The most common questions Learning Technologists are asked are around where to start with joining the conversation. How can I know what’s out there? How do I find out what others are doing? How can I talk to others who have similar ideas?
As I mentioned in my blog post about Cardiff University ALT membership (please read if you want to know what ALT membership means for you), David Walker wrote a very useful post on “Learning about Learning Technology” on the Sussex TEL blog, about plugging yourself into the conversation.
Membership to ALT is just one of the many ways that we are trying to help staff be aware of the conversation around the use of technology within learning and teaching. Our goal is to make staff aware of the channels available to them in order to join in the conversation, both within the University, and within HE generally.
And that’s where David’s post comes in. If what we are discussing here is new to you, or if you are a new member of staff within Cardiff, we urge you to get involved in with the many channels open to you, and take part in the conversation.
The following are ways you can get involved (adapted from David Walker’s post):
- Attend local meetings and workshops – the University holds Learning Technology Community of Practice meetings, and there are also college specific learning technology related events happening periodically. Keep an eye for events on social media, such as Yammer groups (CEI, Learn_Teach), and the calendar within the staff intranet.
- Join ALT – read our post about ALT (Association for Learning Technology) and join for free as a Cardiff University associate member.
- Join the new ALT-Wales group – this national group is re-establishing, and is looking for committee members.
- Join Elesig – the Evaluation of Learners’ Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group.
- Attend, network and speak at conferences and events – there are quite a few events and conferences nationally, but we recommend ALT conferences and events, the UCISA conference, JISC events (which are usually free), and of course the University’s annual CEI Learning and Teaching Conference.
- Follow the experts on social media – you are welcome to follow CEILT twitter account and also to follow some of the Twitter accounts we follow, such as ALT, JISC and dozens of superb individuals.
Keep yourself up to date:
- By joining Yammer communities – for the latest information around new Cardiff University learning technologies, you could try the following Yammer groups: Learn Plus Project; Xerte Users; Virtual Classrooms user group; Learn_Teach; CEI.
- By joining email lists – there are numerous Jiscmail lists available, and of course the ALT and ALT-Wales mailing lists).
- By getting involved online – Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Chat (#LTHEchat) takes place on Twitter between 8-9pm on Wednesday evenings, discussing learning & teaching in HE.
- By reading blogs – this CEI blog for example, and other TEL blogs such as http://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/tel/ and https://1minutecpd.wordpress.com/. There are many expert blogs, such as Helen Beetham’s https://helenbeetham.com and Martin Weller’s http://blog.edtechie.net/. Also, keep an eye out for updates from our CEI innovation fund projects which can be read via this blog.
- By bookmarking useful websites – such as, JISC, ALT, HEA Knowledge Hub (our CEI Learning Hub will be launched in Jan 17).
- By listening to podcasts – such as, JISC Podcasts, and EdTech Podcasts via iTunes.
- By reading the latest research – such as ALT’s Research in Learning Technology and Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice (JPAAP).
And one final note…
As you can see, there are many ways to learn about what’s going on, and many ways to get involved in the conversation around learning technology, both locally and nationally. There are also learning technology related staff dotted around the University, who are all aware of these channels, and can give you further advice and guidance.
If you would like to discuss any of these channels, or indeed anything around Learning Technology in general, please feel free to contact us at: CEILT@cardiff.ac.uk.