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  • 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…

  • Prioritizing Innovation in the Organizational Structure

    It’s been a while since I wrote a series about the topic of innovation in higher education.  Here they are from 2015: About those innovation jobs…7 Rules About Innovation First steps in Creating a culture of innovation in higher education – Figuring out what innovation will mean Removing barriers to innovation – the teaching and learning centre and third spaces Some ideas for creating a culture of innovation Considerations for ed tech and innovation In preparation for being invited a second time (thanks Mark!) to facilitate a discussion on Institutional Organization and Support  in the Planning and Managing Technologies in Higher Education course,  I’ve found myself thinking about organizational structures and achieving higher ed innovation…

  • OER in other languages – a project update of sorts

    It’s been 5 weeks since I started the Other Language OER site and what started as  part whim, part experiment, part inspired by following the #opencon stream, has evolved into an itch that that gets me on a daily basis.  My goal was to post one OER per week from another language than English but after 5 weeks there are 12 OERs in 12 different languages, one of them submitted by someone other than myself (thanks @tomonagashima !) The background and rationale for the site emerged from some longer deliberations and an even longer one over here  and I get that it’s really a very limited audience who might be interested…

  • OER and the language problem (part 2) – the status and function rationale

    Critical scholarship ought to analyse the strong forces that are at pains to create the impression that English serves all the world’s citizens equally well, or those who uncritically assume this is so, when this is manifestly not the case. (Phillipson, 2001)   In my first post on this topic I put forward some high level statements on why I think OER has a language problem.  The “problem” may largely be one of awareness and as the movement evolves into its adolescence I think it will be increasingly important to surface the intersection of language, OER, and social justice. My specific concern is with the uni-directional nature of OER from English…

  • Language and the OER problem

    I have about 3 posts I could write about this topic and eventually I might get to my 2 half-baked drafts and book reviews, but the topic is complex and multifaceted, so let’s see where this goes. One of the shifts in OER movement that I’ve really appreciated has been the thread of declaring social justice as part of what we do in the OER space.  I’m hoping that as we evolve we can remember that social justice is inherently tied to language which has been so well argued in Ingrid Pillar’s recent book:  Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice. OER has a language problem.  The majority of OERs are in…

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