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2020 #altc – the year forged in fire

I have been struggling to write any of my usual ‘year in review’ posts. I couldn’t find the words. But this evening I feel inspired and that is thanks to the community I work with, and whom I have shared much of this week at ALT’s Online Winter Conference.

It’s been a year like no other in Learning Technology and one throughout which the professionals I work with and that ALT represents have moved right into the heart of keeping education going… when family tech support moved up to a whole new level and a year in which we have all faced our own Everests.

No matter who you are or what your context is, wherever you may be, this year has forced us to face difficult moments and I find that rather than share my thoughts on the keynotes I have given and listened to or the research published, I want to focus on the compassion and care I have met with.

From sharing resources during the early days of the pandemic to supporting each other in practical ways such as weekly webinars, everyone has done their best to get through the year and make the most of the opportunities we have had. From changing policy with initiatives like the Open COVID Pledge for Education to developing new practice in teaching and assessment, it’s been a year of firsts.

To me, it’s been so important not to compromise on the values and professional principles we share even if in terms of practical execution ‘good enough’ has had to suffice.

I have huge admiration for all the Learning Technology professionals who have helped moved everyone online in the great online pivot… and then worked even more to make a new academic year possible… and then worked some more to ensure that the direction we are heading in is shaped by the expertise and know-how they bring to the table.

Kudos to you all. Those of you who are still standing, those of you who are having a well earned break and those of you who have prioritised caring for your families and loved ones and taken a step back from work.

It was a very special privilege for me to join ALT’s President Dave White in presenting a symbolic community award to all and every Learning Technologist today… and that includes you! Congratulations!

We at ALT work day in day out to champion professional recognition and advancement for those who have contributed so much to this year.

There is a lot more work ahead, and I am looking forward to getting stuck in to new ethical frameworks, assessment practices, CDP and more in 2021.

For now, there is a need to pause and reflect and be proud of what’s been achieved and I hope that today and this special community award contributes to that much needed moment of reflection and celebration.

Fittingly, the award being forged in the fire of 2020, it will become an enduring testament to what’s been accomplished by us all this year across sectors here in the UK and beyond.

To you all, I wish all the very best for what I hope will be a peaceful end to the year.

Here’s to a better 2021… and I am looking forward to seeing Learning Technologists go from strength to strength at the heart of learning, teaching and assessment.

In the meantime, I am going to avoid video calls, put wellies on and head into the great outdoors to walk the dog 🙂