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The ALM bulletin is a bimonthly newsletter from Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM).
ALM is an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in adult mathematics/numeracy teaching and learning in order to promote the learning of mathematics by adults.

ALM bulletin: Summer Special 2019

Hello and welcome to the special ALM 26 issue of the ALM Bulletin. First of all I must give, on behalf of all of the Trustees, a very big thank you to the main organisers of the 26th Adults Learning Mathematics Conference, Math in a Digital Age:
  • Charlotte Arkenback for organising the academic programme, supporting session presenters and encouraging digital engagement throughout the conference;
  • Linda Jarlskog for organising the venues and social programme and engaging with the cultural heritage of Lund;
  • Rose-Marie Wikström for the administration of the registration process and the conference itself and the calm and efficient solution to our problems.
This Bulletin provides an opportunity for some brief reflections from participants on their experiences of the ALM conference. The various organisers and Trustees throughout the last 26 years have always aimed for the ALM conference to give a little bit more than expected by creating a welcoming environment and the promise of continued support. I believe ALM 26 achieved this once again.

At the annual conference the organisation of ALM also holds its Annual General Meeting at which matters such as approving accounts and agreeing future policies are made. The occasion also includes the election of the Trustees who form the organising committee of ALM for the following year. This work is important, so if you are not already a member of ALM then please do join ALM and help participate in the organisation’s future.

On a personal note, as the outgoing Chair I would like to say thank you to all the Trustees I have worked with over the previous four years and look forward to the continuing success of ALM with Beth Kelly as the new Chair of Trustees.

Thank you for your support
David Kaye

ALM officers and trustees

The work of ALM throughout the year is guided by a committee of Trustees who are elected (or re-elected) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held during the annual conference. The Trustees and officers elected to serve until July 2020 are:

Chair: Beth Kelly (UK)
Vice Chair: Charlotte Arkenback (Sweden)
Secretary: Marc Jorgensen (USA)
Treasurer: Jurriaan Steen (Netherlands)
Membership: John Keogh (Ireland)
Trustee: Catherine Byrne (Ireland)
Trustee: Diane Dalby (UK)
Trustee: Jeff Evans (UK)
Trustee: Lynda Ginsberg (USA)
Trustee: Linda Jarlskog (Sweden)
Trustee: David Kaye (UK)
Trustee: Judy Larsen (Canada)

ALM 26 - Maths in a Digital Age

There were many stimulating conversations, inspiring presentations and other special moments for those who attended the ALM 26 conference in Lund, Sweden. Here we capture just a few of the highlights.

An impressive welcome …
The social program and the hospitality of the organisers was so enjoyable, from the opening reception in Hypoketet to the mathematical tour of the beautiful Lund Cathedral, one of Scandinavia’s oldest churches. (David Golden, Ireland)

A great conference – welcoming, inclusive and informative. The conference dinner was one to die for. The Canadians may have a difficult job trying to top it in 2020! Thank you! (Violeta Morari, Ireland)

The old and the new …
The conference juxtaposed the architecture of a centuries-old city with the up-to-date theme of the use of digital resources to maximize the teaching of mathematics to adult students. It is the informal moments that stand out for me – conversations over a meal or coffee break with colleagues from countries with a strong commitment to adult education. I was particularly pleased to meet the younger cohort of educators whose zeal for improving practice will carry on the work of those of us who are ending our teaching careers. (Kathy Safford-Ramus, USA)

Art, architecture and mathematics …
Linda 1
The visit to Lund cathedral played a significant part in fusing together some fascinating connections between mathematics and the world of art and architecture, thanks to Linda’s expert knowledge. We explored both the history and the mathematics, including the working of the astronomical clock, the symmetry of the building and a search for examples of the golden ratio in the crypt. There was a memorable moment when we were reminded that answer is always 42, even when studying the altarpiece!

Variety and stimulation …
Meeting and discussing technology, teaching and learning in Further Education with people from different countries was a great experience. In particular, comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between our use of digital tools and approaches to individual and group learning in the classroom. There was a variety of thought-provoking presentations and workshops. We discussed how technological tools are useful in problem solving, assessment, calculations, measuring attendance and progress, giving and receiving feedback, analysis or providing additional information, and can allow learners to go at their own pace. They can be used to elevate interaction, increase collaboration and facilitate discussion through, for example, learner videos and photos, which can help break down barriers to learning.

It was also interesting to learn about some fantastic technological innovations that have been invented in Lund from Bluetooth, Facial recognition technology, the world’s most efficient shower, the inkjet printer to artificial kidneys. These have all helped improve the quality of peoples’ lives all over the world. My hope and belief is that innovations in the art of teaching coupled with a balanced appropriate use of innovative digital technological tools in the field of Adults Learning Maths will improve the quality of our learners’ lives. (David Golden, Ireland)

Innovation and communication …
You can find further information about the ALM 26 conference programme at: https://padlet.com/arkenback/alm26

Thanks to Charlotte’s enthusiasm for Padlet and her expertise, ALM 26 saw some new forms of interaction incorporated into the conference. Discussions in person are so often a highlight of international conferences for many delegates, but, for the first time, on-line discussion was a distinctive feature of ALM 26. This led to some enjoyable exchanges of ideas and great potential for on-going connections.
Lund 2

Future bulletins

We hope that you are enjoying the regular ALM Bulletin. If you have news from your part of the world that may be of interest to our international community then please do get in touch with Diane Dalby diane.dalby@nottingham.ac.uk or send her a short draft item for the next bulletin by September 1st.

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