Innovative use of learning technology has taken children at Pedmore CofE Primary School on virtual field trips over mountains and into rainforests and encouraged discussion, philosophy blogs, trips and presentations. The highly original approach has also nurtured their appreciation of peer support and team working – winning their teacher Steph Ladbrooke a major national learning technology award.
With a range of initiatives from schemes that encourage young pupils to support each other’s learning, to the use of open educational resources for greater collaboration and exchange among academic, administrative and technical staff in universities, entries to the Learning Technologist of the Year Award 2012 have a common aim of “sharing for mutual benefit”.
The award winners will be announced at the 19th annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), A Confrontation with Reality, which runs from September 6-9 at the University of Manchester.
Maren Deepwell, ALT Chief Executive, said: “As well as celebrating excellent practice and outstanding achievement, the award recognises the hard work and dedication of each team and each individual. The commitment shown by all this year is exceptional. In each instance the desire to improve the learning and teaching experience has overcome serious obstacles and the achievements celebrated here show how much passion and commitment there is in all sectors to work together.
“All the entries were of extremely high quality and I am delighted to see so many different sectors represented amongst the winning and commended entries. The selection process is always difficult because every entry is outstanding in its own way, but the panel was unanimous in its selection of the winners. Last year's award was similarly exciting and it has a real sense of an award that has become well established and sought after.”
Joint winners of the individual award were:
Steph Ladbrooke, Pedmore CofE Primary School.
Steph Ladbrooke’s enthusiastic and imaginative approach to enquiry-led learning with her Year 4 class impressed the judging panel. Steph’s use of technology-powered projects to encourage children to support each other in their learning and to create global learning circles (a network of learners who collaborate virtually on a common project) was seen as a particularly outstanding aspect of her work.
Philip Tubman, Learning Technology Group, Information Systems Services, Lancaster University
Phil Tubman was nominated for his outstanding achievements in implementing a new Virtual Learning Environment across Lancaster University and his contribution to Open Educational Resources. The judges recognised in particular Phil’s ability to effectively facilitate exchange between academic, administrative and technical staff and to translate these diverse perspectives into practice.
Winners of the team award were:
Lambeth City Learning Centre, managed by CfBT Education Trust
The Centre wins the team award in recognition its commitment to developing a new business model independent of government funding and the success it has achieved in doing so. Working with schools and other organisations locally and increasingly further afield, the Centre’s team focuses on their clients’ diverse needs. The judges found that a deep understanding of the requirements of teachers and learners and a vibrant imagination when it comes to use of technology contribute to the team’s success.
Highly Commended Individual Award:
David Renton, Extended Lecturer in Computing at Reid Kerr College, for his development of education games for primary school children.
James Pickering, University of Leeds for his development of a series of technology-based learning resources for Higher Education.
Andy Smith, Blackpool & The Fylde College for his construction of a Virtual Learning Environment for foundation degree students in Project Management.
Runners up team award:
Team SCARLET, University of Manchester
Team SCARLET demonstrated excellent development and implementation of the pioneering SCARLET Augmented Reality (AR) toolkit which the team used, the judges said, to enhance learner engagement with artefacts and bring museum collections to life.
Skills@Library, University of Leeds
Skills@Library demonstrated outstanding development and implementation of internationally recognised open e-learning resources. Supporting both learners and staff across a wide range of disciplines the team showed great commitment to professional and skills development.
The judging panel for 2012, chaired by Gilly Salmon, President of ALT. The panel was:
Eddie Erasmus – representing last year’s team winner (In-Folio Implementation Team based on JISC Techdis, The Rix Centre, The National College for Young People with Epilepsy, Portland College and National Star College, UK.);
John McLaughlin – recently retired from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, where he was responsible for policy on Learning Technologies and other uses of ICT in further and higher education;
Oliver Quinlan – one of last year’s individual winners (from Robin Hood Primary School, South Birmingham, UK, but now Lecturer in Education at Plymouth University.);
Clive Shepherd – since 1997 he has operated as an independent consultant for UK and international public, private and third sector organisations. He was recognised for his Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry at the World of Learning Conference in 2004 and for four years was Chairman of the eLearning Network.
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Notes to Editors
1) ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) is a professional and scholarly association which brings together those with an interest in the use of learning technology. As the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field, we work to improve practice, promote research, and influence policy.
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