Planning what I will see at #OER19

I’ve been to several of ALTs OER conferences, next week in Galway will be my third year on the trot. Last year’s conference was one of my all time favourites, as I wrote just after it, I found it challenging in making me consider aspects of OER outside of my normal thinking along with some very useful contacts and discussions about what I could contribute.  I am really looking forward to travelling across to Galway for what promises to be more of the same quality in OER19. Here are my plans from the looking through the programme. Think of it as getting my reflections in first.  I don’t know if this is a good idea, I mean I’m bound to offend by omission, apologies for having to miss out so much that’s good.

Day 1

Kate Bowles’ opening keynote looks like it will touch on issues of sustainability and recognition of work in open education that I think are important. I’m looking forward to learning more about what she means by a “language of crisis that is generative”.

Of the sessions beginning 10:30 my default looks like the strand that deals with Open Textbooks (look there’s that word sustainability again) and Open Scotland. These are topics that I know about and work in. But gosh, there’s a lot that I’ll miss in the other sessions, like the role of MOOCs, diversitycitizen science, finding out more about OpenETC. Need a clone.

For the next session, I think I’ll take a step out of my comfort zone, and find out about OEP in Australian Aboriginal, South Africa and Latin American cultures.  Presentations on similar topics / by these people were among my unexpected highlights from last year. This means missing the representation in wikipedia and wikidata session which looks really important, but it’s an area I think I can keep up with elsewhere.

The #FemEdTech open space is a session that I have been looking forward to. I love the work that #FemEdTech are doing, and this session is being run by some of my favourite people, I’m thoroughly intrigued by what it will be. It is followed by a Virtually Connecting session. I’ve been aware of Virtually Connecting for a couple of years, but have never connected; this seems like an omission I should address.

Then there’s a cluster of presentation Open source hardware, institutional repositories for OER and the OER policy map that I think I will go to. I play a bit with hardware, have opinions about repositories, and would like to know more about policies around the world. But missing the “what exactly is @FemEdTech” will be a hard hit… And designing for an ideal HE future looks like a good idea. argh, this is getting difficult.

Well, there’s a plenary keynote after that so a break from the agony of choice. Not much detail yet, but the title and presenters are promising.

For the final session I will go to find out “who are we missing?” on closed-open communities, which sounds like it could have some ideas that go well beyond OER (well, at least as far as Open Source and Open Standards development); and Helen Beetham’s “trouble with critical” as teaching critical thinking is one of the things I have missed since leaving academia. That takes us to after 6pm. This is going to be hard work.

Day 2

It looks the day 2 opening plenary will once again stretch me by viewing OER from perspective I am not accustomed to. Good.

Next I see presentations on Crowd-sourcing an Untextbook and I am interested in textbooks, crowd-sourcing and unconferences, so that could be interesting; but it’s on at the same time as a session with a couple of presentations about on repositories and sustainability, and in another session there is a presentation on OSS in an educational technology course that I think I might relate to.

In the next session I see a workshop from my friends at Edinburgh University and I really like the approach there of putting open education at the core of University business, so I think that is an easy choice, but there is also a session on open platforms of OER at the same time about the equally interesting work at CUNY that I know less about. Probably I should take advantage of that and hope that Stuart Anne-Marie and Lorna will still talk to me. Either way I am going to miss a presentation that focuses on OER at Elementary and Middle schools, which is a real shame as I really want to see more about OER outwith higher education.

After lunch, I am really intrigued by How I lost my faith in OER and the Serfs of Open it is in a session that also includes a presentation on H5P, one of my favourite OER/WordPress initiatives. That mean missing a session on Open Education at second level in Ireland and Recentering the open, which otherwise would be a shoo-in.

Then I think I will go to the session on governmental OER initiatives and sustainability, which I have some experience in, OER funding models and the Open as Commons “Business Model”. I did a MOOC a couple of weeks ago on the Unbundled University that I think might have prepared me a little for the last one. There was a lot about business models in that. I’m disappointed to be missing the session on Open publishing practices.

For the last session, I think I might go to the decolonize OER/Open session. That seems like a really timely topic that follows on from some of the reflections from last years OER very nicely.

Well, that’s a plan. Watch this space for the summary of how it survives.

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