ALT

2020 Honorary Life Membership Call for Nominations

ALT News - 28/04/20
Subheading: 

We award Honorary Life Membership to individuals whom we believe have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the advancement of ALT's aims for the development of Learning Technology in a regional, national or international context through research, practice, policy-development, leadership, or a combination of these.

Categories: ALT, News

Extraordinary Stories of Open and Online in the COVID-19 Era

ALT News - 28/04/20
Worldwide we have all been more than busy adjusting to changes in how we live and work all brought by the COVID-19 crisis.  For educators, "pivoting" sounds a bit quaint for the mammoth efforts done in altering course delivery, adjusting schedules, adapting to working and learning away from our usual locales, and most importantly. addressing student needs.  
Categories: ALT, News

Extraordinary Stories of Open and Online in the COVID-19 Era

#OER20 - 28/04/20

Worldwide we have all been more than busy adjusting to changes in how we live and work all brought by the COVID-19 crisis.  For educators, “pivoting” sounds a bit quaint for the mammoth efforts done in altering course delivery, adjusting schedules, adapting to working and learning away from our usual locales, and most importantly. addressing student needs.

It’s been as often said, an unprecedented time. In the rush of these longer days of work and worry, leaving a wake of remote meeting fatigue, there are extraordinary efforts by educators worth openly sharing widely, as both a source of inspiration and also for ideas worth exploring.

I’ve put to use a SPLOT to collect such stories at https://splot.ca/extraordinary/

While the adjective “extraordinary” might suggest superhuman feats, the site is actually aimed at the smaller scale stories of individual efforts. No story of this time period is too small to be worth sharing.

I hope a world wide collection of these can help being a sense of connection beyond the virus and the worries. There is room for your story here. Please share one and pass the link on https://splot.ca/extraordinary/collect

Categories: ALT, OER - Conference News

Crisis support from ALT for Members

ALT News - 27/04/20

ALT has been working hard to support all of our Members during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. Over the past month, we have set up a number of additional support features for our Members.

 

Here is an easy guide for Members:

Categories: ALT, News

Annual Conference 2020 Call for Proposals closing soon

ALT News - 23/04/20
Subheading: 

The call for proposals for the Annual Conference 2020 is still open. 

We are continuing to plan for the conference both in person and online. We are reviewing the situation weekly and we expect to continue this approach until May at which time we will review further. 

The deadline for the Call for Proposals for ALT’s Annual Conference 2020 is Monday 30 April 2020.

Categories: ALT, News

Guest post: A meta-conversation of our collective experience of OER20 as a hybrid space…by Gill Ryan and Gabi Witthaus

#OER20 - 21/04/20

Last summer, when Gabi and I started collaborating on a book chapter exploring ‘third spaces’ and hybridity in refugee education, little did we know that all our working, teaching and learning would be taking place in hybrid spaces by the time OER20 rolled round. Initially, we had planned an open session to explore what makes for ‘good hybridity’ (Gabi explains more in her pre-conference blog). Inspired by the FemEdTech quilt, we had incorporated craft into the session with templates for flipbooks that participants could use to illustrate third spaces in their open educational practice. As events overtook us and the conference moved online, the session morphed into a Twitter chat about the hybrid space in which OER20 was taking place.

Gabi and I were up alongside some amazing sessions – both live and pre-recorded – and wondered who would venture into our wee chat with so much competing for their attention. But I think we tapped into something that people needed to talk about. While the hashtag (#HybridSpace) hadn’t been used by other contributors, many of them touched on the concepts we were exploring. Alan Levine asked “Do we have to be there to care?” and highlighted the traditional conference gap of the “there and there-nots”, those with conference and travel budgets versus the many who cannot access those privileged spaces. Maha Bali and Autumm Caines explored the idea of hospitality in virtual conferencing, ensuring that those who participate remotely feel welcome. Sava Singeli Singh began her session by expressing her sadness at not being able to meet some of us in person, but her joy at being able to meet so many more of us online. She noted that OER20 had moved from closed to open and that this may be our opportunity to move to a Star Trek future!

One of the abiding realisations of the past couple of months has been that accommodations requested by disabled people, carers and others who could benefit from remote working, learning and conferencing are now suddenly not just possible but essential. ‘Good hybridity’, according to Bauhn and Fulya Tepe (2016), is determined by how much it enhances a person’s agency. Obviously moving the conference online increased accessibility, enabling people to attend who otherwise would not have been able to. But some of the themes arising in our chat suggested that online access does not advantage everyone, or may advantage or disadvantage the same people in different ways. Some presenters had to rise in the middle of night (or stay up very late) to deliver their sessions. An anglo-centric online conference advantages those in and around the GMT time zone but may be less accessible to people who would otherwise have travelled there. Looking ahead to OER21, we discussed the idea of a Follow-the-sun type conference, which offered round-the-clock hosting distributed between universities on three continents. The number of pre-recorded sessions and the recording of the live sessions enabled people to ‘attend’ more sessions that they could usually, and this asynchronous activity was seen as a positive, as was the communality, communication through various channels and ability to engage with presenters. One of the contributors admitted approaching technology burnout as she spends so much of her time in front of screens these days, feeling like a ‘cyborg’ but still enjoying dancing virtually with other conference participants.

As well as sharing their thoughts, we asked people to share visuals of their #HybridSpace. We also moved our idea of flipbooks online and invited participants to make their own using Visual Thinkery’s Remixer (based on an idea by Maren Deepwell), though not many took us up on it. One of OER20’s social activities was to encourage people to share #ThisIsMe photos, many of them revealing the hybrid spaces in which participants were engaging with the conference. Slippers, cats and sleeping babies filled our twitter feeds. We included some of these images in our curation of tweets, links and images from our #HybridSpace session in a Wakelet, intended as an artefact of OER20.

It’s a tribute to the ALT team who worked so hard to make it happen that OER20 featured so many interactive conversations, with no less sense of community, ideas and fun than previous years. The KaraOERke session on Wednesday evening featured children and doggos who usually wouldn’t get to participate. By necessity, the boundaries between our professional and personal worlds are blurring, allowing us to share our humanity in a way we are not usually given permission to do. Presenters can deliver sessions with their kids doing exercise sessions in the next room, scary dinosaurs can wander in behind their parents’ zoom camera, we can admit, as Frances Bell did in the FemEdTech quilt session, that what used to take us an hour now takes four, and dozens of people from around the world can cry together online. Humanity and care were very much in evidence at our hybrid OER20.

Gill Ryan (@gill_ie) and Gabi Witthaus (@twitthaus)

OER20 #HybridSpace Wakelet: https://wke.lt/w/s/5YE7UO

OER20 blog: ‘Capturing our lived experiences of #OER20 in the online #HybridSpace’

Refugee Learning Stories (splot): http://refugeelearningstories.org/

References:

Bauhn, P. & Fulya Tepe, F. (2016). Hybridity and agency: Some theoretical and empirical observations. Migration Letters 3 (13), 350-358.

Witthaus, G. & Ryan, G. (In press). ‘Supported mobile learning in the “Third Spaces” between formal and non-formal education for displaced people’, in Traxler, J. & Crompton, H. (eds). Critical Mobile Pedagogy: Cases of Inclusion, Development, and Empowerment. New York: Routledge.

Categories: ALT, OER - Conference News

Crisis support: Weekly Drop-in - everyone welcome

ALT Events - 20/04/20

We will be holding weekly online Members' Assembly Drop-In’s to help members share expertise, ask questions and come together to support each other. These Drop In’s will take place in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and are open to all. To join these no registration is needed. To join follow the weekly drop-in link . 

 

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources. Find out more.  

Categories: ALT, Events

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis

ALT Events - 17/04/20

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 event which will be hosted in Blackboard Ultra. Follow this link to join the session at the appropriate time. A recording to this session will be posted on this page.

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

How we run an online conference: ALT shares expertise

ALT News - 15/04/20

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources.

Categories: ALT, News

Leading teams in learning and teaching: how to manage conflict

#ALTC Blog - 14/04/20

Article author: Mari Cruz García, an international education consultant whose expertise is the development of international programmes (online and blended learning).

In this blogpost, Mari Cruz García explores how to transform conflict, when it arises in learning and teaching teams, into opportunities to verbalize needs and find common ground.

My colleague Dave Baskill and I had the pleasure to deliver a webinar for ALT on ‘Leading Teams on Teaching and Learning’ and whose recording you can find here. In the webinar, we reflected on what constitutes a ‘good manager’ and how to use different leadership styles to support different team members.

But leading teams also involves managing conflict within the team. From the different techniques and approaches used to handle conflict, I use the approach of considering management as coaching. Following this approach, we need to understand first what conflict means.

Conflict is, above all, a perception in peoples’ minds. As defined by great change facilitator and motivational speaker Sherry Campbell, “conflict is a friction or opposition resulting from actual or perceived differences or incompatibilities”. If someone’s perception of a situation or person is negative, their outlook will be negative and their ability to find a solution together will be negative too. Luckily, perceptions can be changed.

From my experience leading teams in learning and teaching, the majority of conflicts are caused due to the lack of trust or personality clashes. One conflict has the potential to introduce others. That is why it is important to address conflict when the first signs of friction are visible, rather than avoiding it. Introverted managers may find this difficult but, from a coaching perspective, conflict is not always negative.

Conflict can also be an opportunity to review if the existing structures or agreements are still working or if something new needs to be introduced. Conflict teaches us to listen and to identify patterns of behaviour and what is behind those patterns. On the bright side, conflict can help managers to become better managers.

Think of a possible situation of conflict at work (or somewhere else) that you want to overcome. The first step will be to explore the so-called ‘Iceberg of Conflict’ – the visible part of the iceberg of conflict are behaviours and attitudes, but they are only the symptoms, not the causes. When a team member is showing signs of a conflictive behaviour or attitude, you need to dig into the hidden parts of the iceberg: the assumptions and the hierarchy of beliefs and values that shape that team member’s perception of reality, as shown below:

The Conflict Iceberg model

The first step is, therefore, exploring the whole conflict iceberg with the individual in a mindful conversation in which you can use the following tips:

  • Use open questions and give any space to explore assumption and beliefs.
  • Do not challenge assumptions or beliefs (not at this stage), focus on empirical evidence and facts: for example, if your team member feels that he/she has is being discriminated because of he/she is XX , ask him/her to give you examples of when this happened.
  • Set clear boundaries about the tone and style in which both of you are going to explore the conflict, in particular, if this involves a third person who is not in the room.
  • Ask for possible outcomes of the conversation: what does the person want from you?

You will see that, often, people who are upset about a situation or a work colleague do not know what outcome or solution they would want. They just need to verbalise their anger and we need to transform that verbalisation into possible outcomes or acceptable solutions. And that brings us to the next step: finding common ground, for which I will introduce the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Management Model. This model is also known as the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®). It comprises five conflict resolution models placing them on two dimensions as the graphic shows:

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Management Model
  • Assertiveness is the degree to which a person tries to satisfy their personal goals and objectives. There is nothing wrong in being assertive and it should not be mistaken with being aggressive. Being assertive is the ability to the community in a confident manner what is important to you. How you exercise your assertiveness involves cultural elements, gender elements and, for some authors, social class and ethnicity, but this would be a topic for another post.
  • The other dimension, Cooperativeness, is the degree to which a person tries to satisfy other people’s goals.

In a situation of conflict at work, in our role of managers as coaches, we need to bring the conflict to resolution modes that involve both dimensions: assertiveness and cooperativeness; The agreement or common ground should allow the team member to ‘harmonize’ or align their own personal goals with the team goals. Ideally, agreeing with a collaborating resolution would be the best outcome but, let’s face it: we are living in changing world where nothing is perfect, so finding solutions in the compromising area of the model is perfectly valid. In my experience, the real danger is trying to keep the conflict resolution on the lower areas: either sidestepping the conflict or trying to satisfy other people’s goals at the expense of your own’s.

Although the TKI is a useful tool, managing conflict in teams is never going to be applying a mathematical formula. Although there will not always be a win-win outcome we aim to achieve an agreement in which people feel that, what it is most important to them (usually their personal values) is being honoured.

Our challenge, as managers and coaches, is to transform friction into differentiation, which in Sherry Campbell’s word is “our capacity to tell our truth and perspective as clearly as we see it, all the while remaining engaged with those who believe differently from us.” We need to nurture a work culture that supports differentiation.

Post by Mari Cruz García, an international education consultant whose expertise is the development of international programmes (online and blended learning) at Heriot-Watt University.

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

Categories: #ALTC Blog, ALT

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis

ALT Events - 09/04/20

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 event which will be hosted in Blackboard Ultra. Follow this link to join the session at the appropriate time. A recording to this session will be posted on this page.

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

How we run an online conference: ALT shares expertise

ALT Events - 09/04/20

ALT has been running fully online and blended events successfully for many years.

Our Online Winter Conference attracts hundreds of participants each year and we are now receiving many requests to share our expertise.

In this webinar ALT senior staff Martin Hawksey and Maren Deepwell will share their expertise on how we run online conferences,

lessons learnt and common considerations if you are about to embark on this yourself.

Openly sharing our approach to leading ALT's staff team is a key part of the work we do, and we publish a regular blog series on this topic, see https://marendeepwell.com/?page_id=2070.

This webinar is now open for registrations. The recording will be shared via the page, once the webinar has taken place.  The slides for the webinar can be viewed here

Categories: ALT, Events

Annual Conference 2020 - Call for proposals extended to 30 April

ALT News - 08/04/20
Subheading: 

We support our community during this crisis and this is why we are extending the deadline for submissions to 30 April. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources.

We are continuing to plan for the conference both in person and online. We are reviewing the situation weekly and we expect to continue this approach until May at which time we will review further. 

Categories: ALT, News

Annual Conference 2020 Call for Proposals extended to 30 April

#altc 2020 - 08/04/20
We support our community during this crisis and this is why we are extending the deadline for submissions to 30 April. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources. We are continuing to plan for the […]

Crisis support: Weekly Drop-in - everyone welcome

ALT Events - 07/04/20

We will be holding weekly online Members' Assembly Drop-In’s to help members share expertise, ask questions and come together to support each other. These Drop In’s will take place in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and are open to all. To join these no registration is needed. To join follow the weekly drop-in link . 

 

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources. Find out more.  

Categories: ALT, Events

Communities of Practice Project

ALT News - 07/04/20

We support our community during this crisis. Our members are under exceptional pressure as institutions plan and implement social distancing measures within learning and teaching. We are regularly updating this page and linked resources to support our community. 

Categories: ALT, News

Copyright, Fair Dealing and Online Teaching at a Time of Crisis

ALT Events - 03/04/20

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 page full of resources and a follow-up blog post. No registration is required to join this event which will be hosted in Blackboard Ultra. Follow this link to join the session at the appropriate time. A recording to this session will be posted on this page.

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

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