I’m absolutely delighted to have been invited by co-chairs Viv Rolfe and David Kernohan and the Association for Learning Technology to present one of the keynotes at the OER18 Conference in Bristol next year. The theme of the conference is Open for All and I’ll be talking about how we can engage students in open education, why we need policies to support OER, all wrapped up in a personal reflection of what openness means to me.
Opening OER16, CC BY SA 2.0, Anna Page.
We all have one conference which is our conference, the one event we never miss year after year, where we go to recharge and reconnect with our people. For me that conference has always been OER. I’ve never missed an OER conference and it’s been a real pleasure to see how the event has grown and developed over the years, under the careful guidance of ALT. So it’s a real honour to be invited to present a keynote at OER 18, particularly as I’ll be following in the footsteps of so many inspirational women who have had such a profound influence on my own career as an open education practitioner; Maha Bali, Catherine Cronin, Josie Fraser, Melissa Highton, Sheila MacNeil to name just a few.
Thanks to everyone for all the enthusiastic and supportive messages on twitter yesterday, I’m on annual leave this week, so I missed the actual announcement! As soon as I get back I’ll look for forward to talking to you all about what we as open educators can do to ensure that education really is Open for All.
Ever dreamed of chairing an OER conference? Well now’s your chance! Last week ALT announced a call for co-chairs of the OER18 Conference. ALT are seeking two people with
- National/international standing in the Open Education field.
- The commitment and vision to make the conference a success.
- The capacity to chair a major international conference and its programme committee.
- Enthusiasm and experience of working with the Open Education community and ALT.
Planning and organising the conference will be undertaken by the Conference Committee supported by ALT staff. You can find out more about this exciting opportunity and how to apply here and if you’re wondering what it’s actually like to co-chair an OER Conference, here’s a few words about my own personal experience…
Since its inception in 2010 the OER Conference has always been one of the most important and enjoyable events in my calendar. I’ve always thought of OER as being “my” conference, it’s where my community, my colleagues, all the people I admire hang out. And more than that, it’s where we all come together to share our practice, our experience, our love and criticism of openness.
Last year I was immensely privileged to co-chair the OER16 Open Culture Conference at the University of Edinburgh with my inspirational colleague Melissa Highton. Hosting the conference reinforced Edinburgh’s strategic commitment to open education and we were delight to welcome delegates from the Wikimedia community and museums, libraries and archives domains.
On a personal level it was a wonderful opportunity to shape the direction of this increasingly international conference, to develop my own open practice and extend my network of peers. It was an immensely rewarding experience to work so closely with ALT and a wide network of willing volunteers, and I can’t speak highly enough of the support they provided in planning and running the event. And last but not least, it was also an enormous amount of fun! From start to finish, from planning the bid with Melissa, to handing over to the OER17 chairs after our closing keynote, it was all a hugely enjoyable experience.
OER17: The Politics of Open is now just a few months away and with Josie Fraser and Alek Tarkowski at the helm, it can’t fail to be a fabulous and ground breaking event. Just think…you could be next.
Never underestimate the amount of fun you can have co-chairing an OER conference!
Image by OER16 keynote Catherine Cronin. CC BY SA.