Tuesday, 10 July 2018

ALT - an imprinting celebration

Association for Learning Technology (ALT) turns 25 this year!  I've joined the ALT community to celebrate and mark ALT's 25th anniversary.  This short blog post is a summary of how ALT has helped shape and imprint on my professional development as a learning technologist.  Whilst I have not experienced a full 25 years of ALT, I know for sure that it has played a significant role in my career and one that continues to.  I'll celebrate my 10 years in the learning technology specialism in 2020...

Discovering and obtaining CMALT

I started my learning technology career in February 2010 at an FE college as a learning technologist.  I first pursued and signed up for CMALT (Certified Membership of ALT) in 2012 whilst I was working in this role and eventually got my ePortfolio assessed and certified in April 2013.  CMALT was invaluable to me during my first role in learning technology.  I found it an extremely useful and cathartic experience on what I was doing, why I was doing it, what could be improved and where I was heading in this specialism.  In doing this, I was able to contextualise my role and give it more emphasis on focus on specific aspects.  It really did help ground me in my role, I just wish I knew about it earlier and did it within my first year of this role.  I would recommend anyone doing CMALT as it helps reaffirm what you know and can do, identify gaps and opportunities to recall evidence of your current and previous practices.  It's a widely known and welcomed accreditation too that makes you stand out.  I have talked about CMALT and ALT which appears in many of my blog posts, some of which are:

Sometime in the future I will scrutinise my CMALT to see what can be teased out and to discover other areas and pathways I can take myself to.  I've talked broadly and positively about CMALT in many places, so I'll take this opportunity to summarise a few of the tangible benefits I have experienced:

  • ALT operates as both a community and platform to give and share knowledge, skills and experience
  • Access to industry experts and leaders
  • Networking opportunities through face-to-face local groups, national and online events
  • Join Specialist Interest Groups (SIGs)
  • CMALT 
    • Through reflection in and on action, demonstrate the impact of learning technology and evidence achievements and skills in your role, team and organisation
    • Identify specialist knowledge and skills pathways
  • Keep up to date in the learning technology field 
    • Weekly news digest containing new articles, events and jobs - - forever a useful source of information.  Recently, it led me to my recent 'dream job'.  I wouldn't have known about it otherwise
    • Read ALT publications
  • Career promotion/progression – discussion point on evidence collected and demonstrated
  • Professional accreditation for applying the use of learning technology, assessed by a peer network
  • Nationally and internationally recognised

Winning Learning Technologist of the Year 2016 and joining the Membership Development Committee

In 2016, I made my efforts visible by putting a submission forward for the annual Learning Technologist of the Year Award, which I went on to winning the individual category (see my badge at the top left hand side?  Very nice!). 😊  Shortly after this I made interest in joining the Membership Development Committee, where I am still an active member.  In this role I have helped shape the new early careers CMALT pathway and wrote a paper of recommendations on how ALT can better engage with their Institutional Representatives.

The ALT community has been highly influential in my career by people answering my queries and allowing me to share my practices.  Here is one of many deliberations I have posed and resulted in further discussions.  I've also used discussions on the mailing list to form my understandings of topics, such as Digital move-meant and The Truth About Learning Technology?

Most notably, ALT has featured in my studies during my Technology Enhanced Learning MScdissertation and my upcoming book.  I've also been able to deliver webinars which have allow me to share my practices and thinking, such as 'The rounded self – exploring how digital technology can be used to help student’s present soft-skills' and 'New course design for reflective learning'.

It's clear to say that ALT is very much visible throughout my career development and is a strong support mechanism to me.  Thank you ALT and the members that bring so much wisdom to help and inspire others.

I challenge you to...

  • Sign up for CMALT
  • Reflect and celebrate your practices with learning technology.  Equally, a good starting point if improving and exploring the intelligent use of learning technology
  • Network and socialise with members of the community to build your connections and inspire your practices

If you feel confident to, I also strongly encourage you to:

  • Submit an entry for the Learning Technologist of the Year award (individual or team).  Celebrate and demonstrate your efforts, practices and impact of learning technology.