As we enter Open Education Week it’s starting be be a really exciting period for OER World Map. Since funding for the project was awarded to the team there has been lots of activity behind the scenes to build the technical architecture that will allow us to map complex information in an intuitive and useful way. I will let others who understand the minutiae of these things better than I do the explaining, but it’s really interesting to see things come together while we work as a distributed team.
As technical progress is made, so we move through to a new phase of the project where reaching out to the OER community to identify national champions and build a register of interested parties. Open Education Week is a great time for this as people all around the world share their experiences and aspirations for open education. In addition to a series of blog posts this week, we’ll be reaching out through a Google Hangout (see below) on Thursday. But we are also entering an important conference season where there will be many upcoming events with an OER World Map presence:
- On Thursday this week we have planned an online hangout that will afford the opportunity to connect directly with the project team and learn about ways to become more involved.
- Felix and myself will attend Hewlett’s OER Grantees meeting in Sausalito, California (USA) later this month. This should be a great opportunity to connect with other OER projects and raise awareness of our project with the right people.
- The annual UK conference for open education, OER15, will take place in Cardiff, Wales (UK) in April. Jan Neumann will present an overview of the OER World Map project. and I will also be there speaking about ethics and openness in education. Other presentations are also concerned with the challenges of mapping OER, including those of Paul Bacsish, Terese Bird and Alex Tartowski. You can review the draft schedule here.
- Later in April the OE Global Conference 2015 will take place in Banff, Alberta (Canada). The schedule includes a panel discussion on the challenges of mapping OER including Paul Bacsich, Jan Neumann, Tel Amiel, Dan Wilton and myself; followed by a workshop that will help us generate authentic user stories for the world map. You can find us in the main hall on Friday 24th April. I’ll also be taking part in a workshop for ROER4D which means there could be a chance to pick up some champions for the Global South.
My sense is that these meetings will be the start of an ongoing dialogue with the OER community about the ideal design for a map that will meet genuine user needs. Even this brief review of what is coming up in the next six weeks shows the global focus of the open education movement, and how we will need to connect with all kinds of stakeholders in the world of OER.
To get started with OER World Map, and to nominate yourself as a champion for your country, sign up for project involvement at https://oerworldmap.org where there are lots of exciting things to come.