How to Silence a Politician

Tell them you’re a Learning Technologist.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the audience of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? Afterwards, once I’d finished admiring Theresa May’s boots,  I was chatting, as you do,  to a real-life Secretary of State.  We started off on safe ground talking about his dad.  Once that was covered, I was asked, ‘what do you do?’; Learning Technologist I say, after which an explanation was not unsurprisingly required.  Now, it may well be the way I tell ’em but the Secretary of State was struck dumb and an awkward silence ensued.  I kid you not.

M25 Motorway
M25 Motorway

Of course, I should have directed him to the What Do I Do? blog post I wrote a few months ago, following a meeting of the M25 Learning Technology Group.

Yesterday I attended another M25 meeting where we discussed the varying structures and strategies that our institutions have adopted for developing the use of learning technologies.  Speakers from Imperial (or Imperial), City, UEL, LondonMet & LSE showed just how varied the structures, strategies, approaches and levels of funding are.

The discussion then moved on to the future… future structures, future roles & career paths for learning technologists and even the future existence of Learning Technologists… Personally, I don’t see the latter as an issue; there will always be teaching and technology will always be changing and I think there will always be a need for people who understand both and can be dedicated to evaluating, showcasing, advising, promoting etc.

And finally, in case the Right Hon. gentleman is reading… this week I have: worked with a colleague to develop & deliver a new workshop – wikis and google docs for collaborative writing (part of our digital literacies programme); sat in on a ‘Moodle Next Steps’ course delivered by a colleague; introduced the art of blogging to this year’s LSE Finalists who will be blogging soon; revisited dipity timelines & wetpaint wikis; experimented with sliderocket; started to plan the student orientation sessions for our Second life project; almost run out-of-time to submit an abstract for next year’s Plymouth e-Learning conference and managed to fit in some valuble infomal networking with M25 colleagues.

I love my job 🙂


Reader Comments

  1. You’re a breath of fresh air Matt and agree whatever the politics, whether people understand what we do (including our management) it’s a hugely varied & flexible job for many of us. Not so sure the 2 brave souls at that large institution where you used to work would concur though:) R

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