• OpenEd Week @KPU

    I had the privilege of being one of the keynotes at KPU’s Open Education Week, a fantastic day that was co-organized by KPU, UBC, Douglas, SFU, and BCIT. There is nothing better than following a student keynote, and Aran Armutlu kept our attention on the things that matter in open…students and affordability of higher education, while also touching on the impact of open pedagogy. He talked about his first experience as a student discovering his course used a zero cost textbook and since the instructor, Jennifer Kirkey was also in attendance it was a really nice shout out to instructors doing good work and the impact it has on students.…

  • Open universities and the broader open narrative

    Today Martin Weller gave a really nice talk at the OU that was streamed for a global audience that was no doubt numerous. I’m told there’s a recording that will be posted for those who have missed it. There was a lot of rich information in his talk but Martin punctuated a few big points for me: Open universities were a higher education innovation and continue to be an innovation (I wholeheartedly agree). In fact, “innovation happened around an idea of openness”, which ensures its relevance. The Open University has been innovating open and ed tech for a long time (they were early adopters of Moodle and the biggest contributor…

  • Pop Up Ed Tech, Trust, and Ephemerality

    This post captures a back and forth text conversation that Anne-Marie Scott and I had about one of her many brilliant ed tech ideas. She’ll have a version of this posted over on her site as soon as she gets back from the cinema, but in the meantime her blog is a treasure trove of higher ed and ed tech thinking. T – The other day we were chatting about open ed tech infrastructures and you mentioned something that caught my attention… you called it Pop up tech.  My head went to the concept of pop up shops, physical spaces that are occupied briefly by a brand and their products…

  • Open infrastructure and open education practices

    One of the questions that I’ve been percolating and discussing with my OpenETC collaborators is the extent can you do open and engage in open education practices without open infrastructure. The timing is perfect, as I’m about to embark on a two week guest speaker gig for the MET course Planning and Managing Educational Technologies for Higher Education. This is the third year I’ll be doing a guest speaker spot in this course, and while in the previous years I focussed on the institutional organisation of educational technologies, this time I’m going to focus on the growing importance of considering open educational technology as part of the educational technology infrastructure of an institution.…

  • A crash course in ed tech and online learning for higher ed leaders

    One of the things I’ve come to appreciate is how challenging it can be for an institution to grapple with online learning and ed tech.  Leadership is so important and yet the top layer of an institution is generally not selected for their in depth knowledge of something many of us have dedicated our careers to. Even Directors of Teaching and Learning centres may specialize in other things, and have only an operational level understanding of ed tech and how it supports teaching and learning. The online learning in Canadian universities and colleges 2018 preliminary data is pointing – with a few exceptions –  to the growth of online and…

  • Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use

    I’m that age where I can say I’ve been working in ed tech for 15 + years.  Like many of us, my life in ed tech in higher education began more or less with the LMS.  Through the years I’ve witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly with seemingly endless tentacles that the LMS brings to our discussions about teaching and learning and especially online learning in our institutions. Here’s the short of it. LMS’s do some things really well and are not going to go away.  We still use an LMS at our institution, and while I would really like the vendor to invest some of our hard…

  • Open and Invisible Labour

    I had the chance to attend SFU’s OA week panel on Open But Not Free: Invisible Labour in Open Scholarship.  I love a session title that suggests there’s going to be some critical engagement around open because I think it’s important to keep advancing the field.  I appreciated that this was an almost all female panel, with a really good representation of perspectives that included an international graduate student, a faculty member from a research institution, a faculty member from a polytechnic university, and an internationally focussed scholar from an organization that does incredible work in open in developing countries. Invisible labour in higher education is real and we encounter it…

  • #OER18

    I’ve had a few days to percolate over the amazing experience of #oer18.  I attended this conference for the first time last year and #oer17 was so transformative that I opted for another round of a small conference in an interesting venue with lots of provocative and critical conversations about open.  This year didn’t disappoint, and I was so energized by getting to spend time with some amazing and smart women doing great things in this space. Locating our discussions in a more historical context:  There was a strong current of history at this conference, which was convenient for Viv and I who were presenting on the historical branches of…

  • #OER18 and some historical branches of open

    I’m headed to #OER18 in a few days where I’ll be presenting alongside Viv Rolfe (with contributions from Tanya Dorey-Alias who sadly can’t be there) on the historical branches of open.  We connected about this last year, having a shared fondness for things that we forgot about open and it’s various branches or tentacles, and our short presentation will delve into a few of them namely open classrooms, open pedagogy, and self-directed learning. As I stated in this post from a couple of years ago, Viv really kick started this at Open Ed a few years back, and it inspired me to look into the history of open pedagogy.  The…

  • Decentralized structures and the innovation agenda

    In a few of my posts on innovation, I’ve talked about the role that teaching and learning centres have in supporting an institutional innovation agenda, and where they can run into trouble.  In my last post, I argued that without proper prioritization, innovation can become an add-on watered down initiative that the centre is tasked with. I also wrote in one of my earlier posts about finding  the innovators in the institution, who are likely scattered across programs and the importance of recognizing and building on what they are doing.  I’m essentially advocating for a bottom up and top down approach to innovation with a goal of healthy and meaningful…

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