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May ’21: Life/work balance, creative projects and virtual team working

Life/work balance

Last month starting with some well-earned time off. One aim I have set myself for this year is to take work at my own pace. As a CEO I find there is always pressure, too much to be getting on with – but I am doing what I can to work at a pace that is sustainable for my life/work balance. So some of what I enjoyed most about the last month was not being at work 🙂

And I am not the only one seeking a better life/work balance…

Part of the plan for this year is to learn some new things… and broadcasting on the radio is one of THE most enjoyable things I have done this month. In large part this is thanks to Anne-Marie, who very patiently taught me how to do it in the simplest way (and after a YEAR of encouragement, we managed an hour on the airwaves). I loved it!

Leading a Virtual Team

Mental Health for Virtual Teams

It was #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek 2021 from 10 – 16 May and, with the effects the pandemic has had on everyone’s mental health over the last 12 months, it’s more important than ever for organisations to prioritise mental health in the workplace. Here in the UK restrictions are lifting and things are getting a lit bit easier and from next week, the slow return to offices and campuses is entering a new phase. Whilst the weather is still a bit mixed we are slowly moving into a brighter time of year. I blogged about how we are checking in with mental wellbeing for virtual teams including what practical steps we take as a team and an organisation. Read more.

Virtual Team Day

This month was our first full Team Day of the year. We blogged about what we did, why and how.

The ‘why’ of our virtual Team Days

As a distributed team we have had a blended approach to individual catch up and team get togethers for a couple of years. Due to the impact of lockdown living and working from home with family, pets and under pressure, we didn’t have formal Team Days last year and instead shorter, more frequent social gatherings online. For example, we used birthdays as a prompt to have a virtual team get together, often with cake or similar treats sent by post to everyone in advance. Things have improved over the last few weeks and months and our team is now ready to come together for a full day.

A full day is a lot of time, particularly in a small team with mostly part-time workers. We don’t have any external commitments on the day and Out of Office messages are firmly ON. So why do we have Team Days:

  • To give ourselves time to hang out together
  • To work together on something as a team
  • To have fun and focus on our social relationships

Read more.

Things I really enjoyed working on

I love the artwork for the @A_L_T Annual Conference this year #altc
created by the talented Gloria Corra, winner of the #altc student competition at London College of Communication

Consultation on an Ethical Framework for professional practice in Learning Technology

As part of ALT’s strategic aim to strengthen recognition and representation for Learning Technology professionals from all sectors, one of the priorities Members identified for this year is to develop an ethical framework for Learning Technology. We have received a lot of of input from the working group, including many links to resources and organisations that can help inform the framework and we have worked to define a set of ethical principles which will form the core of the new framework alongside tools including for example a checklist or reflective questionnaire, to help individuals, institutions and industry to see how these principles are put into action.

Deadline: 9th June 2021. 


This month I have been enjoying playing along with the #MayVinylChallenge (thanks to Simon Horrocks, who helped me discover it), which I think was set up by the Founder of Women in Vinyl, Jenn D’Eugenio. As a side note, Women in Vinyl sounds like a great group and reminds me a lot of #FemEdTech. So… I sure I am not the only one who is looking for a bit more fun just now, and I am glad to say that fellow vinyl enthusiast and #altc blog editor David Hopkins is game to take inspiration from this community challenge and create our very own #altc community #JuneEdTechChallenge! Read more.

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