Chief Executive’s report

By Seb Schmoller

A new web site

On 20 April 2011 the new ALT website went live at http://www.alt.ac.uk/. The new site represents a major development for ALT because it:

  • will handle nearly all of our financial transactions including the collection of membership end event fees;
  • has a great deal of flexibility, and a range of modern features that improve its usability;
  • enables individual members and the representatives of organisational and sponsoring member to maintain their own membership data.

A large number of people have contributed to the development of the site, and their names are shown here: http://www.alt.ac.uk/about-site. I would particularly thank Andy Carter and Gill Osguthorpe (from the company we commissioned to develop the site), Maren Deepwell (who is now our Operations and Services Manager), Stephen Harker (from Positive Internet our hosting company) and the members of the ALT Publications Committee for their efforts on the site over the past 12 months.

Now that the site is working, we encourage any employee of any member organisation who wishes to do so to take up free associate membership of ALT, for which the joining process can now be completed in a matter of a matter of a few minutes.

A new look to the Online Newsletter

In parallel with the creation of a new ALT web site we have move the ALT Online Newsletter from a commercial service to a self-hosted service using WordPress, and the slightly late April Issue of the Online Newsletter is now available at http://newsletter.alt.ac.uk/, with much closer integration with the ALT web site than has been the case to date. You may recall a message to members last year inviting people with relevant skills to volunteer to help us with the transition. We were very gratified that several offered to help (more than we could feasibly involve) and I am recording here ALT’s thanks to Emma Davies and, in particular, to Simon Brookes for their work on the transition, and to the editor Morag Munro for getting so skilfully to grips with a new publishing platform. As always with changes of this kind there will be some teething trouble; and we welcome your feedback.

The 2011 ALT conference “ALT-C 2011: Thriving in a colder and more challenging climate” – 6-8 September, in Leeds

Preparation for the conference is now well in hand, and we will open for bookings in the last week of May. The face-to-face programme committee meeting went smoothly on 4 May, with as many proposals for inclusion in the programme as in 2010 (i.e. our second largest ever). Thanks on behalf of ALT to the whole of the committee and to those in editorial roles for their work (in some case very extensive) on the development of the conference programme. We are also pleased to announce a fourth keynote speaker for the conference: Rajendra S. Pawar, the Indian educationalist, entrepreneur and business leader. The other keynote speakers are Miguel Brechner, President of the Uruguayan Centre for Technological and Social Inclusion (CITS); Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education; and John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University.

Vacancies on all of ALT’s Operational Committees

Becoming a member of an ALT operational committee is a good and reasonably “low-hurdle” way to get involved in ALT. During June we will issue an open call for expressions of interest in membership of each of our four operational committees, to replace those reaching the end of a three or six year stint. The four committees cover Further Education, Membership Services, Publications and Research. Membership is open to non-members – although anyone appointed to a committee who is not already an ordinary or certified member of ALT is expected to join before taking up their role – and is for an initial three year term. Current memberships are shown here http://www.alt.ac.uk/about-alt/who-we-are/operational-committees.

Recently published

Since the last issue of ALT News, we have published the following:

  1. 1. The ALT Strategy for February 2011 to January 2014: 25/2/2011 – http://repository.alt.ac.uk/880/.
  2. 2. Rich Ranker’s Learning Technology Manager Salary Survey 2010: 2/3/2011 – http://repository.alt.ac.uk/881/.
  3. 3. Journal tendering for societies: a brief guide: 25/3/2011http://repository.alt.ac.uk/887/.
  4. 4. An ALT response to the review of the English National Curriculum: 14/4/2011http://repository.alt.ac.uk/2099/.
If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member.

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