#altc, ALT, community of practice, Learning Technology

Membership to the Association for Learning Technology (ALT)

We’re delighted to announce that Cardiff University has now (re)joined the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an organisational member. This membership is renewable annually.

What does this mean to us at Cardiff?

This means you can join ALT for free as an associate member. Membership means that (amongst other things) all staff get access to ALT events (some free, some with discounts) access to ALT resources, including research papers, publications and newsletters, and the chance to be a part of the member discussion nationally and internationally about learning technologies. And I want to stress again that ALT is not only for Learning Technologists, but for all staff, teaching or professional, who work in or are interested in the fields of learning and teaching or learning technology.

This is an opportunity to ‘plug yourself into the conversation about learning technologies’ as described by David Walker in his Learning about Learning Technology post from Sussex TEL (well worth a read if you can spare five minutes). I’ve also written a blog post recently along similar lines – titled Join the Conversation around Learning Technology.

So, what is ALT?

ALT is the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field. Its purpose is to ensure that use of learning technology is effective and efficient, informed by research and practice, and grounded in an understanding of the underlying technologies, their capabilities and the contexts in which they are used.

ALT defines learning technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment. ALT brings together practitioners, researchers, and policy makers in learning technology to improve practice, promote research, and influence policy.

“For me, ALT is first and foremost a community. As such, it presents a broad and rich melting pot of perspectives, information, ideas and practices. It’s an easy way of keeping your finger on the pulse and offers an excellent sounding board for thoughts and ideas. Being a member for me means increased exposure and opportunity to explore how technology can be better used to enable learning and teaching. Why wouldn’t any educator want to do that?” – Dr Joe Nicholls (Lecturer in Medical Education, Cardiff University)

And what does being an associate member mean?

Associate membership means you can now join ALT as a member of Cardiff University staff for free, without having to pay for a personal subscription.

Joining as an associate member entitles you to a whole range of benefits, which include:

  • Subscription to the ALT news digest and option to submit content;
  • Access to the ALT Members only discussion list;
  • Free access to ALT’s online events and live participation;
  • Discounted access to ALT’s face-to-face events including the annual conference;
  • Free access to ALT publications including the newsletter, journal and occasional publications;
  • Opportunities to contribute to policy work and member surveys;
  • Options to create and run Special and Regional Interest Groups;
  • Discounts on group CMALT registrations. (see description of CMALT below)

Okay, I’m convinced – how do I sign up?

Joining is free for Cardiff University staff. The link to join as an associate member is: https://www.alt.ac.uk/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=9

You will be asked to create an account that then lets you log in to the membership area of the ALT website.

And that is, you will then be plugged into the regular ALT communications and you will quickly start to see what’s going to be relevant and helpful for you.

What other particular things might be useful?

CMALTALT offers a peer-based professional accreditation scheme for individuals whose work involves learning technology. If you succeed in completing the accreditation, you will gain Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT).

CMALT involves completion of a portfolio based on a robust, but flexible framework, able to accommodate diverse job roles, and structured around four core principles:

  • A commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning;
  • A commitment to keeping up-to-date with new technologies;
  • An empathy with, and willingness to learn from, colleagues from different backgrounds and specialisms;
  • A commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice.

If you are considering applying for CMALT, please get in touch with the CEI, and we can advise you on how to sign up. We are keen to have as many people as possible getting CMALT accreditation through the scheme, and are more than happy to speak to any potential participants.

#ALTc Conferencespersonally, I gained a lot of value from the ALT Annual Conference this summer, as I know many other colleagues have over the years. You can take a look at what I took home as being important here: day 1, day 2, day 3. It’s a great chance to pick up some ideas, tips, good practice and to network with practitioners from all over the country. There’s also an #ALTc winter conference and this year’s is running 6-8 December online, so dates for your diary!

@A_L_T Twitter account – ALT have an informative Twitter which is regularly updated. The #ALTc hashtag is also well used and includes links to valuable resources, web pages, events and articles.

And on a final note…

If you would like to discuss ALT membership, or indeed any issue around Learning Technology in general, please feel free to contact us at: CEILT@cardiff.ac.uk.

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