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… and @suchadrag goes for a prize

I’ve been meaning to add more substance to this section of my website for a long time (very long!). As it happens, though, I enjoy helping colleagues out of Learning Technology pickles much more than I do boasting about that, so I never got round to writing much here… However, when many colleagues in the Learning Technologists @ Leeds Network very kindly and generously encouraged me to enter the ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year Award, I immediately saw the connection.

My work with Learning Technologies has always been available to everyone and I figured this application form shouldn’t be any different (who knows, it may help others; it may remind candidates of things they have been involved with, too).

At the end of the day, all I have been able to achieve is due to three things: being focused on using learning technologies to make a real difference to my colleagues and their students; having a marked disregard for personal time, week-ends, holidays and the like; and being so very fortunate to work with superb like-minded colleagues from the University of Leeds, as well as the Articulate E-Learning Heroes.

So here are the main sections of my application form. If I have been working with you, I would appreciate your comments which would really show the judges what impact (if any) my work has really had.

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5. Your summary as to why you or your team should win the award (200 words maximum). Write this once you have completed sections 6A to 6D.

As an Academic Staff Development Officer, I have been central to the building of a real community of Learning Technologists and academics at the University of Leeds. I have also been seeking to bring academic and professional e-learning experts together, and have therefore initiated the yearly European Articulate Conferences attended by 150+ individuals. Thirdly, I have been researching and supporting numerous learning technologies for my colleagues. Finally, I have been building online resources for large-scale UK and European projects.

Over the past two years, thanks to the increasingly cohesive Learning Technologists Network, several of these projects – e.g. lecture capture and online collaboration with Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro; e-voting; interactive e-learning content creation with Articulate Studio – have become very influential, attracting local and international interest and leading to dissemination activities at ALT-C, JISC, HEA, and local conferences.

Through my online and face-to-face work I seek to integrate the Leeds Learning Technologists into global communities like ALT and #edtech, for the ultimate benefit of my colleagues, their peers, and the students and researchers they work with. The numerous expressions of support on my blog show my impact within and outside of my University.

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6. Your evidence. Please summarise your evidence against each of the 4 areas listed below (400 words maximum per area, including any URLs – a URL will count as one word, and must be preceded by http://).

6A. A clear description of the actions and roles taken to develop and support the achievement. Individual entrants should indicate any substantial involvement of others in the achievement. Team entrants should indicate who actually did what.

  1. In charge of the University of Leeds Learning Technologists Network: http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/sddu-lt-learning-technologists-leeds-network.html
    1. I organise regular networking sessions
    2. I recently started a series of online Masterclasses led by members of the community, recorded & made available through the institutional VLE
    3. I encourage the integration of local discussions into the global community via the #uoltech Twitter hashtag
  1. Involved in the global Learning Technologists community by being a voluntary member of the CMALT Development Group http://www.alt.ac.uk/get-involved/certified-membership/cmalt-development-group
  1. Main organiser and leader of the European Articulate Conference (3rd edition on the 17th of May, 2011). 150+ academic and professional; in-house and freelance; beginner, intermediate & advanced e-learning professionals have attended so far. Live and on-line sessions available every year, together with numerous examples shared: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/articulate/conference2011/index.html
  1. In charge of University of Leeds support websites for:
    1. the Articulate pilot project: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/articulate
    2. e-voting: http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/online_resources/evoting/
  1. In charge of the University of Leeds Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro lecture capture and online communication project– documentation available in the relevant section on http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/sddu-lt-tools.html
  1. Recently appointed in charge of supporting the University of Leeds Box of Broadcasts project
  1. I train University of Leeds staff to use:
    1. Learning and Teaching Technologies in their practice as part of the University of Leeds Teaching Award – Level 1 (ULTA-1) programme
    2. Articulate Studio 09 at beginner level
    3. Articulate Studio 09 at advanced level
    4. Questionmark Perception
    5. E-voting technology
  1. I work with individuals and faculties on University of Leeds Teaching Fellowship (UTF) projects ensuring that learning technologies are integrated effectively
  1. Co-organiser and presenter at yearly University of Leeds Hands on the Future event: http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/sddu-hands-on-the-future.html
  1. I disseminate research:
    1. ALT-C 2010: 2 joint presentations and 2 nominations for awards
    2. ALT-C 2011: 4 joint presentations accepted subject to amendments
    3. through my own blog: https://suchadrag.wordpress.com
    4. through The #edtech Daily publication: http://paper.li/suchadrag/1295002107
  1. I lead funded bids – the latest by the JISC-funded Leeds Building Capacity Project
  2. I build online interactive multimedia resources for the HEFCE-funded National Network for Interpreting project http://www.nationalnetworkforinterpreting.ac.uk/ (shortlisted in two competitions at ALT-C 2010), and the EU-funded ORCIT project http://www.orcit.eu/
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6B. Clear, credible, statement of individual or team approach to the technological, and/or methodological, and/or managerial, and/or teaching and learning choices made by the applicant (individual or team), during the period covered by the application[1].

First and foremost, I strongly believe in the outstanding value of the Learning Technologists @ Leeds Network and my commitment to keeping the community active and sharing is a direct consequence of this belief.

By fostering a sense of community among the University of Leeds Learning Technologists, I seek to strengthen their positions both individually and as a group. The members can learn a lot from each other and can therefore perform their roles significantly better when benefitting from the entire group’s knowledge and experience.

My recent involvement with the CMALT Development Group is motivated by my wish to join my colleague and senior CDG member Kirsten Thompson in encouraging all the members of the University of Leeds Learning Technologists community to seek CMALT accreditation and share their expertise with the global CMALT community.

I am convinced of the value of reflective teaching practice, collaborative research and engagement with the worldwide community. This is why I have managed the Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro project so that it would include a wide range of users and uses. Just like in the case of the other projects I manage, I have implemented a robust support mechanism, consisting of face-to-face group and individual training and informal sessions, as well as comprehensive online documentation.

In choosing or recommending learning technology solutions both to individual lecturers and to bigger groups or even Faculties, I conduct a rapid and effective consultation process in order to identify the exact needs of the client. Following this stage, I present a number of alternatives and I then narrow the list further based on feedback from the client. Moreover, since the revival of the Learning Technologists @ Leeds Network, I bring the local support structures available to the client into the loop, as well.

This approach explains the growing in popularity of technologies such as e-voting, Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, and Articulate Studio, with positive influences on the quality of the University of Leeds student experience and standard of learning and teaching. When it comes to taking a solution to the University level, I maintain an effective working relationship with all the teams and services involved in integrating and rolling out that particular solution.

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6C. Major and beneficial impact on practices within the entrant’s or team’s organisation, or community, or sphere of influence.

Learning Technologists@Leeds Network:

Providing a support structure for the community, and building a culture of sharing is a challenge in such a large institution. However, through the numerous activities and initiatives listed at 6.A, significant progress is being made.

One measure of impact is the fact that all four proposals for 30-minute demonstrations written and submitted on behalf of a group of colleagues from all faculties have been accepted subject to amendments at ALT-C 2011.

Another measure of impact is the series of monthly technology Masterclasses which has very recently taken off – 2 sessions so far, over 25 individuals involved.

Articulate Studio project:

Following the support offered on a one-to-one basis, through beginner and advanced courses, the University of Leeds Articulate website, bespoke sessions, and the yearly European Articulate Conference, the number of interactive, multimedia online resources created with Articulate Studio and available to all faculties and central services through the institutional VLE has increased as follows:

  • 2009:200 resources
  • 2010:1,600 resources
  • 2011:2,380 resources

Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro project:

Although it started as a lecture capture project with an initial target of nine users (one from each Faculty), within 9 months the pilot has attracted 45 users in 39 online classrooms.

In a recent survey, users indicated over 1,400 students and fellow researchers reached in approximately 250 online sessions.

Moreover, I have supported colleagues in using the application for much more than just lecture capture:

  • record and annotate lectures to produce additional revision materials for students;
  • record sessions in order to review them and improve one’s teaching practice
  • engage students in face-to-face lectures by allowing them to submit questions anonymously using their mobile devices
  • invite overseas speakers to talk to students and peers and answer questions live online
  • invite overseas experts to share knowledge and experience with conference participants
  • collaborate with colleagues from other institutions on research projects, presentations, etc.
  • conduct ad-hoc online meetings and discussions between students and external markers
  • run Masterclasses for the Learning Technologists@Leeds Network
  • conduct live online open days for overseas prospective students, enabling them to talk to lecturers and researchers

e-voting

  • after working with individual faculties and the central ISS, a solution is available by default on all lecture theatre computers, as well as to individual staff on request, making the integration of this technology into teaching simply plug and play
  • the support offered face-to-face and online has led to individual faculty champions effecting change, and consequently more than 3,000 e-voting handsets being currently used on campus.
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6D. Outstanding overall contribution in managing, researching, supporting or enabling learning with the use of learning technology.

Managing learning technology

  • I have been managing the Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro lecture capture and online communication project and then have scaled it up to have a much bigger impact both in terms of the number of students reached, but also in terms of the activities facilitated: learning and teaching, research, widening participation, internationalisation, marketing, etc. After several years without a viable online conferencing solution, the University now has a tested option thanks to my initiative to conduct an independent survey of options and consequently bring this application onto the campus, as well as to my commitment to supporting staff in using it in novel ways.
  • I have been managing the Articulate Studio project to increase the exposure of the University of Leeds students, as well as the wider community, to interactive online resources created by University of Leeds staff in all faculties and services.
  • through the yearly organisation of the European Articulate Conference, e-learning professionals from academia and the industry have had an opportunity to meet, share, and discuss novel ways of using Articulate Studio creatively to deliver more effective online training
  • e-voting technology is now a lot more widely used at the University of Leeds and the commitment of several teams and faculties to purchase and integrate the technology into their activities has been influenced to some extent by my involvement, too

Research

  • I research and test novel ways of using learning technologies, and then I share them with the community via

Support

  • I support the initiatives I am involved in with:
    • face-to-face and online communities
    • a series of Masterclasses for University of Leeds staff
    • websites dedicated to individual learning technologies
    • a personal blog dedicate to learning technologies
    • regular Twitter updates for #uoltech, #articulate, #edtech and #lrnchat
    • The #edtech Daily publication: http://paper.li/suchadrag/1295002107
62 Comments
  1. Damian McDonald permalink

    Dragos is an inspiration to us all – his boundless enthusiasm and passion for learning technology make him the ideal candidate for this award, and I can’t honestly think of anyone that deserves it more.

  2. Samantha Pugh permalink

    As a novice learning technologist, Dragos’ help has been invaluable. He’s someone I can always turn to for advice and inspiration. His infectious enthusiasm transmits to everyone else. The Learning Technologists@Leeds is extemely valuable and it’s also enjoyable to be part of that community. Dragos is constantly thinking of new ways to improve the community and use of technology, which benefits us all.

  3. Dragos fully deserves this recognition for his expertise, enthusiasm and unparalleled support for colleagues and students. His energetic approach to using technology in new ways, to enhance learning and teaching across the University, is a model of good practice and has benefited hundreds of students (and staff), even just in my own department. He has our full support – we’d be delighted to see his work recognised.

  4. Rebecca Tipton permalink

    Dragos has provided invaluable support to the partners involved in the National Network for Interpreting (NNI) over the past four years. The technical expertise he has brought to the work of the NNI has always been accompanied by a creative flair that allows different audiences to interact and learn from the resources he has been instrumental in bringing to the web. His outstanding CV in Learning Technologies and enthusiasm for disseminating his work make him a well-deserving candiate for the ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year Award. Colleagues at the University of Salford who have collaborated with Dragos on the NNI programme wish him every success.

  5. Kirsten Thompson permalink

    Dragos, is an e-learning superhero and if there ever were a human form for ‘Captain Smiley’, Dragos fits the bill! He is always full of inspirational ideas which he is ready and willing to share with colleagues and the wider community. I fully support Dragos’ application, he absolutely deserves this.

  6. Marcus Hill permalink

    Dragos has unbounding energy which he devotes to all those around him who need guidance and support with learning technologies. He has given unfailing support to me in: building articulate presentations, website developments, recording podcasts, my quest for latest technologies… which have all led to positive impacts upon my staff development activities. Where would I be without him?

  7. I first met Dragos a few years ago when I was struggling to get to grips with Articulate as a tool to create online learning materials. As the only person in my institution using this software I felt very isolated and unsure about how to proceed. I googled for inspiration and came across the Leeds University website and Dragos’s name. I contacted him and arranged a visit and it proved to be a real turning point for me. Dragos was so enthusiastic, helpful and supportive that I felt up to the challenge. Knowing he is around when I get stuck or just need a quick bit of advice is, well, fantastic. Dragos always shares his expertise freely and with a smile and fully deserves to be recognised for his work with this award.

  8. Nancy Davies permalink

    With an enthusiasm for learning technology (and also cake!) Dragos has created a really strong learning technology community here at Leeds. It has provided a valuable showcase of all the amazing talent we have at the University and as a result when it comes to learning technology we are never short of people to work with or ask for help.

  9. Alina Secara permalink

    It is thanks to Dragos’ enthusiasm and excellent support that I integrated e-voting, Adobe Connect and Articulate in my teaching. The effects have been incredibly positive, especially in one area identified as problematic, namely feedback. The clickers allowed my students to become more actively engaged in class, be it through peer feedback or quick tests, and they allowed me to identify specific areas where discussions and further clarifications were needed. Dragos is someone I can always turn to for advice and inspiration and that’s why I consider him to be the ideal candidate for this award.

  10. Rob Baker permalink

    Dragos’ involvement in e-voting initiatives in the dental curriculum has been marked by his commitment to innovation in learning and teaching, his ability to solve problems effectively and supportively, his approachability, his unfailing sense of humour and his infectious enthusiasm.

  11. Dragos is an inspirational colleague and teacher. His enthusiasm for the transfer of knowledge and his commitment to dragging us all into the 21st century of communication is infectious and effective. He has the skills to listen, understand and synthesise a problem quickly, identify options for a solution, present and adapt these, and help his partners to home in on best-fit answers. He is a perfect ambassador for the better use of technology at Leeds – a perfect old-fashioned teacher and collaborator for the modern world.

  12. Michelle Schneider permalink

    Dragos really is a breath of fresh air at Leeds. He has limitless enthusiasm not just for new and exciting technologies but also for helping and supporting colleagues to make the most of them. He is always full of ideas and not afraid to try new things. Best of all he is happy to share his ideas and encourages others to do the same through the learning technologists network, the very popular Hands on the Future event and the European Articulate Conference which attracts participants not just from education but the corporate world too. Dragos undoubtedly deserves this award!

  13. Chris Pickering permalink

    Dragos has shown enthusiasm and commitment in helping us to use e-voting with large student groups. His (rapid!) problem solving and his ability to keep smiling when all around are falling apart is an inspiration to us all.

    He richly deserves to be recognised for the fantastic contribution he makes both in supporting staff and in enhancing the student experience.

  14. Jenny permalink

    Dragos, happy to support you, because I think that you do a great job.
    You’re informed, enthusiastic, hard working, approachable, diligent.

  15. Carol Elston permalink

    My comments echo all those above, so I’ll keep this short (and I’m sure there must be a word count!). Dragos’s expertise and enthusiasm is appreciated by his friends and colleagues at the University of Leeds as well as the learning and teaching community beyond. This award would help to demonstrate this appreciation.

  16. Catriona Howard permalink

    I have worked with Dragos on both the NNI and ORCIT projects mentioned in his application. His contribution has been invaluable and I never cease to be amazed by his creativity and willingness to try to achieve anything we ask of him. Regardless of how random and unrealistic my ideas for resources might be, he always makes my visions reality even if it involves several days of research into new ways of doing things. He is one of those people that always goes the extra mile. Beyond the projects, Dragos has inspired me to incorporate a range of new practices into my teaching- thanks to him I have started a few initiatives I feel will really benefit my students.

    As a result, I truly believe he is the perfect candidate to be awarded ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year. Actually, I know in the eyes of everyone he works with that he already is our Technologist of the Year.

  17. Jade Kelsall permalink

    Jack of all trades, master of most: Dragos’ enthusiasm and energy are an inspiration to a huge number of staff at Leeds, both tech-savvy and technophobes.

  18. Dragos is an enthusiastic colleague who has made a real difference in the scope of technology used to enhance education delivery. This award (ALT2011) would be entirely appropriate to reflect the achievement to date.

  19. I am delighted to support Dragos in this application. He stands out in a crowd and has the dogged determination needed to bring about institutional change from the bottom up -often one person at a time. Many colleagues have mentioned his enthusiasm and energy which is seemingly boundless. He is not shy of putting himself out front to champion the technologies in which he believes, and I hope Leeds have issued him with a taller-than-regulation-size flak jacket for the job.

    I always admire learning technologists who ‘walk the talk’ and Dragos’ own approaches to open practice, sharing and community building are very much to his credit.

  20. Dragos oozes enthusiasm. But more, he is supportive of all, no matter who you are. I had a project student who wanted to develop web-based material as the output. “Articulate” was the obvious solution but my student was a Mac user. Dragos went way beyond the call of duty to enable Jess to produce a website that is now live:
    http://www.bmb.leeds.ac.uk/mbiology/ug/Projects/jess/

    He has also been very supportive of my efforts and is an inspiration. He is modest, approachable and is one of those people that, all round, one is privileged to know. I wholeheartedly endorse his application for an award, for which he is clearly eligible and which he should win.

  21. Dragos was instrumental in making this years Articulate Users Conference such a success. His enthusiasm for and experience with learning technologies is impressive. He also worked hard to make the social aspects of the conference a success. I enjoyed a really excellent pre-conference dinner hosted of course by Dragos. He gets my vote!

  22. Tony Lowe permalink

    Dragos exhibits all the traits required of a leader amongst learning technologists:

    A BIG personality
    Endless energy and enthusiasm
    The ability to empathize with and motivate users
    Quick to get to grips with new tools and technologies
    Sufficient geekiness to get his hands dirty in the code when required
    Totally fearless of challenge
    Able to evaluate and identify valid L&T applications of technologies and not in love with tech for tech’s sake…
    Not a blinkered iClone

    I have had the pleasure of working with Dragos now for several years and it has been a wild ride so far… looking forward to the future. Good luck mate!

  23. I believe Dragos is an excellent candidate for this award and thoroughly deserves to win. His enthusiasm, expertise and positive, supportive attitude mean that he manages to make things happen and bring about change, where others might have given up. It is always a pleasure to work with him.

    He has been a good friend to the ALPS programme (www.alps-cetl.ac.uk) providing excellent hands-on support and advice when we tried out mobile voting in lecture theatres. He also agreed to be a member of the Mobile Procurement Working Group, advising the School of Medicine when we set up the Mobile Learning Project. This project has led to more than 500 medical students using mobile devices to support their learning and assessment – .
    http://bit.ly/dEKOxD

  24. Liz Lister permalink

    I have been really impressed by Dragos’ willingness to consider individual problems and proactively seek a solution.

  25. David Duthie permalink

    I attended one of Dragos’s courses on Wimba Create. Having no experience of the program, Dragos took the workshop through the important features of it in a clear, steady and at times, very amusing way keeping up the interest of the whole group thoughout the hours of the workshop. An educator who exudes enthusiasm, he fields questions in a welcoming way and gives clear explanation until the answer is understood.

  26. Alison Ketchell permalink

    I too fully support Dragos in his application for the ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year Award. His infectious enthusiasm for learning technologies and ability to convey his subject area in an interesting and approachable manner have certainly inspired me – a jibbering technophobe – to turn my hand to the development of e learning materials. Thank you for your patience, support and guidance and all the best with your submission.

  27. As well as providing detailed and supportive advice when I’ve needed it, Dragos has also enabled me through the Learning Technologists’ Network to feel part of a group of people engaged with learning technology projects. It’s good not to feel isolated. Dragos seems to have unflagging energy and if a particular approach isn’t working, he’ll try a new one. I totally support his nomination for this award.

  28. John Hayes permalink

    Dragos is making a massive contribution to improving the quality of learning and teaching at Leeds. His enthusiasm and his ability to enthuse others make him a strong candidate for the ALT 2011 Learning Technologist of the Year Award

  29. Dragos is a wonderful colleague and a superb advocate of the use of appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning. His real talent is in taking people with him on his many journeys of discovery. He has limitless energy and enthusiasm and makes an irreplaceable contribution at Leeds. He is big of heart and of stature and I have no hesitation in supporting his application.

  30. I know Dragos from the Articulate conferences. He is a very friendly guy who has helped me with my ‘beginner’ questions with enthusiasm and support. He’s great to be around as you don’t feel intimidated to say ‘I don’t know/understand.’ I’ll be asking him again I’m sure (!!).
    The Articulate conference is so well organised and he remembers you from the previous year – how welcoming is that? He deserves this award.
    Stevie

  31. Tamara Bloom permalink

    One particular trait that I think makes Dragos such an excellent learning technologist is a desire not to just give the answers and show off his own skills, but to point others newer to the area in where to find solutions for themselves. I’ve learnt from him not just the basics, but how to find out more. Plus a humility that means he’s happy to try out new things, admit when he doesn’t know an answer and help you find out. Good luck 🙂

  32. Natalya Bogoslavskaya permalink

    Dragos is not just highly professional and enthusiastic in everything he does but he is also extremely tolerant of other people’s ignorance, extremely patient and understanding. He is very generous with his time, and I personally have been the beneficiary of all these wonderful qualities.
    He certainly deserves recognition!

  33. Debbie Greenwood permalink

    Dragos is a real role model as a positive ‘team worker’. He is enthusiastic, professional and ready to help non-tecky’s like me (without ever making one feel silly!) What sums up Dragos is his smile & can do attitude, and that is hugely important for team morale. Good luck Dragos.

  34. Kirsten Huby permalink

    I attended one of Dragos’s sessions on using Articulate and found his enthusiasm for his subject infectious. He inspired me to try ideas and gave constructive feedback on the outcomes. I am not that technical and often worried about getting things wrong. Dragos made me feel that it was ok to try ideas. He is always helpful and a pleasure to contact for advice.

  35. Over 80 people have led JISC Techdis HEAT projects but few as enthusiastically as Dragos. His Mobile Multimedia Classroom appeared to be an instant hit with colleagues, technophiles and technophobes alike. His project reporting is both informative and entertaining, and his presenting is engaging at all levels and incredibly infectious. Not only is he incredibly talented and a great enthusiastic educator, he also comes across as genuine, passionate and driven by a desire to help everyone embrace the best that Learning Technologies can offer them, without preaching or pushing technology into places where it is not the best solution. Dragos is always a pleasure to work with – and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.

  36. Rob Mortimer permalink

    I’m delighted to support Dragos’ application. He has been incredibly helpful in supporting me to get staff in my school to embrace technology for learning and teaching. He came and gave an L&T forum to showcase different hardware and software. He advised us on what to purchase and helped test the equipment and write ‘how to’ guides for staff. He is always responsive and helpful.

  37. Honor Aldred permalink

    What can I add? Dragos is always generous with his time and patient with those of us who need a little help using the tchnologies. His unfailing good humour means he is easily approachable too.

  38. Giles Harrington permalink

    Dragos devotes long hours to delivering workshops and courses of the highest standard. Enthusiastic, eminently knowledgeable and extremely generous with time and patience, I can’t think of a more deserving recipient than Dragos.

  39. Peter permalink

    We in the Language Centre have benefitted greatly from working with Dragos over several years, from his general enthusiasm and energy (so we keep on keeping on), from his organizing of networks and events (so we know what others are doing and find new opportunities) and his specialist expertise (so we develop useful materials in Articulate, click away with clickers etc.) He is a very deserving candidate. We wish him luck.

  40. Jane O'Neill permalink

    Dragos exemplifies the ideal learning technologist – enormous enthusiasm for and skills with the technology coupled with an equal enthusiasm for learning and teaching. He combines both with an accessible approach, patience and determination which results in the ideal solution for the learning and teaching initiatives he supports.

  41. I’ve alway found Dragos ready to help, and extremely knowledgable about technology solutions.

    He provided excellent support when our team needed electronic voting equipment for an event, and his assistance meant it ran without a hitch.

    It’s always good to work with an expert who’s friendly and happy to engage. His important contributions should be recognised.

  42. Paul Shaw permalink

    Dragos brings together technical skills, practical skills and above all people skills to ensure that staff who are themselves learning about learning technology, are encouraged to “have a go”. I fully support Dragos for his advice, support and wizardry. My students are now benefitting from Articulate and electronic voting and this has encouraged me to develop more e-learning in my teaching.

  43. Antonio Martínez-Arboleda permalink

    I am sure that when the ALT thought of offering this yearly award for the first time they had in mind Dragos, or at least Dragos’ profile. Dragos is an extremely talented learning technologist, who knows his stuff better than anybody else and works extremely hard. He is passionate and has the right attitude to the problems and challenges that education practitioners, students and institutions face in relation to learning technology. His understanding of both colleagues’ and students’ learning is brilliant. All this, alongside his amazing human side, is more than sufficient to support him in this award. Vamos Dragos!

  44. In 2007 the University of Leeds, in partnership with Bath, Salford and Westminster won a bid to create a National Network for Interpreting. The Network has been a key strand in the Routes into Languages initiative, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with the aim of developing the role of languages as a ‘motor of civic and economic regeneration’ and promoting the profession of interpreting.

    The biggest part of the project was to create a website and build a set of interactive multimedia on-line resources containing informative and stimulating material to engage our target audiences, i.e. university and school students and teachers. Dragos Ciobanu was recruited for the role of the web and resources developer and the Network could not have been luckier in the choice of this appointment. Already in the first year thanks to Dragos’s amazing creativity and tireless efforts the project has become a great national and international success. The web project was presented at the European Commission’s Universities’ Conference in 2008 to great acclaim from the international audience of delegates from some 120 universities around the world. One of the NNI’s biggest referral sites is the EU’s Interpreting for Europe Facebook page. In September 2010 NNI’s website was presented at “ALT-C” conference, the largest e-learning event nationwide. At the “ALT-C” conference NNI’s on-line resources were presented in three different capacities: a) the Interpreting Skills Map resource which was commended in the Jorum Learning and Teaching award, and was listed in Jorum‟s October 2010 newsletter as one of the most-viewed resources featured on their site; b) the note-taking exercise was a finalist in the ALT/Epigeum Award for Most Effective Use of Video 2010; and c) the NNI resources were presented during one of the conference sessions.

    Currently NNI gets around 3,000 visits per month from all over the world. The Network’s team believe that Dragos’s talent, creativity, expert knowledge, painstaking approach, and personal passion about e-learning are simply unrivalled. One only needs to visit the site to see what an e-learning treasure it is, universally loved by students of all ages and their teachers. We are simply indebted to Dragos.

    Svetlana Carsten,
    Director, the National Network for Interpreting

  45. Guy Peverell permalink

    I have only met Dragos through the Articulate conferences, attended in 2010 and 2011. However, I have found him to be a likeable and excellent communicator, passionate and knowledgeable on his subject, and willing to go the extra mile, be it through setting up video-cons with various guru’s in the U.S., or simply running down from his office to direct me to the car park. Thanks again.

  46. Maggie McPherson permalink

    When trying to set up a PGR with a particular software application to carry out research, Dragos responded swiftly and without any fuss. This is an enormous help in a world filled with bureaucracy!

  47. Dragos is very committed to bring technologies into the classroom to enhance student experience and learning. At the same time, he is very aware of the constraints staff face in learning, using and adopting technologies. He is responding to this with great patience and time commitment. Thus he has been extremly helpful and inspiring in helping me in testing and adopting different types of technologies in the classroom. In doing so, he also convinced non-technology savy colleagues to consider the application of new technologies.

  48. stephen wolstenhulme permalink

    Dragos has worked with myself and other colleauges in the Academic Unit of Diagnostic Imaging on learning technologies: training, assist with teaching and researcch projects. Topics addressed include: Articulate, e-voting and Flicker cameras. He is passionate about the topic and a great leader and team player.

    I fully support the application.

    Stephen Wolstenhulme
    Lecturer in Ultrasound

  49. Simon Lightfoot permalink

    Dragos’s help with Articulate allowed me to complete a project that otherwise would have been beyond my capabilities.

  50. A group of University of Leeds colleagues permalink

    • Dragos is always super approachable and enthusiastic and full of interesting new ideas
    • I have been impressed by Dragos’ responsiveness and helpfulness
    • He deals promptly, effectively and creatively with crises
    • His infectious enthusiasm and his ability to explain complex matters clearly
    • I really have only good things to say about Dragos
    • He knows his stuff, takes initiative and thinks out of the box when necessary
    • He’s a pleasure to work with
    • I find him a pleasure, a joy and an inspiration as a colleague
    • I would not embark on trialling the technologies had it not been for his support
    • Great asset to the university
    • Listens to other people’s frustrations; rarely expresses his own
    • I’m not sure that, in my career to date, I have met a more spontaneously generous, kind and true colleague
    • Genuinely interested in helping us to do things in a more innovative way; we felt we received a high level of support by email and in person, which gave us confidence in adopting new approaches.
    • An essential source of advice that we could not do without
    • Cakes were an added bonus
    • Fantastic team player
    • Technical expertise and enthusiasm to try and share new ‘things’ is much appreciated
    • His enthusiasm for technology is inspiring and I’m not sure I would have experimented quite so much with learning technologies, and learned so much myself, otherwise!

  51. Sally Chan permalink

    Dragos was great at making the technology accessible to all. He understood my needs and requirements from our very brief consultation and his demonstrations made it very easy to grasp the fundamentals. What made it useful was his flexible approach to things – training academics is not an easy task! I thought he handled it very well indeed and was able to offer follow up support [very important for when things do not go according to plan!].

  52. Tony Hartley, Translation Studies permalink

    Dragos thrives on questions he doesn’t (yet) have an answer to. He hunts down a number of potential solutions/applications, tests them every which way, tweaks the best and then explains why and how you can make it work for you. Awesome.

  53. Cath Potter permalink

    Dragos has been essential to the running of the modules I run for first year dental students. I particular the use of e-voting during the group presentations in the induction module. As this is the student’s first introduction to this type of technology it is really important that the sessions run smoothly. I could not do this without him!!
    In addition, support in the use of articulate to produce e-learning for dental students throughout the course has been fantastic.
    I value Dragos’s input help and guidance more than I can say.

  54. Jeremy Munday permalink

    Dragos is a wonderful, enthusiastic and understanding colleague. I value his expertise and professionalism very highly. He is always willing to help, make suggestions, and he strives to improve and to find the best solution.

  55. Catherine Bell permalink

    As you can see by the number of contributions to this post, Dragos is extremely valued at Leeds by all his colleagues and I fully support his application for Learning Technologist of the Year. He is an absolute pleasure to work with. All I can do is back what the others are saying about his countless enthusiasm and eagerness to help. His enthusiasm, energy and his smile – definitely are infectious and I can’t think of anyone more perfect for the award and wish him every success.

  56. Rebecca Dearden permalink

    As a close colleague, I admire both Dragos’commitment to learning and learners (in formal, non-formal and informal settings),and passion for technology. Dragos is a dedicated practitioner, who demonstrates continuous reflection on his work, and an enthusiasm for his own development with consequent benefits for all of us.

  57. Karen Llewellyn permalink

    The measure of Dragos as a most highly valued colleague across the University of Leeds lies in the response to the question “What if Dragos should leave?” The 55 responses above and the implicit message here is our answer…. writ large!

  58. Dragos is an outstanding learning technologist and a passionate advocate and champion of the use of technology within pedagogy. He has the entrepreneurial characteristics of dedication, determination and difference: not just a geek but a deep knowledge and understanding of his subject; a dedication that goes far beyond any call of duty; and a uniqueness that cannot be imitated. His work makes a real impact: because staff are learning so much from him, and implementing their learning, their students in turn are benefiting. Dragos is the best 🙂

  59. David Moxon permalink

    Dragos has been the instigator and organizer of the annual Articulate Conference in the UK for the academic and corporate sectors alike and his efforts have been well rewarded. His enthusiasm and dedication to the conference as well as all to all matters connected with Elearning are an inspiration to us all.

  60. Ann Barrass permalink

    I’ve worked with Dragos on a website I’m updating, and his knowledge and enthusiasm have helped me turn my Dreamweaver training into a skill I can use to help signpost training for PhD students. He is always cheerful, approachable and available.

  61. Lisa Burton permalink

    Dragos has been incredibly supportive of the Union’s quest to create interactive and valuable training for all the Reps at Leeds University. He is always happy to answer questions, no matter now simple they are and is willing to go above and beyond what you have asked from him. His generosity of skills and knowledge are inspirational. I fully support his application for Learning Technologist of the Year.

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