From education to employment




ALT’S LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS – closing date 8 May (not 1st as previously stated)

£3800 prize fund available





Entries for the 2008 Learning Technologist of the Year award are now open. This is the second year that the Association for Learning Technology ( has run the awards, which celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field – the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment. Last year’s winning entries were from individuals and teams who had developed: computer simulations to allow students to safely practice taking x-rays without the risks of radiation; a new online self- and peer-assessment system; and the development of an ePortfolio system which is used by over 40 institutions. The award is this year sponsored by learning and ICT solutions specialist, Tribal Group (

First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each of two categories – individual and team:

1st prize £1000; 2nd prize £600; 3rd prize £300.

The Award is open to all individual members of ALT, and to individuals and teams based in ALT member organisations worldwide.

The award will be judged by a panel chaired by Professor Stephen Heppell, described by DfES as the most influential academic of recent years in the field of technology and education. The awards will be presented in Leeds at the ALT conference ( on the evening of 10 September 2008, by David Cavallo, Chief Learning Architect of One Laptop Per Child, and Head of the Future of Learning Research Group at MIT Media Lab.

Seb Schmoller, Chief Executive of ALT said: "Learning technologists play a crucial role in modern learning, teaching, and assessment, throughout the education system. They develop e-learning content and systems. They run organisations’ virtual learning environments. Their research underpins good practice and sound policy. But their achievements tend to be unsung. By celebrating and rewarding excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the field, the 2008 Learning Technologist of the Year Award will provide learning technologists with the public recognition that they deserve."

One of last year’s joint winners was Philip Cosson, Senior Lecturer in Medical Imaging of the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Teeside. Philip developed a tutor-supported computer simulation that allows first year radiography students to simulate the taking of an x-ray in a safe and controlled way without the dangers of radiation (virtual radiography).

He says, "The ALT Learning Technologist of the Year award has been of great benefit to me over the year. I have received recognition within my department, school and across the wider institution. I would encourage anybody who was thinking of applying to do so. The process was straightforward, and the application form helped to give structure to my project description. I was also very pleased to have an opportunity to clarify and expand on my submission within a teleconference as a shortlisted candidate.

“Since winning the award, my project has gone from strength to strength extending into year two of the curriculum with new software in development. The use of simulation within the radiography curriculum at Teesside is becoming embedded, with colleagues beginning to adopt the tools and techniques the project has made available. Further universities and colleges in the USA have also adopted the virtual radiography tool."

Hannah Whaley, Learning Technologist at the University of Dundee’s Learning Centre was a joint winner for achievements including the creation of a new online self- and peer-assessment system and of a groupwork assessment system. She says, “Winning the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year award has opened many doors for new projects and partnerships within the University of Dundee and the wider learning technology community. I was delighted to be recognised by ALT as it provided a great chance to highlight the work that learning technologists do day to day within institutions, and the potential that many of their projects have to go further and impact the whole sector. The self and peer assessment has now been released globally within a commercial VLE and I am excited to see students around the world benefiting from the system. The award process itself was a fantastic opportunity to gather feedback from, and make contact with, specialists within the learning technology field and I believe it would be a valuable experience for many other learning technologists.”

Last year’s runner up was the PebblePad Development Team from Pebble Learning Ltd in Wolverhampton. The company’s Shane Sutherland commented, "Being a relatively small and young company the ALT award added valuable credibility to our work and endorsed the skills and enthusiasm of the team we were developing." The team was commended for its work on the PebblePad ePortfolio which has since developed into a Personal Learning System being used in learning contexts as diverse as schools, colleges, universities and professional bodies; by learners, teachers and assessors; for personal development planning (PDP), continuing professional development (CPD) and language and technology (L&T).

Application deadline for the 2008 Learning Technologist of the Year award: 8 May 2008 .

To join ALT, visit:

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