Tag Archives: ALT

ALTC 2015

The Interview Process #altc

From this year’s ALT conference I enjoyed (finally) meeting Wayne Barry, EdTechBook contributor, and chatting about his ALTC presentation.

Wayne’s presentation looked at a different way of interviewing candidates for Learning Technologist positions using standard questions and short presentations, but also the inclusion of a short role-play exercise. Each candidate is given advance notice that they will engage with an ‘academic’ who is interested in introducing elements of distance learning to their module. During the short exercise (many people took issue with the use of the term ‘role-play’) candidates will exhibit both knowledge of their discipline as well as the ability to listen, engage, problem solve, and debate with a member of the team taking the role of an academic.

So, how do you find out if someone will fit in to your office and team environment? Can you do this by just questions? Do competency based questions offer enough space for someone to fudge their way through the process, or rather offer the interviewers enough insight to see the tRuth behind the candidate?

This reminds me of this video, from Heineken: Job Interview. Slightly over the top, but you get the idea – by changing the process you find out many different things (hopefully good) about the candidates. Enjoy!

YouTube: Job interview at Heineken

ALTC 2015

Day 1 #ALTC 2015

This 10th ALT Conference is possibly the largest yet, hosted at the Universty of Manchester, over 3 days with 4 invited keynote speakers, 185 sessions (although some look to have been cancelled), and over 500 expected delegates.

Kicking us off today was an impressive session from Steve Wheeler and two of his students; Becca Smallshaw and Kate Bartlett. Steve covered the kinds of subjects I’ve heard him speak about before, but he stopped short of the usual keynote and handed it over to Becca and Kate. Using the time with them to talk about the expectations and experiences of students, they both handed the alien, and probably quite nerve wracking, experience of 500+ people hanging on their every word extremely well.

I spoke with Steve afterwards and he took great pains to explain that this part of the keynote was not scripted or rehearsed, that Becca and Kate knew very little of his slides; they kind of knew what he might ask them, but not in details. They were free to answer openly and honestly, which for me makes their performance and answers all the more credible and insightful. huge respect to them both for standing there today in front of us!   Continue reading

ALTC 2015

Gearing up for #ALTC 2015

So, with only two weeks to go before this years ALT conference (ALTC) it’s time to start making sense of the programme and sessions, see what’s happening and when, and then trying to work out how to be in several places at once.

So, after a first pass at the ALTC programme here are my plans, subject to change once I spend more time reading more of the abstracts and changing my mind. I think I may need to compare notes with someone who can get to some of the sessions I miss?  Continue reading


Preparing your #Sketchnotes

Note taking has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I started making Sketchnotes. For the uninitiated sketchnotes are all about.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you check out Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook.

If, like me, you want to sketch your notes at a conference or event, and worry about missing important details or not being ready, here’s a cheat-sheet for you.

  • Pens: Get your pens (including back-up pens if you think you’ll run out of ink) ready and somewhere you can easily get at them. Also worth keeping an eye on is where you can store them for easy access whilst you’re sketching – pocket, bag, table, etc. There’s nothing worse than dropping your pens, book, phone, etc. when you’re trying to pay attention. Try and use at least two colours, and be consistent in how you use them (shading, highlighting, etc.) across all your sketches.
  • Page-per-note: Prepare each page of your notebook with the details of the speaker and/or presentation. Include name, Twitter name, presentation title, etc. in your own design. This way you know what space you’re working with for the presentation, and who it is for. Be careful to make sure you check if titles change!

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Interview with Sheila MacNeil and David Walker, #EdTechBook chapter authors

Interview with Sheila MacNeill and David Walker, #EdTechBook chapter authors

The Really Useful #EdTechBook, edited by David HopkinsAs part of a series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this sixth post I talk to Sheila MacNeill (Senior Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University) and David Walker (Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, Sussex University), who have chosen to co-author a chapter for the book on Learning Technologists as ‘digital pedagogues’.

DH – Hi David and Sheila. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?

SM – Good question. In reality, without using technology I wouldn’t be able to do my work. Almost everything I do at work relies on technology. Face to face communication is still very important, but I do all my “stuff” via technology, be that my desktop computer, my iPad or phone. If the “t’internet” is down at work I’m a bit stuffed! I would probably use up a months data allowance on my phone in a morning – or go home and work there. Luckily that doesn’t happen very often.  Continue reading

Interview with Sharon Flynn, #EdTechBook chapter author

Interview with Sharon Flynn, #EdTechBook chapter author

The Really Useful #EdTechBook, edited by David HopkinsAs part of a series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this fifth post I talk to Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, National University of Ireland, Galway.

DH – Hi Sharon. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?

SF – Almost everything I do, on a daily basis, is affected by technology. From the radio alarm waking me in the morning, the coffee machine that provides the kick to get me started, the always-on aspect of my mobile phone, the constant expectation of availability by email/phone during (and outwith) office hours, my almost constant presence on twitter, my new slow cooker that allows me plan family meals, through to the glorious availability of anything I want to watch on sky+, my day is mostly ruled by technology. And that’s before I get into the proper work aspects of technology for teaching and learning!  Continue reading


Luddites #altc

Here’s what I learned last week … to call someone a Luddite, in the context of someone who is reluctant to be involved or get involved in technology, is wrong.

Hang on, back up a bit. At ALTC last week Audrey Watters spent a whole hour walking us through technology in history and literature without actually talking about technology at all. From Frankenstein’s monster to Luddites I learned more then than in any single History or literature lesson at school! Yes, really.

So, what’s wrong with Luddites? Well, nothing really, but it’s how we use the term when referring to colleagues who ‘fight’ against technological change or development. Audrey set all of us straight on this – the history of Luddites, and our use of the term, is far from fear of technology or technological change.

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ALTC 2014 Riding Giants

How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave, Pt.3 #altc

‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ is the title & theme for the 2014 ALT Conference – my first ALT conference.

This post is the final in my ALTC journey for 2014, and covers the keynote from Audrey Watters and the final few sessions, and a general overview ‘think’.

My final sketchnotes for ALTC are below, for Audrey Watters’ keynote which, despite everything we’ve heard about so far in the conference did not talk about learning technology at all. What we had was a fantastic journey through literature and history looking at the origins of our relationship with change (in the form of technology) and how our relationships and perceptions of change or futures are based on the self, not on the tool.

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ALTC 2014 Riding Giants

How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave, Pt.2 #altc

‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ is the title & theme for the 2014 ALT Conference – my first ALT conference – and my second post, this one about the second day.

Well, when I say second day the first day never really stopped – one downside of being connected and part of a massive PLN is that the tweets, emails, DMs, mentions, etc. don’t stop. At one point at the end of day 1 I had to just say enough, put the tablet & phone down (to charge) and then go charge my own batteries. For those who were staying on site and continued the party & chats, you are clearly younger than me!

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ALTC 2014 Riding Giants

Learning Technologist of the Year #altc #LTaward

The 2014 ALTC conference is the first I’ve attended in person, it’s one of the conferences I’ve wanted to get to since I started in this career. It’s also the first year I’ve been part of the Learning Technologist of the Year award. I am proud and honoured to be recognised, through the ‘highly commended’ LTOTY award, for my work.

  • This is Part 14 in my series where I am posting on my thoughts about being a Learning Technologist. This, and the previous posts, have been collected together with context and commentary into my eBook ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’

Many thanks to the award committee, to ALT, to those I’ve worked with, and those who I’ve had contact / tweets / conversations with over the years. Just so you’re in no doubt, I haven’t finished yet, there’s more to come from me … !

As part of the timetable for the ALT conference I was asked to present a short session to delegates on the LTOTY award, in support of the award. For me it’s all about the main/core attitudes we, LTs, need to have: confidence, communications, creative, curious, adaptable, relaxed, agreeable, humble, and above all, just be ready to take on all work, at all levels, to the best or your ability and recognise when you need to learn something new!

Here are my slides:

David Hopkins: 2014 Learning Technologist Of The Year Award #ALTC

As part of the award I also wrote an article for the ALT Newsletter, again highlighting my work and the award – I used the space to talk about the attitudes, work ethics, professionalism, etc. of LTs. You can read my ALT Newsletter article here.

And, just to prove it really did happen, he’s the photographic proof, thank you ALT:


Cover image credit: freepik.com