On 9 January 2008 ALT held a farewell dinner for Rhonda in Oxford, with several founder members present alongside current and past trustees, and staff. We managed, just, to link up by video with Cathy Gunn, President of ASCILITE, our sister organisation in Australasia, and we presented Rhonda with a bound book of thank-you messages, one of the specially made paperweights that are generally only given to retiring trustees, and a pair of lightweight Leica binoculars. Thanks to the many people who contributed to the collection and who sent in messages.
Some readers will already know of the untimely death of Tony Burgess on Saturday 5/1/2008. Tony was the Learning and Skills Council's Senior Policy Manager for Technology in Learning, and an active supporter of ALT. Tony's funeral and a celebration of Tony's life were held on 25/1/2008, and I attended on ALT's and my own behalf. Tony's family have chosen for donations in lieu of flowers to go to the Helena Kennedy Foundation, and for the next few weeks, donations can be sent to J Worley, Funeral Director, 344 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1HT.
ALT-C 2008 – Rethinking the Digital Divide
The first call for submissions of papers and abstracts for our 2008 conference was issued in mid December, with a closing date of 29 February 2008. Full details of the conference dimensions (a.k.a. themes) are on the ALT-C 2008 web site. Meanwhile, the conference programme committee held the first of its two face to face meetings on 19 November 2007. One important issue concerns proposals for the conference that are from projects or teams that will have more to report in September 2008 than they can summarise in an abstract written in February 2008. To take account of this, please note that in judging proposals, ALT Reviewers will take an understanding attitude regarding proposals referring to or reporting on work taking place between now and the date of the conference.
Since ALT-N 59 we have responded to the Welsh Funding Council's consultation 'Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through Technology: A Strategy for Higher Education in Wales', and on the merger of two FE sector bodies with whom we work closely: the Quality Improvement Agency and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership. At the time of writing, ALT responses are being prepared on the post-2008 RAE. We will also be formulating a response to the recent Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills consultation about informal adult learning, which contains a number of strong references to e-learning. All of our consultation responses are published at http://www.alt.ac.uk/documents.html.
In the next three months several calls will be issued by ALT. Please keep an eye out for them.
- 2008 Learning Technologist of the Year Award;
- opportunities to express an interest in membership of several of ALT’s operational committees;
- call for nominations for elections for Trustees of ALT, and as Vice Chair of the Association (open only to those who were individual members of ALT on 1 September 2007);
- call for expressions of interest in serving as Chair or Co-chairs of the 2009 ALT Conference.
If you would like to discuss any of the latter three calls informally with me, please phone or email me: 0114 2586899; email@example.com.
Tax relief on ALT individual membership subscriptions
Some individual members or holders of Certified Membership (CMALT) may not be aware that you can claim tax relief on your annual membership subscription, which depending on the rate at which you pay tax cuts the net cost of membership by as much as 40%.
Some predictions for 2008
The current issue of eLearn Magazine carries a range of predictions for 2008 from people who are active in the learning technology domain. This time next year some of us will without doubt have egg on our faces.