2021 reflections & thanks

AJ Enterprises has been busy throughout another challenging year. Angela was fortunate to continue to work with and support some fabulous clients, associates and coworkers.

Informed Scotland subscribers were kept up to date with learning & skills across the landscape, including the impact of Covid-19. As well as the monthly digests, I published a Scottish Parliament Election Extra in April, available free to all, and the ninth annual Organisations & People Special, for subscribers only, in August. The latter now has links to over 400 organisations – more than twice as many as in the first edition in 2013.

Many thanks to each subscriber, from large organisations to concessions, new and long-standing, for your continued interest, feedback and for spreading the word about the benefits of being kept well informed.

On social media I’ve kept over 4,400 followers regularly updated via @InformedScot on Twitter – thanks to all our engaged followers. Thanks also to those who’ve shared and commented on posts on LinkedIn. And despite a very quiet year on Instagram, InformedScot now has over 800 followers.

The Learning & Skills Events Calendar, a popular resource pre-pandemic, has continued to keep a low profile, only listing a few rare in-person events plus themed weeks and days. This will be kept under review with the aim of resuming it in full when more face-to-face events hopefully return in 2022.

In November I was invited to come out from behind the scenes to lead the Q&A session of the 2021 David Raffe Memorial Lecture given by Prof Ewart Keep on the theme ‘transitions from learning to earning…’. Many thanks to Cathy Howieson and Linda Croxford of CES, University of Edinburgh, for the invitation, to Ewart for the excellent lecture, and to Prof Richard Andrews, Head of Moray House School of Education & Sport, for his fulsome praise of Informed Scotland in his introduction.

It was a pleasure to continue working with London-based associate Elaine Hendry of emh connect, including on the quarterly Skills Research Digest that we’ve produced jointly for Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy since 2017. 2022 will mark 10 years since Elaine and I each took the plunge and began producing learning & skills digests – me Informed Scotland and Elaine the UK Digest. More on that next year!

I’ve enjoyed providing research, copyediting and proofreading services to clients old and new. Particular thanks to Ross of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) as he heads for new adventures next year. Thanks also to supportive fellow local members of the Chartered Institute of Editing & Proofreading (CIEP), including Edinburgh group coordinators Margaret and Sarah.

Working from home was the norm for most of 2021. For the first few months, Isla McCrone continued the lifeline online coworking sessions she began in spring 2020. Thanks to Isla for helping to keep me and my virtual coworkers focused. I managed just four weeks back at my Evergreen Studio (pictured) desk before restrictions returned. It reminded me how much I miss coworking in the same space as other hardworking, friendly folk, so I’ll be back as soon as it’s safe to return. Thanks to Studio owner Robin for his generosity and understanding, and James for keeping the place going.

The annual Informed Scotland Hottest Topics in Scottish Learning & Skills will be shared here in January – see what made the list this year – any predictions?

Email [email protected] for more information about any of the above, to subscribe to Informed Scotland, or to discuss how we could support your work in 2022.

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