Tag Archives: higher education

Finished! *waves hands in the air*

Today I have completed my CMALT portfolio … a whole day before the deadline I set myself. Technically speaking I still have to find and scan/upload a copy of my MA certificate and I’m awaiting a promised testimonial from an academic colleague as a piece of evidence but apart from that it is done. I have emailed a link to my CMALT mentor and also bragged about it to a Twitter colleague so I hope I haven’t made any glaring omissions! Unless any feedback suggests a major re-write I plan to submit asap.

Thrilled, proud and relieved to finally have it done.

I will now be having a cup of tea and a jaffa cake to celebrate 🙂

HEaTED RNM at University of Birmingham

On Friday 12th April, my colleague and I took a trip to the University of Birmingham for the HEaTED West Midlands Regional Networking Meeting. It was much better attended than the last one with around 30 technical staff from a variety of subject areas all getting together to talk about the issues and subtleties of being a member of technical staff in HE.

There were a number of interesting discussions that took place. One of the key functions of HEaTED is to provide professional development opportunities for technical staff so we spent some time looking at their course offerings and highlighted the courses that seemed most useful, suggested courses we would like to see and had the opportunity to offer to run some courses that didn’t already exist. I have a little idea for a course that I think might be popular given the current climate in universities but I’ll keep that under my hat for now until I’ve had a chance to think about it properly.

There was also a guest speaker from the University of Plymouth who is investigating the possibility of developing a professional registration programme for people working in the creative industries. I’m interested to see how this one develops . I probably wouldn’t undergo registration myself as I see myself as an elearning specialist who is a mutlimedia developer so CMALT is the most appropriate route for me and my career … however for colleagues in my team who see themselves as creative multimedia specialists who happen to be working in elearning at the moment, this registration could be really exciting.

The discussion around the use of the word “Technician” continues … for HEaTED it’s about thier marketing. Is the T Word a barrier for some technical staff joining HEaTED? I certainly don’t class myself as a technician and I wrote about why after the last meeting, so personally I would welcome a re-brand of HEaTED … but coming up with a suitable acronym might be puzzling!

Quiche, spinach and ricotta pastry, a selection of wraps, chicken skewer, pitta with houmous and taramasalta and a gooey chocolate brownie courtesy of University of Birmingham.

Tasty Lunch and Good Conversation at HEaTED WM Regional Network Meeting, University of Birmingham.

Also, the HEaTED networking lunch did not disappoint. A tasty selection of wraps, chicken skewers and very sticky chocolate brownies were devoured along with some really interesting conversations with our west midlands colleagues. Looking forward to seeing some of them again at the next RNM in Staffordshire already!

BETT 2013

Last week my boss and I took a trip to the BETT 2013 show at London’s eXcel. Aside from the headache that is traveling around Central London, the show gave us some very good food for thought and was definitely worth the trip.

This year they had a HE summit which made the show much more interesting as it had previously had a heavy focus on schools. There was a full two day program of HE Speakers in a break-out conference room as well as HE workshops on stage in the main arena.

Buzz words/phrases of the show were MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses), BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and Learning Analytics.

amazing enourmous custard cream biscuit #giantfoodSince returning from the show I have enrolled on my first MOOC … it’s a MOOC on Learning Analytics! BETT got the cogs whirring and I think there is a research project around learning analytics lurking around in there somewhere. I hope the MOOC will help me formulate my ideas on that.

Other highlights were the discovery of giant custard cream biscuits at the eXcel branch of Costa Coffee and a surprisingly lovely Italian restaurant near the Kings Cross Travelodge which possibly has the best tiramisu I have ever had – right up there with my local favourite from The Flying Pizza in Chapel Ash 😛