My feet have just touched the ground after OER14 conference in Newcastle – ‘Building Communities of Open Practice’ .
As I contemplated Newcastle’s many bridges I jotted down some thoughts to add to the bog post I made earlier on my own presentation to the conference on adult educators.
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FROM OER14 – Open Education conference Newcastle 28-29 April
A selective view from an adult educator who could not be everywhere!
After a superb student welcome, Catherin Ngugi kicked off with a keynote speech focussing on her work as director of OER Africa. Her work is primarily in HE institutions but she was describing a context where the prohibitive cost of text books has the perverse effect of pushing more of the teaching into the formal lecture. She gave examples of how collaborativey produced OERs were beginning to widen pedagogical approaches.
Still in Africa, it was great to join a workshop on Day 2 where the two universities in Leicester were teaming up with colleagues in Gondar Ethiopia to create video based OERs for medical . The Leicester Gondar link.
There were interesting examples shared from European colleagues including a great explanation from University of Bonn (D) on the award winning courseware sharing tool – www.slidewiki.org . After a slow start it does look like Germany is getting to grips with OERs!
LOOKING NORTH AND WEST
Well actually there were contributions from North America and the Nordics but I just could not get everywhere!
CLOSER TO HOME
Of course our own islands were best represented with plenty of talk about The Scottish Open Education Declaration and the Open Policy for Wales (Wales is to host OER15). Another workshop presentation took the NIACE-funded Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) as a case study. It was reported that over three quarters of CLIF participants who responded to the survey said that it was through CLIF that they first heard about OERs! That has to be a significant result for NIACE!
Workshop delegates said they had found it refreshing to learn of the work of Manchester-based ‘Voice Box’ who shared their user-generated content created by community learners who were in recovery from drink and substance abuse. Their work had come from a partnership with Action on Addiction which had been a NIACE funded CLIF project.
Loads of more stuff to read (and pictures of some of the interactive activities) at http://www.oer14.org
Her work is pri