This past week I attend the Open Education Conference! Going to a conference you have never attended before and in a different continent is actually very intimidating. But, I made the travel arrangements and (despite some frustrations with airlines) made the journey to Inverness, Scotland to attend #OER23.
First, a shoutout to my co-authors: Josh Rosenberg and George Veletsianos. Our team has been working on a project related to self-archiving practices amongst scholars in higher education. This work has been inspired by similar work that both Josh (see blog post) and George have done in the past. The purpose of my travel to #OER23 was in part to present some of our initial findings and to get the conversation started on this topic. Here are the slides from the presentation: tiny.utk.edu/OER23
Back to the conference experience! Arriving at the conference venue (The UHI Inverness Campus so serene, accessible, and full with natural beauty) I did not know what to expect from from the conference. But I was immediately welcomed. A colleague sitting next to me an at the opening keynote introduce herself and she, just like me, was attending for the first time and had made her way to Inverness from Sri Lanka. I quickly realized that the #OER23 conference was an event with a global representation.
There were so many wonderful and insightful sessions, starting with the keynote by Rikke Toft Nørgård: “HYPER-HYBRID FUTURES? Re-imagining open education & educational resources: Places // Persons // Planets“. I also really enjoyed learning about the FEE project: https://www.feecolombia.org and organization that uses Open Education Resources to support rural education in Colombia. I ended my first day in a workshop lead by colleagues Tom Farrelly and Eamon Costello who are exploring the value place by higher education on open access publishing (very much related the work that Josh, George, and I are doing). In any case I highly recommend checking out their information letter (bit.ly/43c084q) and their survey (bit.ly/40z1OD3).
The second day of the conference was full of inspiration:
- I learned about an upcoming book edited by Catherine Croning and Laura Czerniewicz. Very much looking forward to reading this book: bit.ly/HE4Good_updates
- Helen DeWaard, Serena Roberts, and Leo Havermann discussed their lived experiences in opening their doctorate journey! This is a practice that I I hope to foster amongst the graduate students in the Learning, Design, and technology program at UTK.
- Frances Bell and Lou Mycroft shared “Using feminist posthuman storytelling to promote activism in FemEdTech/Open Education“, which also let me to learn more about the digital quilt and the stories shared by all the #FEMEDTECH quilt contributors.
There are many other sessions that I could mention. I am still gathering links and resources from the conference. Thankful for all the presenters who shared their slides via Discord and other online platforms. I love that I got to meet so many online connections that I have in one way or another linked with in the past (likely in the bird app). Also, grateful for the opportunity to met colleagues who I did not know before and who share a passion for openness! It was also great to learn more about OER practices and policies in Scotland. Looking forward to future OER conferences!
I almost forgot! How could I forget? The OER GASTA was epic (also just in case you are wondering what is a GASTA?)! I do not have links to all of the GASTA presentations but here is the one presented by Eamon “Beyond the pedagogies of perpetual panic“. All of them were pretty epic!
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