Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Innovation in Adversity : Discover #OERxDomains21 Online – 21-22 April 2021

thanks to Gabriel Vivas for image under Creative Commons Licence 


I am delighted to be a co-chair of #OERxDomains21 with an inspirational set of co-chairs and an amazing conference committee.

There is still time to get a proposal in and to sign up for the conference.

Theme 1: Openness, care, and joy in the times of pandemic;
Theme 2: Open Education responses to surveillance technologies and data ownership in education;
Theme 3: Open in Action: open teaching, educational practices and resources, how you might be using Domains and other tools;
Theme 4: Shifts in agency and creativity as empowerment of learners and educators;
Theme 5: Open Source Tools: infrastructure, cloud environments, targeted teaching tools.

We've come along way since #OER10 , I've blogged some of my own #OER journey.

My world may be similar to your world - wherever your geographic location.

Teaching staff while juggling their own domestic commitments are finding ways to develop engaging learning experiences . We can see a lot of thought and design going into Moodle courses and higher levels of interactivity through quizzes , forums, and other tools. Staff have been embedding Wakelets , H5P ,Google Sites and in the UK the Blended Learning Consortium content alongside links to open digital materials in the College's library to give students a rich learning experience.

We can see too great use of Zoom , Click-View and YouTube to provide short episodes of learning embedded in courses - while staff are doing crash courses in Microsoft teams used on the admin side of the organisation.

On assessment, staff are developing flexible solutions and making good use of dropbox and Turnitin where these are required - but mainly looking around at more open portfolio approaches to gathering evidence. 

From learners feedback is positive. They understand the challenges we are all facing . They appreciate the richer content , collaborative activities and zoom sessions. They enjoy using social media to support their formal learning and classes now use a variety of tools to stay in touch. They are coping with remote learning along with their own challenges. 

Like any other year the students are looking for more feedback. Some innovative staff are doing this through voice and video recordings as well as through more traditional feedback mechanisms.

One of the biggest challenges is a very human one - how do we get everyone to work with their camera switched on.

On all fronts we are trying to get staff to share and collaborate beyond the institution - in some ways the challenges are the same as 2010 but we have more solutions and staff are more willing to explore these and finally work in the open !

 #OERxDomains21 is a great space to explore what open education could do for you as a teacher and how it can empower your learners. If you are an institutional leader it will steer you to the systems and policy you need to put in place to open up your learning. 

I hope you come along and meet this global community of innovators. 

If ever the world needed more openness it is now ! 








Wednesday, January 20, 2021

#OERxDomains #OER21 Two messages for Two Audiences

Please Read on - for those who know about Open education this is the place to be and get your proposals in !

Online Conference – 21-22 April 2021 #OERxDomains #OER21

Organised by the Association for Learning Technology and in partnership with Reclaim Hosting’s Domains Conference, this special edition of the much loved event is the 12th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy.

The Call for Proposals is now open https://oer21.oerconf.org/call-for-proposals/ 

ALT Organisational Logo


For those who don't really understand what this is all about.

Forty years ago I left a school which gave me a good but narrow education - but one of the best around at the time. I've not stopped learning. I've been a school teacher , a hack , a community education tutor and College lecturer and held my share of senior posts. I am still a Glaswegian with an incurable social justice complex. I do believe that education can make the world a better place. Too often in my teaching career, the book I chose for the class or the resources available for learning were determined by the finances that the institution had. The learners got great learning - but through the narrow letter box view of the resources that we had available for them.

I don't get get that Scotland has not understood yet what open education practice and policies could do for learners and teachers.

We are currently in the midst of this terrible pandemic and we still haven't figured out that we don't compete on how well we re-package knowledge. Education staff around the world are tying themselves in knots trying to improve their notes , power points , instructional videos, that is not a bad thing. But it would be much more effective for learners and learning if that was a much more collaborative activity. It is more than having a set of course materials that are shared around and within your subject team. (though I do know that in many institutions that remains a triumph in itself). While putting a set of learning materials on to your institutional virtual learning environment may be your act of sharing ,you could be a bit more ambitious for learners everywhere. I don't believe learning materials replace a good teacher - but sharing helps teachers and learners. 

It is not a dark secret the answer is making and sharing your learning materials with an appropriate open educational licence. If you , your institutional leadership team , local authority education team , national education policy makers haven't spotted that this is actually practice encouraged globally by UNESCO , mandated for public education  I am not sure where you have been since 2012. 

In Scotland a good place to start might be considering The Open Scotland Declaration. and why not come along and meet a well informed set of  international set of speakers. 

Sign up and come along to the Online Conference – 21-22 April 2021 #OERxDomains #OER21 

Full disclosure I am co-chair of  the ALT Scottish Sig and a Co-Chair of this conference - but none of this is fake news ;-)