Why CMALT is important to me #altc

It’s coming to that time of year when I start planning for the Annual ALT conference: #ALTC. My annual review is complete, ALTC was discussed and it’s been approved that I can attend again. This will be my fourth ALTC, and this year we’re in Liverpool.

But my reflective mind is going back to my CMALT qualification, and why it is still so important to me. Earlier this year I wrote my three-year review to keep my CMALT credential current and valid. Whilst I wait for the response and, hopefully, approval, I still think of both the process I went through to gain CMALT in the first place as well as the on-going process of how I keep myself (as well as my CMALT) current. I will update my portfolio with the review text when I know I’ve passed.

  • This is Part 16 in my series where I am posting on my thoughts about being a Learning Technologist. This, and the previous posts can be found in the What is a Learning Technologist series.

I have spent time reading and investigating the various online masters course, as gaining further qualifications in and around my work is something I believe I can benefit from, but I’ve yet to find one that really interests me. There’s also the cost both financially and in time that, at the moment, I’m just not prepared to commit to. I also believe that a lot of our work, us learning technologists, is about doing the work and learning about doing the work, and I am still very sceptical of formal masters level courses offering the kind of content that can help with the day to day work. This is another reason I find CMALT more applicable to my line of work – my CMALT portfolio is my work linked to the core areas the portfolio is assessed on. It didn’t feel like a formal assessment, but it is, and it didn’t feel an onerous task either. 

I’ve also been, if you haven’t already noticed, quite busy and have written four books – QR Codes in Education, The Really Useful #EdTechBook, Emergency Rations #EdTechRations and What is a learning technologist? Without the ALT community and CMALT reflective exercises these projects would not have been possible. I also feel that I have grown because of the CMALT process, both personally and professionally, and find myself in a very good role at Warwick Business School and as a CMALT Assessor.

For me being CMALT qualified is essential to our role and gaining a qualification that can demonstrate our abilities and worth to the often sceptical academics we meet as well as giving us a trusted and valued voice with college or university management. Learning technology is important, as are the people like you and me who are the support, demonstrators and voices helping understand and navigate the tools and techniques.

If you’re interested in CMALT, wonder what it’s all about, already completed your CMALT and are thinking ahead to the three-year review here are a few posts you will find useful:

  • Chatting about CMALT – CMALT session at ALTC 2016, and my reflection on what it’s like on the other side, the reviewer and assessor (Sept 2016).
  • Three years of ALTC and CMALT – written for the ALT blog here I again reflect on the importance of the three ALTC events I’d attended, and how they’d impacted my CMALT journey and understanding of my role(s) (Sept 2016).
  • Editing and co-authoring for online publication – written for the ALT blog I am again reflecting on my connections and network that I’ve grown through the ALT community, and where CMALT has made a difference in my own view and perspective (May 2017).
  • ALT CPD: rebooted – A frank and open discussion at the 2014 ALT CPD event, these are my slides and ‘what it means to be a learning technologist’ (Nov 2014).

Don’t believe me? These people all agree CMALT is valuable. And this is just the list of people already passed, I’m sure the list of those working towards it is larger still! 

Image source: David Hopkins

  • Hannah Tooley

    Hello David,

    I just recently found your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading though your “What is a Learning Technologist?” series. I am currently in college and am hoping to work as an instructional designer someday. Do you know of any resources that would be helpful to someone like me? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated as well.

    Thank you for your time,
    Hannah
    Twitter: @HannahTDesigns

    • Read lots. There are a lot of people in similar roles to me who write and blog about their/our work. I would start by reading what they say. Membership of ALT will also expose you to a lot of resources and context for the environments we work in , both UK and overseas Universities and colleges of Further Education.
      I don’t know of any single resource that would help as each university or college uses us in a different way to the next, and the role is shaped greatly by the person in it. This is what makes us LTs so valuable; we’re flexible and adaptable, and no two days are ever the same!!
      Good luck.

      • Hannah Tooley

        Thank you for the quick reply. I will definitely look into joining ALT. Are there any other blogs that you would recommend?

        • Follow the ALT blog, follow ALT on Twitter and look at the names of the ALT editors, follow them and those they interact and engage with online. Those are good starting points.
          Good luck

        • This list of people that Maren Deepwell (ALT CEO) recommends is a good start:
          http://marendeepwell.com/cpd/how-to-heroes/

        • Hannah Tooley

          Awesome! Thank you so much, David. I really appreciate it.

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  • nice to see the next generation coming through! check out the tag on twitter too: #altc (the ALT community) and why not join one of the open courses on G+ such as #fos172 https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/105168012355632331504 where you will meet lots of instructional designers, learning technologists and academic developers?

    • Hannah Tooley

      I will definitely check it out. I’ve been looking for some twitter chats/communities to participate in, so thank you for the advice Teresa!