East Midlands Learning Technologists

East Midlands Learning Technologists' Group, supported by ALT

EMLT Summer meeting and call for presentations: Let’s get mobile


Photo Credit: “KIUKO” via Compfight cc

Our Summer meeting of the East Midlands Learning Technologists’ group is due to take place on Monday 29th June 2015, 12:00-16:00, Loughborough University.


Let’s get mobile!

Mobile devices give us a unique opportunity to have learners embedded in a realistic context at the same time as having access to supporting tools” (FUTURELAB, 2004). Jisc use this quote as part of their Mobile Learning Infokit and it helps to set the scene for our next EMLT meeting about mobile learning. During the event we will look to explore the benefits and challenges associated with going mobile and provide a variety of examples of how mobile technologies have been used to support learning.


Call for presentations

We’d still like some Pecha Kucha sessions, presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about the approaches you have taken using mobile technologies to support learning, so please complete the form if you’re happy to present.

Pecha Kucha sign up: https://goo.gl/KaWVyg

Closing date for submitting ideas is 5pm on Friday 12th June 2015.


Event Details

If you have not yet booked a place, please complete the form on Eventbrite, you will need to enter the password to get in. This is: em1t (emlt with the L replaced by a number 1). The booking form is at http://emltsummer15.eventbrite.co.uk

Food and drink will be available on arrival at 12:00 – details to follow.

A map for the campus can be found on the website http://maps.lboro.ac.uk/?l=design-school and directions to the room will be provided nearer the time.

If you’d like any more detail, please drop me an email to Laura Hollinshead at laurahollinshead@gmail.com

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We need you! Call for members of the EMLT Steering Group

Danbo mini

Image from: Shumpei Sano

Hello Everyone,

We are currently looking for members of the EMLT community to join the EMLT Steering Group. We are keen to have representation from all sectors, higher education, further education, local authorities and the private sector and from all types of learning technology role. Preference will be given to areas which are not currently represented by steering group members, particularly further education and local education authorities. There are currently two positions available and we have detailed below some of the responsibilities.


  • To plan, organise and run EMLT Meetings (around 4 a year, with regular online meetings via Google Hangouts)
  • To promote the community and encourage new members to join
  • To coordinate communication around EMLT activities
  • To help compile the annual report of activities to return to ALT

So, if you are passionate about the East Midlands, learning technology and want to help develop the EMLT community, then please complete the form below with a short explanation of why you would like to join the EMLT Steering Group and how this role relates to your interest in learning technology. The deadline for submissions is 8th May 2015.



EMLT Steering Group

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Spring EMLT Meeting – Round-Up

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084223-2I hope you have all had a good Easter. Before all the egg eating began over the weekend, we had the Spring EMLT meeting at the University of Derby. We had a good turn out and started the event off with some Easter treats and floppy crisps.

We then took part in some speed networking, where everyone sat in rows and had 3 minutes to talk to someone they had not met before. It was a little hard to hear with all the noise, but hopefully everyone got to meet some new people and form some useful connections.

A brief introduction on digital literacy was given at the beginning fo the sessions to help set the scene, providing a definition, the seven elements of digital literacy and a useful development framework from Jisc.

We then had three presentations from people within the room focusing on the development of digital literacies.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084103Martin Cooke (Freelance Learning Technologist) – FOMO are you missing out? Technology for well being

Martin talked about how important it is to reflect upon the way in which we are using technology and to sometimes step back, turn the technology off and take a break from all the noise.

You can find Martin’s slides at:


Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084102Stathis Konstantinidis (Assistant Professor of eLearning and Health Informatics, University of Nottingham) – Fostering IT Skills Competences of the healthcare workforce of EU and USA

Stathis talked about the work he has been doing, helping four of the European partners of the University of Nottingham to carry out a SWOT analysis of programmes for their provision of IT skills. Some of the key conclusions from the work, looked towards MOOC’s and Open Education Resources as possible tools to help provide a sustainable , cost-effective and efficient lifelong learning model.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084101Elaine Swift (Digital Practice Manager, Nottingham Trent University) – Scoping Digital Literacy Support at an institutional level

Elaine talked about the work she has been doing at Nottingham Trent looking at how to embed digital literacy as a core competency across a variety of different roles within the institution. Having put together a framework and set of principles for supporting digital practices Elaine and her team are now working in partnership with academic schools to scope a set of specialist competencies for different subject areas.

The next activity saw us getting creative in groups, drawing our idea of a digitally literate person. There were a number of different interpretations, which I hope you can see in the below images (sorry about the reflections!). We had a prize for the winner. Can you guess which one won?

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059-2 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059-3 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084100-1 Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084100

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084059Our final activity was to work in groups to plan a workshop  to develop a digital capability. The groups were asked to choose a technology or practice which fitted into one of the seven elements of digital literacy from Jisc. We had some great ideas which can be seen in the Google Documents used to during the session.

Thank you all for coming, I hope you enjoyed the day and that we shall see you next time in June/July at Loughborough University.

Evernote Camera Roll 20150408 084223

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Spring EMLT Meeting 2015 – Booking and call for presentations

Spring Lamb

Our Spring meeting of the East Midlands Learning Technologists’ group is due to take place on April Fools Day, 1st April 2015 at the University of Derby, on the subject of…

Developing Digital Literacies

There is a lot of talk about how organisations need to ensure their workforce and students are digitally literate, but what does this mean for us as learning technologists? How can we go about developing people’s skills to use a variety of technologies appropriately for living, working and learning in a digital age?  How can we help people to navigate what, for many, is a new or intimidating world? Whilst institutions and organisations like Jisc and Mozilla might develop frameworks and strategies, which support the promotion of digital literacies, how do we practically deliver this? We hope to explore the answer to these questions and others you may have at the University of Derby on 1st April, 12 pm – 4 pm.

If you have not yet booked a place, please complete the form on Eventbrite, you will need to enter the password to get in. This is: em1t  (emlt with the L replaced by a number 1). The booking form is at http://emltspring15.eventbrite.co.uk

Call for Presentations

We’d still like some Pecha Kucha sessions, presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about the approaches you have taken to developing digital literacies, so please complete the form if you’re happy to present.

Pecha Kucha sign up: http://goo.gl/j6e4UY

Closing date for submitting ideas is 5pm on Friday 5th March 2015.

Event Details

The booking form is at http://emltspring15.eventbrite.co.uk

Food and drink will be available on arrival at 12:00 – details to follow.

A map for the campus can be found on the website http://www.derby.ac.uk/about/maps/ and directions to the room will be provided nearer the time.

If you’d like any more detail, please drop me an email to Laura Hollinshead at l.hollinshead@derby.ac.uk

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Experiences of a learning technologist: eLearning does not necessarily = labour saving

In my experience as a learning technologist in HE there can sometimes be a misconception (and at times assumption) on the part of the teacher that the use of eLearning should inevitably, or to a significant extent at least lead to a more efficient, less labour-intensive work flow. At times, having demonstrated a particular eLearning intervention the question that followed has been something along the lines of “but this means more work for me! I thought eLearning was about making things more efficient?”

This is perhaps an understandable misconception as the implementation of eLearning by definition involves the use of electronic/computer-based technology, generally referred to as IT (or ICT). IT has historically been developed and implemented, to a lesser or greater extent as a labour-saving intervention, to make certain tasks less labour-intensive. Ergo: introducing IT into a particular teaching practice (i.e. eLearning) should ultimately result in less work for the teacher.

But at its core – eLearning is not about creating less work for the teacher – it’s about enhancing teaching and learning.

This is not to say that there aren’t times when the introduction of technology into teaching and learning can potentially, and does indeed lead to a more efficient workflow. But in some of these cases it’s not necessarily about eLearning, what is key here is that the student learning experience is not being enhanced in any significant way. For example, shifting from marking hard copies of essays to marking electronically online (which can be classed as an eLearning intervention) may result in a reduction in time taken to mark the work. But there may be no fundamental enhancing of learning achieved because of this change in practice. One could perhaps argue that if research has shown that students are more likely to read the feedback given to them via electronic marking and feedback than they are with hard copies, then I may have not chosen the best example here – but I hope you can still see my point. Indeed, there can be instances where eLearning does both – enhance teaching and learning and save labour. E.g. implementing eLearning that facilitates more autonomous/independent learning (peer and collaborative learning).

Nevertheless, to reiterate – as its point of departure, eLearning is about enhancing teaching and learning.

Given that there may well be some cans of worms left significantly ajar in what I’ve touched on above. I should perhaps contextualize this via the lens of certain current issues. Given what appears to be a general ‘leaning’ of the HE labour force over recent years (the rounds of voluntary and compulsory severance across the HE sector), one can perhaps understand how anything labour saving would rate high on the priorities of what may be an over-stretched teaching labour force; and given that, in my experience the implementation of eLearning can in some cases lead to an increase in workload, the desire on the part of the teacher to introduce eLearning that isn’t fundamentally labour saving will be diminished. The question, “will this result in more work for me?” may become more prevalent in direct relationship to the labour force ‘over-stretching’ and as a result the desire to engage in the implementation of eLearning will be diminished. Indeed, were we to arrive at a large-scale ‘work to rule’ situation with HE – could we see the ongoing innovation, development and implementation of eLearning across the curriculum becoming an untenable proposition, as teaching staff loading for eLearning does not realistically reflect the investment of time required?

So on the one hand it is important that there is an understanding on the part of teachers as to what eLearning is fundamentally about – Enhancing Learning through Technology (ELT) – and not necessarily labour saving in the first instance. But also an understanding on the part of learning technologists who have a role in catalyzing and driving the implementation of ELT, that the current working environment might lead to a less accommodating attitude to eLearning implementations in direct correlation to the extra time required to implement them.

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Round-Up of Presentations at ALT-C 2014 from the East Midlands

Learning to surf the (new) quality wave – Rob Howe, University of Northampton

Link to conference paper on ALT website

Slides available on Prezi


Open Northampton – Open Educational Practice from Northampton – Dr Ming Nie and Prof Ale Armellini, University of Northampton

Link to conference paper on ALT website

Link to slides on Google Drive


MOOC and SPOC: a tale of two courses -Prof Ale Armellini, Kate Coulson and Rob Farmer, University of Northampton

Link to conference paper on ALT website

Link to slides on Google Drive


Catching the wave and taking off: Embracing FELTAG at Loughborough College – moving from recommendations to reality – Rachel Challen, Loughborough College

Link to conference paper on ALT website

Link to slides on Google Drive


Supporting staff development in Digital Literacy: the DigiLit Leicester Project – Lucy Atkins, Josie Fraser and Richard Hall, De Montfort University and Leicester City Council.

Link to conference paper on ALT website


Taming the waves: understanding digital practice at scale – Sarah Horrigan and Laura Hollinshead, University of Derby

Link to conference paper on ALT website

Taming the Waves: Understanding digital practice at scale, ALT-C 2014 from Sarah Horrigan-Fullard
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Autumn 2014 meeting announced!

Mind the gap image

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

Not long until our next meeting!!

Our autumn meeting of the East Midlands Learning Technologists’ group for 2014 is due to take place on the 22nd of October at Loughborough College and the theme is ‘Mind the Gap! Mainstreaming and supporting innovation‘ – and we’d like to hear your stories of how you discovered innovation, how you shared it, how you helped to change practice… or how you took a small innovative idea and made it big. As ever… we need you!!

Call for presentations

We’d love to have some PechaKucha presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about how you got over that awkward gap between a great idea and the reality of getting it into the mainstream. Small scale, large scale, online, offline, formal or informal learning… give us a taste of your experience and some food for thought. We’re interested in presentations from across the learning spectrum – whether that’s Higher Education, Further Education, Schools, local government or the private sector, we’d like to hear from you.

Closing date for submitting presentation ideas is 5pm on Friday 26th September 2014 and we’ll confirm presenters during the first week of October. So, to submit your ideas, head to the submission form (http://goo.gl/ccVuye) and fill out the details.

Event details

Date: 22nd October 2014

Time: 1pm to 4pm with a buffet lunch from 12pm

Venue: Loughborough College, Radmoor Rd, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3BT

Cost: Free (hooray for free!)

Booking here: http://emltautumn14.eventbrite.co.uk – it’s password protected – just head to our JiscMail list to get the password (and prove you’re not a robot!)

Food and drink will be available on arrival. There will be chance for networking over a buffet lunch, interesting presentations from our community and the chance for discussion with the meeting ending no later than 4pm. The cost, as ever, is free… so if you can get yourself to Loughborough on the afternoon of the 22nd of October, then it would be great to see you there!

A map for the campus can be found on the Loughborough College website but can also be downloaded from this link too:

Roll on October!


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20-ish ways to use video in teaching…

Photo Credit: ** RCB ** via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ** RCB ** via Compfight cc

Firstly… very many thanks to Dr Stuart Jolly, BSc Coaching and Sports Science Course Leader, Nottingham Trent University for all of these fabulous ideas which he shared with us at our Spring 2014 EMLT meeting.  He provided us with a video as part of his talk and while I could see everyone frantically scribbling to capture all of his great ideas, I thought I’d write them up to make sharing them just that little bit easier.

So, on to the main part of this blog post… the 20-ish ways!

  1. ‘I’m sorry I can’t be with you’ messages – for those moments when you just can’t be there but can send a video message along anyway, for example, providing a message for an Open Day you can’t attend
  2. Pre-induction welcome videos – sending out a video to students, welcoming them to the course and helping new students navigate through the first weeks of their studies
  3. Induction videos – allowing students to introduce themselves and capture that to share with others
  4. Creating post-induction video walls – combining all of the induction videos, a visual reminder about who’s who in your student community
  5. Recording in-class activities – for later review, for example, group role plays where everyone is involved in the activity and they don’t actually get to see the ‘whole’
  6. Student sports projects – particularly useful for slow motion recordings of particular techniques so aid further analysis and understanding
  7. Student assessment video projects – get students to make videos for assessment purposes, for example a video which captures what’s involved in particular coaching projects
  8. Recording peer coaching for assessed portfolio – again, creating a record for later review of what was involved in a particular type of coaching
  9. Recording external coaching for assessed portfolio – expanding the boundaries of the classroom and making videos on location
  10. Developing students’ digital literacies with equipment – for example, creating video tutorials on how to use particular bits of technology such as scanning with copiers etc
  11. Developing students’ digital literacies with tools – for example, creating short video tutorials on how to use services such a Mendeley for referencing
  12. Developing peer staff digital literacies – supporting colleagues with simple tips and ideas to make their lives easier with technology, for example using macros in Word to create one-click entry of module details etc
  13. Recording delivered sessions – for example, capturing a session delivered by colleagues from the Careers service to make available for students
  14. Fostering course identity – sometimes it’s just good to record what happened during the life of the course to help students understand how far they’ve come (and how much fun they’ve had!)
  15. Adding video to recordings – taking an audio recording and finding video to play underneath it can really help create a rich learning resource
  16. Recording student presentations – for things that are delivered synchronously, video can easily capture them and provide an additional opportunity for critique and reflection
  17. Reminding students what they’ve done – using a digital storytelling approach where photographs from across the course are put together with music / words
  18. Putting it all together – videos don’t have to live in isolation from one another… get students to edit together their videos to create a video portfolio

So… 18… which is almost 20.  Hence ’20-ish’ ways Stuart’s used video in teaching!

If you have any other ways in which you’ve used video in your teaching, do drop off a comment and let us know!

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EMLT Meeting – Summer 2014 – BOOK NOW!

Photo Credit: Kevin Conor Keller via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Kevin Conor Keller via Compfight cc

Summer is (almost!) here and it’s time for another East Midlands Learning Technologists’ meeting!  The venue, date and time is set… so… we’ll hopefully see plenty of you at the University of Nottingham on July 8th from 12pm for lunch with the meeting starting at 1pm.

The theme for the meeting is…

‘Open All Hours’

… all about openness, flexible delivery and shifting boundaries in education… and we need you!

Call for presentations

We’d like to have some PechaKucha presentations from our community – 6 minute presentations with images – where you tell us about ‘open’.  Whether that’s involvement in production of Open Educational Resource, working on MOOCs, how you’re exploring informal / formal learning in your work, research or legal / policy in the area of openness as stories of the difference an open mindset is making in the curriculum across disciplines / institutions – we’d love to hear about them and help disseminate your work across our region / nationally.

Closing date for submitting ideas is 5pm on Friday 13th June 2014… submit your ideas using this form: http://goo.gl/B0LQod


Sounds like you want to come along?  Excellent!

Date:                     8th July 2014

Time:                    1pm to 4pm with a buffet lunch from 12pm

Venue:                 B46, The Dearing Building, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham, NG8 1BB

Cost:                      Free (we love things that are free!)

To book head to http://emltsummer14.eventbrite.co.uk where you’ll need to enter the password to get in… this is: em1t  (emlt with the L replaced by a number 1) and then click on Register.

A map for the campus can be found on their website but can be downloaded from this link too:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sharedresources/documents/mapjubileecampus.pdf.  There is parking available, you just need to use the visitor parking where 4 hours parking will cost £4:00.

We’re really looking forward to seeing as many of you there as can make it… so sign up… encourage others to attend… tweet about it… and help make it a really useful event for us all!  Our hashtag is #emlt so help us spread the word!!

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Best Practice Hints and Tips: Video in learning and teaching

Photo Credit: bernat... via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: bernat… via Compfight cc

At our recent East Midlands Learning Technologists’ meeting, ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, we were exploring the digital video creativity and between us we came up with a list of hints and tips for those wanting to work with video in learning and teaching.  I promised I’d share our hints and tips… so… here they are…


  1. Don’t underestimate the time it takes.  Time is often the limiting factor.
  2. Consider your location
  3. Think about accessibility – consider file types and subtitles as part of the production process
  4. Get permission from participants
  5. You don’t always have to create your own video – there’s so much stuff out there already so reuse where you can!
  6. Establish the purpose of your video – why do you want to make it?  Don’t just make videos for the sake of videos!
  7. Rehearse and think about using a script – even if you are super familiar with the content it reduces the ums and urrs.
  8. Have appropriate production values – not everything has to be top quality, some materials can be rough and ready
  9. Will the video be standalone or be used with other learning materials? Tailor your video content to compliment the other materials.

Pre-recording checklist

  1. Consider your audience – this will help you decide whether you want the presenter to look directly at the camer
  2. Steady hands needed!  Alternatively… use a tripod
  3. Check jacket for porridge!  And teeth for spinach!
  4. Might audio work okay on its own?
  5. Make sure you consider sound, in many ways it’s more important than the visuals
  6. Think about how your video will be delivered?  Will it be accessible on YouTube, DVD, download?
  7. Get some phone and tablet tripod mounts – mobile devices can be a great way of recording video


  1. Keep it short
  2. Tag / apply meta data to your videos
  3. If you are creating your own video something, try to make it reusable or usable in different contexts
  4. Avoid dates and names etc so that videos can easily be reused
  5. Be aware of the message you’re trying to convey
  6. Listen back to what you’re recording
  7. Consider eye contact – for example, in an interview have someone ask questions so they have a focal point to look at.

Other ideas for video in learning and teaching

  1. Get students to create and edit their own videos!  They could be for revision purposes or showcasing skills for an e-portfolio etc
  2. Use for verbal feedback for students – you can expression your opinions quickly and in more detail.  You can also clarify points if a student is unsure of your feedback and the student can look over this in their own time… and it provides evidence that you are giving constructive feedback to improve their work
  3. Use video to introduce yourself and the course on the VLE – this adds a personal touch and helps build relationships
  4. Create short instructional videos of basic skills that students will require throughout their course but may need sporadically – this is useful as you don’t need to go over this material repeatedly and reduces the likelihood of ‘cold’ learning in teaching sessions

Are there any other hints and tips you’d add?  Use the comments box to share them with us!


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