CMALT Cohort Meeting 5

This was the last face to face meeting with our current cohort. It was held at the beginning of May with the next submission date coming up at the end of the month. The focus of this final session was to cover Core Area 4: Communication. An area which allows candidates to breathe a little easier – there is only one single heading and it is something that each and every one of us do every single day, no matter what our role in educational technology is. However, simplicity can present problems of its own. How to separate out all the various methods/how to cover all the variations without writing far too much/how to evidence private correspondence. These are just a few of the common questions. Also falling into the trap of being too brief, without any further detail or reflection, because it is something so familiar to you.

To get things started we welcomed Susan Greig, lead of the University of Edinburgh cohorts, to present via the power of the interweb. She guided the group through tips and advice for Core Area 4. She also got everyone working hard through some activities, this broke the session up between presentation and active learning and had the added bonus of achieving written elements for the portfolio. The group worked so diligently that Susan and our online participant thought the connection had dropped due to the extended period of silence.


Tips for Core Area 4

    • Annotate your screenshots when using as evidence
    • Swap drafts with others to help with editing / cutting words down.
    • Be concise with your descriptions
    • Choose only the best examples, not all examples
    • Remember that two other people that are as busy as you will be reading and assessing this; stick to the 500 words
    • Make it easy for the assessors – connect the dots for them
    • Certified membership is certifying that you a current practitioner, so reflect on current (3 years) work
    • Talk through your work before you write about it to create a distance in your head.  This particularly helps with current projects that you are very involved with.
    • Give dates and specifics of your example – don’t be vague
    • Start writing with full sentences as soon as possible.  You will have to turn this into a narrative at some point.

Reflection prompts

    • What have you learnt?
    • What would you do differently?
    • Who you are
    • What is important to you about your work?
    • Connect your experience with what you’ve learnt

Following this part of the morning (and of course some coffee and cake) we moved on to two further activities to maintain a reflective slant to the portfolio but which introduced an element of fun after the serious writing tasks. The first was to turn a negative word into a positive one by only removing or adding one letter. Participants all produced great examples which were not only fun but very on message for their portfolio as well. Some fabulous examples were: can’t to can / yelp to help / mind-full to mindful / lost to most / squeak to speak / work to worth.

Next everyone had to come up with a single word that encompassed their whole portfolio (I do like to set a challenge!) and then partner this up with a copyright cleared image to make their very own affirmation poster, Emma posted hers below.

Craig rounded the session up with some final hints and tips about submitting the final portfolio which yielded another rich discussion between us all.

Now it is time to hand over to all of our wonderful participants to write, share, edit, write some more and submit. Craig and I have so enjoyed working with everyone and have learned a lot ourselves, whilst widening our personal learning network. Don’t forget to share work for some valuable feedback in these final weeks. Working in a neutral spaces afforded us the luxury of getting out of the office to concentrate on CPD for the three sessions over a six month period. Also a virtual high five to Twitter DMs – ever the rich source of connections.

Good luck everyone and we are looking forward to handing out the certificates!

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