important news and events in this update for you all.

Share your insights

Our work across sectors, serving a growing community with diverse needs and priorities, depends on your input and we invite you to complete ALT’s Annual Survey 2024.

Help shape what is ahead and contribute to our unique insight into how Learning Technology is used across sectors as well as identifying emerging trends in current and future practice. The survey provides an important insight into how professional practice within the field of Learning Technology is developing. The purpose of this survey is to:

  • Help map professional practice and development in Learning Technology;
  • Chart how Learning Technology is used across sectors;
  • Understand current practice to better meet the needs of and represent our Members.

The Annual Survey also helps ALT with monitor and report on equality, diversity and inclusion and helps us understand if different groups are facing different issues getting involved in ALT and to better support different groups of respondents.

The closing date for responses is 22 February 2024 . Complete the 2024 survey now.

OER24

Plans for OER24 are shaping up brilliantly thanks to the work of our Co-Chairs Dr Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin and Dr Tom Farrelly and the Conference Committee. We are really looking forward to welcoming delegates to beautiful Cork, 27-28 March. The conference has two fantastic keynotes from Dr Rajiv Jhangiani and Dr Catherine Cronin and Professor Laura Czerniewicz.

There is still time to view the programme and register.

The return of our CPD Webinars series

We are excited to bring back our very popular CPD Webinar series this year. CPD Webinars are open to ALT Members and aim to be as practical as possible. We already have a fantastic lineup announced with more to come! Register for CPD Webinars on our website.

  • Copyright Essentials for Learning Technologists – Tuesday 30 April 2024, 12pm – 1pm
  • Moving Away from SCORM: Using Metrics that Matter – Thursday 30 May 2024 2pm – 3pm
  • CPD Webinar Series 2024: Adoption of Graduate Attributes through the use of Badges – Tuesday 25 June 2024, 1-2pm
New events planned for 2024

We have a number of new day and half-day events planned for 2024 as well as one hour online webinars. We’re excited to offer our Members more ways to network and share practice this year.

Join our new CMALT Committee

In response to the growing number of Certified Members and CMALT Assessors, we will launch a new CMALT Committee in 2024. It is vital for ALT’s activities to be shaped with the input of ALT’s Members and CMALT will be no different.

The committee will contribute to the improvement of the CMALT accreditation scheme and assessment process, and we are currently looking for Members to form this committee.

Read the CMALT Committee call for more information on eligibility, the Terms of Reference for the committee and to express your interest.

#ALTC Blog Editors

Our #altc Blog publishes a wide range of posts and articles, including news, opinion pieces, project updates, case studies, book reviews, and ‘a week in the life’ summaries of the work of people in the Learning Technology field. All posts on the ALT Blog are written by ALT Members and we are always open to new submissions! Why not write a post?

Our blog editors are an integral part of the blog publishing process helping authors to shape and hone their posts.

With the popularity of the blog, we are looking for new editors to join our experienced editorial team.

Read the full call for blog editors to learn more about being an editor and how to express an interest.

I look forward to welcoming Members to our events and activities this year.

Kerry Pinny

ALT’s Interim CEO

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

ALT joins IfATE’s influential advisory group for apprenticeships and skills training

ALT News - 14/02/24

The Association for Learning Technology has joined the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s Directory of Professional and Employer-led Bodies (The ‘Employer Directory’) to help shape the future of apprenticeships and technical education.

Categories: ALT, News

ELESIG - The Masterypath – Facilitating learning and transition with an online centred approach.

ALT Events - 13/02/24

Educators have begun to transition to a learner-centred approach, aiming to put individual student needs and interests at the forefront (Alamri et al., 2021). As a result, higher education institutions are increasingly employing technology to personalize students’ learning and master their expertise (Lesser, 2016). Indeed, according to Kara and Sevim (2013), the opportunity and capability to integrate digital tools into the teaching and learning process have truly transformed higher education. The use of such practices has been accelerated, in part, by COVID-19 (e.g., O’Dea and Stern, 2021) as well as pedagogical research (e.g., Armellini and Rodriguez, 2021) and institutions (i.e., Advance HE) advocating for a hybrid and/or blended approach to learning. Such driving forces have subsequently witnessed adaptive learning technologies being classified as one of the six most promising technologies emerging within the higher education setting worldwide (EDUCAUSE, 2020), bringing opportunities to explore new venues for teaching and learning. Many adaptive learning technologies can be implemented by educators in a bid to facilitate student learning. Mastery paths, which can be incorporated into the virtual learning environment of Canvas, are one such adaptive learning technology that has emerged within this practice. The Mastery Path initiative has been running for three years across three subjects and has amassed data from over 1,200 students. The results have been fascinating, with students responding positively and demonstrating the same levels of understanding (and, in some cases, more). However, our focus over the last 12 months has centered on how this initiative has impacted student transitions into tertiary education.

 

Reference list: Alamri, H.A., Watson, S. and Watson, W. (2021). Learning Technology Models that Support Personalization within Blended Learning Environments in Higher Education. TechTrends, 65, pp. 62-78.

Armellini, A., and Rodriguez, B.C.P. (2021) Active Blended Learning: Definition, Literature Review, and a Framework for Implementation. In: Rodriguez, B.C.P., and Armellini, A. (eds.) Cases on Active Blended Learning in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Pp. 1-22.

EDUCAUSE. (2020) 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition. [Online] Available at: https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2020/3/2020_horizon_r... (Accessed 13th February 2024)

Kara, N., and Sevim, N. (2013). Adaptive learning systems: Beyond teaching machines. Contemporary Educational Technology, 4(2), pp. 108-120.

Lesser, M. (2016). Why we badge: The potential for digital credentials. Education Digest, 81(5), pp. 43–48. O’Dea, X. C., and Stern, J. (2021) Virtually the Same?: Online higher education in the post Covid-19 era. British Journal of Educational Technology, 53(3), pp. 437-442.

Profiles: Matthew Hindmarsh and Clay Gransden

Categories: ALT, Events

ELESIG - Getting into Action: Building Skills for Action Research

ALT Events - 13/02/24

Join Becky Quew-Jones, Principal Lecturer and Learning and Teaching Coordinator, as she leads an interactive workshop on building skills for action research. Becky will share experience using action learning and action research to enhance degree apprenticeship programs and promote academic integrity initiatives. In this session, you will have a hands on session in an attempt to resolve our own workbased wicked problems. This will be through small group activities, you will formulate research questions and develop action plans. Whether you are new to action learning or want to sharpen your skills, this workshop provides a thorough yet accessible introduction. You will come away with new knowledge and concrete strategies to implement action research projects within your own practice. Join us and start taking your ideas into active solutions today! Useful reference Rebecca Quew-Jones (2022) Enhancing apprenticeships within the Higher Education curriculum – an Action Learning and Action Research study, Action Learning: Research and Practice, 19:2, 146-164, DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2022.2056135 Profile

https://www.port.ac.uk/about-us/structure-and-governance/our-people/our-staff/becky-quew-jones

Categories: ALT, Events

ALT South Group webinar - Using AI to facilitate qualitative research

ALT Events - 12/02/24

Dr Sam Penrice, Associate Professor and Tommaso Bendoni, Analyst, both from BPP’s School of Technology will be joining the ALT South #TechThursday event on Thursday 29 February. They will speak about the Machine Learning discipline Natural Language Processing and its real-world applications in research and identifying language bias. Tommaso will illustrate how he used this new methodology to demonstrate the language differences inherent in tweets to male and female tennis players. The talk is open to everyone. Join us online Thursday 29 February 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Categories: ALT, Events

Weekly News Digest - Issue 736, 12 Feb 2024

ALT Announce - 12/02/24
https://go.alt.ac.uk/445Iq1R

 

View in your browser [1]

[Association for Learning Technology: improving practice, promoting
research and influencing policy.] [2]

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST - ISSUE 736, 12 JANUARY 2024

WELCOME TO YOUR WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FROM THE LEADING PROFESSIONAL BODY FOR
LEARNING TECHNOLOGY IN THE UK. We support a collaborative community for
individuals and organisations from all sectors and provide professional
recognition and development. Each week we will update you on the latest
news and publications, events, jobs, and calls for proposals from across
the learning technology community. [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

Exciting Lineup of CPD Workshops for 2024

ALT News - 12/02/24

Throughout 2024 we plan to hold regular CPD webinars, exclusively available to ALT members and free to attend.

Categories: ALT, News

ALSIG: Creating Momentum Around Transformative Active Learning

#ALTC Blog - 12/02/24

By Theresa Nicholson and Carmen Herrero, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr M. Carmen Herero, Reader (Hispanic Studies), Director of the Film, Languages and Media in Education Group (FLAME), Senior Fellow HEA, University Innovation Scholar, Man Met Uni. Dr D. Theresa Nicholson, Reader (Higher Education and Pedagogy), AdvanceHE National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow HEA, University Innovation scholar, Man Met Uni.

Welcome to our contribution for the Active Learning SIG Blog in which we share our aspirations and strategy for developing an institution-wide Active Learning Community of Practice (ALCoP). A key aim is to foster engagement with active learning, and in this post we will explain the context for our activity and steps we have begun to put into place. Hopefully, this will spark your interest sufficiently to take part in a webinar we will be running in May, when we will report on tangible progress towards realising our ALCoP aspirations and discuss some of the challenges and opportunities along the way.

Introduction

Manchester Met’s new Education Strategy commits to a future-focused and co-created approach to learning, with transformative active learning at its heart (Figure 1). Research shows that active learning is effective, but multiple surveys have also shown that active learning is what students want. It also engenders the range of future-thinking competencies and skills that employers seek. 

Figure 1: Transformational active learning community at the heart of our Education Strategy

The Challenge: Creating Momentum

Our institutional commitment to delivering education with transformational active learning at its heart is a laudable aspiration. We acknowledge, however, that many individuals and teaching teams are already achieving this at a local level. A significant challenge is in capturing the wide and varied innovative practice that already exists, and using this to help galvanise, drive and guide momentum for much wider engagement and implementation.

In a large and complex institution such as ours, success requires commitment at all levels; top-down, bottom-up, and middle-out. We believe that building an institution-wide, strategic Active Learning Community of Practice (ALCoP) is one of the keys to achieving this. We now outline three mechanisms we are using to help realise our ambitious aspirations; (1) establishing leadership, (2) seeking out the innovators, and (3) building our active learning community. 

Mechanism #1: Establishing Leadership

Under the leadership of Professor Mark Peace, a team of Education Innovation Scholars have been appointed in cross-institutional roles to empower innovation and to drive forward the implementation our university’s thematic priorities (Table 1). We, Theresa and Carmen, lead the Active Learning strand, but of course we recognise the inevitable intersections between themes and work closely with the other theme leads. 

Table 1: Institutional thematic priorities with aligned Innovation Scholars and CoPs

Thematic PriorityLinked CoPsActive, experiential and skills-based learningActive Learning (ALCoP)Authentic and flexible assessmentAuthentic assessmentEnterprise and entrepreneurshipSIG linked to ALCoPDigital fluencies (staff-focused)SIG ‘Digital Me’Belonging and matteringBelonging and Mattering CoPClosing experience and outcomes gaps‘The Collective’

In this short video, you can see our Innovation Scholars outlining key aspirations for the delivery of these aspects of the Education Strategy.

Mechanism #2: Seeking Out the Innovators

With thematic leadership in place, our first task was to unearth and connect those individuals and partnerships who are passionate about active learning and already doing great innovation. To this end we brainstormed multiple sources, building up a database of individuals including those connected with institutional innovation and leadership schemes, as well as contributors to our last learning and teaching conference. To these, many were added from anecdotal sources. Conversations with some 70 or more individuals and small teams thus far has captured some amazing exemplars of transformative active learning and enabled us to begin identifying some of the key themes (Figure 2) that may ultimately form part of our institutional signature pedagogy.

Figure 2: Key themes derived from conversations with innovators

Mechanism #3: Building Our Active Learning Community

We have been buoyed by the modesty of some of our ‘finds’ and through witnessing their delight at our ‘discovery’ of their work. This affords new opportunities for raising their profile and the visibility of their practice. We are finding that the mere fact of opening up a dialogue about active learning is beginning to create some momentum. To help capture this, we have established a MS Teams space to keep the conversation going, and this will provide a valuable mechanism for communication as the Active Learning Community of Practice (ALCoP) begins to grow. 

Intentions for ALCoP…..

So what exactly is a community of practice (CoP)? Well, Wenger-Trayner et al. (2023, p. 11) say:

“Communities of practice are group(s) of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” 

Wenger-Trayner, E., Wenger-Trayner, B., Reid, P. and Bruderlein, B. (2023). Communities of Practice Within and Across organisations: A Guidebook. Social Learning Lab: Portugal. Online at: https://www.wenger-trayner.com/cop-guidebook/ 

And how do we envisage ALCoP developing? Experience shows that CoPs work best when they develop organically and are resistant to hierarchies and formal regulation. That said, some formality is necessary for resourcing, and for promoting engagement. CoPs can be described in terms of their domain, community, and practice and we use these to explain our intentions and aspirations for ALCoP:

Domain (what is it about?)

ALCoP will bring together those passionate about innovative, active, experiential and skills-based learning. Two Special Interest groups (SIGs) have already been identified; (1) Enterprise, and (2) Education for Sustainable Development, but the others may emerge organically. The exact focus will be determined by members, but ALCoP will be well-placed to explore the potential for institution-wide practices, such as: 

  • Adoption of active learning models such as SCALE-UP, TREC, or Enquiry-Based Learning. 
  • Strengthened integration of our co-curricular RISE programme. 
  • A digital portfolio for supporting and showcasing students’ professional development.

Community (who will be involved?)

ALCoP will be a self-organising, staff-led, democratic, and distributive venture. We envisage that members come from all spheres of university life, including academics, professional services colleagues (e.g. technical services, student support roles), and students. 

Practice (what will we do?)

ALCoP will serve several crucial goals. For example, it will:

  • Catalyse broad institutional dialogue around active learning
  • Drive forward momentum and influence university policy and practice
  • Collaborate, curate and connect around good practice in active learning
  • Be an enabler for good ideas, providing a network of peer support
  • Support professional development of staff and students 

Practically, ALCoP will have regular meetings, host activities and events, create and share good practice resources, oversee pilot studies, and evaluate and disseminate outcomes.

What Next?

In the near future, the university is hosting two internal ‘soap box’ events around active learning and authentic assessment to begin to scope a signature pedagogy. These conversations will continue afterwards in our ALCoP, supported by the MS Teams space and regular meetings, and early outcomes will be presenting for discussion at our summer learning and teaching conference.

Maintaining momentum and continuity over time presents challenges for any community of practice. However, we have learned that one of the reasons for the great success of our longstanding EdTech CoP is the flat hierarchy of its distributed leadership model. Here, the formal CoP leadership is strongly scaffolded by a tight-knit team of highly committed, passionate expert actors who contribute significantly to agenda-setting and decision-making. Given in time, we aspire to steer the development of ALCoP along comparable lines.

Our Aspirations and Success Measures

Given our over-arching purpose to implement aspects of our education strategy, success will be measured from a growing institutional reputation for producing confident, highly skilled graduates, equipped as global citizens who will make a valued and lasting contribution to society. We have some specific aspirations; to curate and create enabling resources (e.g. a multimedia active learning resource, an open education collection of active learning practices at Manchester Met), and to embed Education for Sustainable Development, incorporating transformational active learning, in every programme.

Finally, An Invitation…..

We will be hosting a follow-up ALT-C Active Learning SIG webinar in May where we will update you on progress and share and discuss some of our experiences thus far. We can also look at opening some of our soapbox events to external participation and you are warmly invited to join in the discussion around this. Meanwhile, if you’d like to ask questions or have any comments please get in touch with Theresa at d.nicholson@mmu.ac.uk or Carmen at c.herrero@mmu.ac.uk.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Our work as Education Innovation Scholars is part of a wider university initiative overseen by Professor Mark Peace (Director of Education Innovation and Initiatives, Centre for Learning Enhancement and Educational Development), and facilitated by his team, and to them all we offer our grateful thanks.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Meet our OER24 Keynote speakers

ALT News - 07/02/24

OER24 will bring together the strong Irish Open Education movement and international participants to leverage our shared expertise for change in policy and practice.

Categories: ALT, News

Call to get involved: Join ALT’s CMALT Committee

ALT News - 07/02/24

In response to the growing number of Certified Members and CMALT Assessors, ALT plans to launch a CMALT Committee in 2024.

The committee will contribute to the improvement of the CMALT accreditation scheme and assessment process, and we are currently looking for Members to form this committee.

Categories: ALT, News

Weekly News Digest - Issue 735, 05 Feb 2024

ALT Announce - 05/02/24
https://go.alt.ac.uk/445Iq1R

 

View in your browser [1]

[Association for Learning Technology: improving practice, promoting
research and influencing policy.] [2]

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST - ISSUE 735, 05 JANUARY 2024

WELCOME TO YOUR WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FROM THE LEADING PROFESSIONAL BODY FOR
LEARNING TECHNOLOGY IN THE UK. We support a collaborative community for
individuals and organisations from all sectors and provide professional
recognition and development. Each week we will update you on the latest
news and publications, events, jobs, and calls for proposals from across
the learning technology community. [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

ALT CoOL SIG Committee Elections: open call

#ALTC Blog - 05/02/24

We are looking for nominations for officer roles for the ‘CoOLest’ of all the ALT special interest groups

The ALT Copyright and Online Learning (CoOL) Special Interest Group was established in December 2020 as a response to the growing need to understand copyright issues with the shift to online learning. The SIG focuses on copyright issues associated with online learning, digital education, and learning technology. It also considers broader copyright issues associated with access to information, ensuring that copyright is not a barrier to the use of educational technologies.

Remit

  • The group operates as a community of practice and helps to support local communities of practice in the field of copyright, online learning and learning technology.
  • It looks to develop and recognise copyright expertise within the educational community
  • It advocates for copyright literacy within the community and more broadly.

In common with ALT Members Groups and SIGs this group will also:

  • Support activities in line with ALT’s strategic aims
  • Share ALT’s values of being participative, open, collaborative, innovative, inclusive and transparent

Our current priorities and ideas for 2024 include continuing with our popular Copyright and Online Learning webinar series, share regular updates via our newsletter and social media and publishing timely blog posts on copyright issues. All our webinars are recorded and made available via the ALT YouTube channel. The new Officers can help us shape ALT CoOL activities going forward but we are currently discussing issues related to copyright and accessibility, copyright and AI and copyright education initiatives. Further information about the work of the SIG in 2023 is available in our 2023 Annual Report.


Nominations for Officer roles

Nominations are invited for the following Officers of the Organising Committee:

Chair / Co-Chair;

Vice chair;

Secretary;

Officer/s (Other)

We encourage representation from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

As per its Constitution, Committee Officers of ALT CoOL are unpaid posts and will be appointed for 3 years.

Individuals may nominate for more than one role and should submit separate nominations for each. Committee Officers need to hold a membership within ALT (either individual or work at an organisation with an institutional ALT membership). These roles provide great opportunity for developing and evidencing leadership for Advance HE Fellowships and other CPD avenues. More information on the work of the committee can be found on the ALT CoOL website.

Expressions of interest

Expressions of interest should include:

  • A statement of interest, experience and envisaged contribution in relation to the Role of the Organising Committee as outlined in the Constitution, and willingness/ability to attend ALT CoOL meetings. Maximum 200 words.
  • Proof of ALT membership (individual or institutional).
  • Submit expressions of interest to the form by 12:00 noon GMT 19 February 2024
Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

CPD Workshop Series 2024: Adoption of Graduate Attributes through the use of Badges

ALT Events - 01/02/24

Presented by Daniel Villalba Algas. Most universities have been working on identifying skills that their graduates will achieve after graduation, regardless of the programme of studies. Some examples of those skills are teamwork, communication, critical thinking, etc. Employers have identified those skills as essential in the current job market.

Those skills are typically called graduate attributes, and in the case of The University of Sheffield, there are 12 graduate attributes and 3 sub-attributes for each, making the total sum of 36 skills.

One of the problems that we have discovered is that because of the number of attributes and how some attributes are described, they are difficult to identify, and students don’t know when they have achieved them. In this practical session, I will demonstrate how self-made badges have been used to make students and staff aware of those graduate attributes and identify what activities are working towards achieving them.

This session is aimed at Learning technologists, Course Designers and Employability Managers who seek ways to promote those graduate attributes among their students through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This project is an example of the use of internal badges and how those can evolve so they become a tool that can help students outside the university environment; it is also a case study where the VLE has been used to increase student engagement and add extra functionality.

After this session, you will be able to start using badges to identify soft skills and possibly apply the same or similar approach to your institution.

Categories: ALT, Events

What does social media mean to me

#ALTC Blog - 31/01/24

by Dr Teeroumanee Nadan, PhD, SFHEA, Antiracism & Learning Tech SIG Chair

This blog was previously posted on Reshaping HE – International, Inclusive & Digital Ed.

I pen this blog in response to a request from the Association of Learning Technology on this topic to invite contributions and reflections on how the community is using social media following the changes that 2023 has witnessed in the use of social media.

What social media platform(s) I am still using?
  • Professionally, I use LinkedInYouTube, and X, and I am going to throw in Discord into this list, which is also massively used for ALTc and OER conference committees and the learning technologist community.
  • For community interests, I mostly use X.
  • For family, close friends, and a few students and ex-students thrown in, it is WhatsApp – somehow I am also part of a few professional groups and projects.
  • For friends and close friends, it is Facebook.

And no, I am not on Mastadon and joined BlueSky a few days back which I am probably never going to use again. And no, I am not on TikTok nor Instagram! I have not felt the need to be on any of those platforms.

What drew me to them, or what has put me off?

LinkedIn has been my go-to platform for professional connections for many years, at some point I have even been a premium user for over 3 years. But I do not find the cost-benefit worth it anymore. With LinkedIn having more edutainment and entertainment videos nowadays, I have significantly reduced my activity on that platform as well.

What puts me off LinkedIn? When people use LinkedIn in the same way that they use TikTok and Instagram. Recently, there has been a surge in people who are playing the expert role while using the listening-to-respond technique. They watch a video somewhere and then share a video of their own review on LinkedIn. It is either “Me too I love it” with no further valuable contribution or publicly bashing the original content creator (1) without contributing to any change and impact on that person and (2) purely for their own content creation, likes, and reposts – sadly not very valuable to me!

X is a bit of a different story altogether because it is more of a tool that is misused nowadays. Trump supporters and Brexit put me off Twitter for quite some time – I figured out it was better to reduce my use of the platform than having to click on “block” many times. There was also a situation where some ex-colleagues were witch-hunting since I had raised a formal complaint of fraud, nepotism, and extreme bullying of students and staff in an ex-department where I was working.

Since I joined the LTHEchat organising committee Jan-Apr 2023 (read my reflections), and then in Sep-Dec 2023, I became active again on X. Somehow it is different using X – with access to its API being suspended, there is no way to use platforms like Wakelet to curate the tweets, which was something really useful for the guests to have all the participants’s responses in one place to reflect on.

What puts me off X? It just sounds so bad for my mental health, checking my EX – could not Elon Musk and his team find a better name? And it just sounds worse for the society, with controversial accounts being re-instated.

WhatsApp is the cheapest way, and at the moment only way I communicate with my family and close friends – it is the only platform they all use at the moment.

It is said that is harder to maintain relationships than it is to create them! So, once every 2 months, I do a full round of connecting with my close friends.

I am also part of a few professional and social groups on WhatsApp, and recently used it for a project. It is also how exchange students to reach me for emergencies.

What puts me off X? The new feature for channels to stay updated is something I wish I could disable. But for the time being, WhatsApp remains a platform that I MUST use.

Facebook is valuable to me at a personal level. I joined Facebook only 4 years after it was created, and then at some time in 2009, started to reduce my activity on it, I even deactivated my account twice. Somehow during the pandemic, I used it to locate my primary school friends – found some of them and also found out one of them died and one is homeless. Then, about 7 months ago, I started to be active on Facebook again mostly to follow motivational speakers and consume their videos.

The reason Facebook is valuable to me, it connects me with my friends, I am not a believer that colleagues are friends, so have separated the two as far as possible – there are the odd 2 or 3 colleagues-friends who made it to my Facebook, but that it is. Most of my Facebook connections are to a deeper level and I feel they are more genuine.

What puts me off Facebook? Far too many changes to its terms and conditions and privacy settings.

Discord in my opinion is overrated and yet at the same time underused. I am part of 7 communities, where people hardly check messages or rarely interact. So, I ask myself, what’s the use? It is just another platform that people like to jump onto – like a 2-year-old who already has 20 toys in front of them and still wants the other kid’s toy?

What puts me off social media in general?

  • Advert – I propose a solution that has been working for me below.
  • Fake news definitely – however, from a psychological and coaching perspective, it is an interesting observation of how many other people can be easily manipulated and cannot think for themselves.
  • Asking users to pay for what they already had free access to – instead of creating added value and offering these as premium services, some platforms have removed free existing features which were moved into the premium packages – this is one of the worst business models for social media, as their success is proportionally driven by the number of basic users.
What have I found easy or difficult?

In the past, finding balance was hard to achieve – I had easily got distracted on Facebook and X. I now use a feed eradicator, the best thing I have incorporated as a tool on my devices for this year.

I use Social Media as an enabler of what I want to achieve, fortunately, I can now easily pick up whenever it hinders me from achieving my goals.

What has changed about the way I network, socialise or work?

I tend to focus on maintaining valuable connections, not much has changed in that sense. What has changed is that – the misuse of the freedom of speech – has given me more opportunities to observe patterns and distance myself from those who say one thing in one space and another thing completely different in another space. It has definitely been beneficial for my self-care regime to avoid toxic people in my professional life.

Would I recommend a platform to others?

None actually, I prefer to use what works best for me and with my pace of life, so it is reasonable for others to choose what suits them best, especially with their pace of life.

Irrespective of the platform I use, it is the content that matters most, along with the authenticity of the content and the reliability of the source of the information.

Any tips, resources or advice for new explorers?

Get a feed eradicator on all your devices!

As educators, we often think that all platforms will be useful to students, but we forget that information overload is of no use to students. As a researcher-consultant-mentor-coach in education in Africa and Asia, my experience has taught me that it is not the digital tool that matters the most, but the content and the way it is delivered by the person (not by the platform). KISS is the formula – Keep It Simple & Straightforward!

The digital world is the digital world, we have only one life; it might be better worth spending time with real people than on social media – Let’s be rational!

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Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Announcing the ALT Awards judging panel for 2024

ALT News - 31/01/24

We are thrilled to announce the final judging panel for the ALT Awards 2024! The ALT Awards have recognized and celebrated excellent research and practice and outstanding achievement in Learning Technology since its introduction in 2007. Setting a benchmark for exceptional achievements in Learning Technology on a national level, the awards attract competitive entries from both the UK and internationally. 

Categories: ALT, News

Weekly News Digest - Issue 734, 29 Jan 2024

ALT Announce - 29/01/24
https://go.alt.ac.uk/445Iq1R

 

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[Association for Learning Technology: improving practice, promoting
research and influencing policy.] [2]

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST - ISSUE 734, 29 JANUARY 2024

WELCOME TO YOUR WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FROM THE LEADING PROFESSIONAL BODY FOR
LEARNING TECHNOLOGY IN THE UK. We support a collaborative community for
individuals and organisations from all sectors and provide professional
recognition and development. Each week we will update you on the latest
news and publications, events, jobs, and calls for proposals from across
the learning technology community. [...]
Categories: ALT, Announcement

The mediating role of technostress in the relationship between social outcome expectations and teacher satisfaction: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic in music education

RLT Journal - 29/01/24

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant changes in education, including a widespread transition from traditional, in-person instruction to online learning, which has also affected music conservatories. This study investigates the relationship between social outcome expectations and teacher satisfaction with remote education (SRE) among conservatory music professors during the pandemic. Rooted in the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), the study examines whether technostress mediates this relationship and whether the intention to use information and communication technology (ICT) moderates it. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 108 Italian conservatory teachers through an online self-report questionnaire. The results indicate a negative indirect effect of social outcome expectations on teacher satisfaction through technostress. However, surprisingly, the direct effect was positive and stronger. The study suggests that social expectations lead to technostress. Still, they also present an opportunity for music educators to embrace the challenge of remote education and increase their satisfaction with it.

Categories: ALT, Publication

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