It's been another busy year, but they get busier each year for me, which is great! It keeps me busy! My work is my interest too, so it doesn't feel like work sometimes. More like a big personal project.
I find that I grow in person every year too, which is what this career emphasises. I seem to grow in confidence, skill and knowledge and my spiritual being as a whole.
Looking back from September 2012 to now, I've summarised the key things I have done that have had an impact on myself and my work:
I started doing DTLLS in October 2012. This has been a really good experience and given me more teaching theory to put into practice. I'm just finishing off the units, then it's just my teaching hours, reflective logs and sorting out my portfolio. I talk a bit more about it here.
In October, I attended a training event in Liverpool on how technology can support individuals with severe and complex needs by Inclusive Technology. It was my first visit to Liverpool and I found it a really nice place. At the event, I learned so much but not just the abundance of technology for different needs, but the understanding of some of the conditions that indivduals have and experience. The main thing I took away with me was the term cause and effect, specialist technologies for severe and complex needs and new thinking of how I could adapt resources.
At the beginning of the year I started to make short inspirational videos on how technology plays a part in learning and teaching. I recorded them using our Lecture Capture System. I kept them short and straight to the point, like all of my presentations. I don't like to stand and give draining lectures that nobody really wants. As I say; it is what it is and this is how it can be. I and my audiences prefer to get into it, the hands-on approach! This is how I introduce new technologies and innovations. I have done many videos, but the ones that have real depth are:
- The Flipped Classroom
- eLearning Today
- Technology Enhanced Feedback and Assessment (eAssessment)
In July 2013 at the Barnsley College Teachers' Fair, on day 4 of it I did 4 back to back sessions on proactively using ActivInspire, a selection of online learning tools and showcasing some other available equipment we have in the department.
This was a really good session that I am proud of. I will post about this session soon.
Lambeth College visit
Staff from Lambeth College came to visit Barnsley College to informally see what and how we do things as an outstanding College. Lambeth College returned the favour and invited a number of our staff down to their College to further extend our support. I was asked if I would like to go down, and so I did!
It was a great experience! Not only visiting another College, which I love to do. But to support their learning technologies department by sharing my experiences and knowledge and what we do as a department.
I had a good tour around and saw how they operated as College and their learning technologies team. I gave clear advice, support and encouragement on how they could better their services. On the day I even randomly got asked to do a impromptu short presentation of our VLE and various other bits and pieces I and our department do. Brilliant day and left feeling high.
I first started my Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) back in August 2012. I first submitted my ePortfolio in December 2012. Then resubmitted it after Christmas. Then I achieved it in April 2013. Doing this allows me to deeply reflect on my learning technology use and highlight any areas for further improvement and development.
Taught and lead a full qualification
I designed, planned, delivered, assessed and managed a level 4 qualification on enhancing the learning and teaching process with technology. This was a life defining period for me. I never thought I would be doing this. Everything I have learned in my full-time learning technologist role I was giving back to our own teachers through a respectable qualification. It was a pilot doing this qualification with Barnsley College staff. I have plans to extend this initiative further. However, while it was a wonderful experience, as teachers will know, it brought me a lot of reflection! All good material, but challenging. Bring it!
I will become a full-time teacher, but just not sure when. I'm not done in my learning technologist role yet.
Jisc Summer Conference 2013
Since being a learning technologist from 2010, I have attended these Summer Jisc events. Each year I have done something different and challenged myself. This year I did a discussion session on Colour Outside The Lines (A Bigger Picture). It was simply about being creative in using technology and not sticking to the typical given black and white delivery. It went really well and the delegates enjoyed it.
I first started going to LearnPod when it first started in 2010. But I couldn't make the 2012 one. LearnPod is an unconference style event. This was the first time I presented at LearnPod. I decided to facilitate a discussion on what other's are proactively doing with social media. Some great ides and discussion came out of this. Everyone who participated enjoyed it.
In the afternoon, I dropped into a discussion about VLE's (Virtual Learning Environment). I contributed deeply to this. I talked about things that I didn't think I really knew, so this was interesting for me!
I have done so many other things, but these have to be the most memorable of this year.
I wonder what experiences next year will bring!