JISC ConnectMore 17

pack and documents from the JISC Connect More event
JISC Connect More 17 pack

Paul Bartholomew, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, kicked off proceedings at the JISC Connect More 17 event in Jordanstown last Thursday.  His keynote address explored some of the ways that the university were helping to prepare students and staff to become digitally ready.  

This focus on embedding digital capabilities through educational institutions continued throughout the day.  Sarah Knight and Lisa Gray ran two sessions in the morning looking at approaches to developing digital skills. I left each session with a pack of practical resources that will help me start conversations with staff and students about what digital skills they think are important. These sessions also reminded me that I’m not having enough conversations with staff and students about this!

Our newest ALT Northern Ireland member, Helen Dixon from Northern Regional College, led a session on microlearning and contributed to the final panel session.  Andy Jaffrey and Aine Macneill from Ulster University explored what digital skills we thought we may need in the future.  

Panel discussion with Helen Dixon, Sarah Knight
Helen Dixon on the panel at ConnectMore17

A massive thank you to the JISC team who provided such an informative and inspiring event – and for squeezing in a last minute presentation from Clare Thomson and myself to publicise the ALT Northern Ireland group.  

There’s a few more JISC Connect More events coming up in England – and if you have the opportunity I’d really recommend going.

Clare Thomson and Emma McAllister presenting at Connect More 17
Clare Thomson and Emma McAllister presenting at Connect More 17

CMALT – Professional Recognition in Learning Technologies

CMALT is the Certified Membership scheme of the Association for Learning Technology. It has over 300 successful portfolios and the two main aims for anyone involved with learning technology are to:

  • Have their experience and capabilities certified by peers
  • Demonstrate that they are taking a committed and serious approach to their professional development.

This short video gives an introduction to the process and the prospectus has further details.

The ALT website has a wealth of support and resources to help you get started on the process including webinar recordings, guidelines and submission dates. A recent addition is a list of successful portfolios for you to get inspiration from (you will need to have an ALT username and password to access these).

The portfolio

You will need to complete a portfolio which centres on the core areas of:

  1. Operational issues
  2. Teaching, learning and/or assessment processes
  3. The wider context
  4. Communication

An additional area is a specialist option chosen by you and an extensive list provides some examples for inspiration. For each of the areas you are required to describe your work (emphasising ‘I’ as opposed to ‘we’), provide evidence to support this description and a reflection on how the activity has impacted on your practice.

We are planning a workshop for the ALT NI group for late summer to provide further information on the portfolio and some practical work towards getting started with creating your own portfolio.

I would personally recommend the scheme and have kept an open diary of my journey, musing on my frustrations and the benefits I have reaped throughout the reflection process, part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Register your interest with c.thomson@qub.ac.uk or via the ‘get involved’ form and keep an eye on the #altni hashtag on Twitter for more details.


Welcome to the ALT Northern Ireland Group

Welcome to the blog for the Northern Ireland Special Interest Group of the Association for Learning Technology!

Our group aims to create a network of learning technology enthusiasts – from developers to teachers – across Northern Ireland for the purpose of sharing information, good practice and support. We will hold events and get-togethers that will help foster connections among learning technologists in the area.  We also want to provide support for group members preparing for CMALT accreditation.

We’re quite a new ALT Special Interest Group, so we are looking for new members.  If you work in or are interested in Learning Technology in Northern Ireland, and you would like to join our ALT group, leave your details on our ‘Get Involved‘ page.


boy and girl browsing digital devices