Getting set for #OER18 reflecting on the #Iwill challenge one year on

Open Sign Board

As this year’s #OER18 conference approaches, like many other delegates of next week’s #OER18 I am getting prepared for my presentation, trying to decided what session to go to and all that general pre conference “stuff”.   I’m also reflecting on last year and in particular the #Iwill challenge that the closing plenary gave delegates in terms of their open practice, both in the room and online.

As my post last year shared I was really taken with the idea of open hospitality that Maha Bali brought up in her keynote.  My response to the #Iwill challenge was;

#Iwill bry to be generous, inclusive and extend notions of open hospitality in everything I do

So one year on, how have I done? Well I guess it’s all subjective . . . I still have the same concerns and struggles with being an open practitioner primarily around where, when, why, how can I be open.  I think I  have peaks and troughs of open-ness, sometimes I am open in a small institutional context, other times far more widely.  Next week will definitely be a peak and within the much broader open education community.

I am trying to embrace more criticality in my thinking about open education.  That is something that I will be presenting on at the conference with Keith Smyth in our session Open Practice and praxis in the context of the digital university.  But I do worry that we haven’t been as open in sharing this work as we had possibly hoped, and that we can’t afford to publish our  the book the presentation is based on via an open access route.

I worry that I haven’t been able to be as connected with other events, other colleagues recently, that I haven’t been able to keep up.  But that’s something we all struggle with and part of the reason I am so looking forward to the conference. It will take me out of my everyday works space, will make me think about “stuff” in different ways, will allow me to catch up with friends and colleagues old and new.

One of the things I wrote in my post last year, and something that again is always at the back of my mind, is that the conference is, and should be,  hospitable to everyone. I am very lucky in that I know so many people there that will be almost like coming home. However,  we all need to make sure that everyone feels welcome and at home. That’s what open-ness is about, it’s not about any one group of people it’s about everyone.  It is the growing community that is at the heart of the conference.

For those that can’t make the conference there are a number of Virtually Connecting sessions which once again I am going to be involved in.  My first experience of Virtually Connecting was at last year’s conference and it really has been such hospitable and generous space. I’m really looking forward to being involved again.


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