It’s happening! I’ve alluded to the idea that Reclaim Hosting is exploring edtech a couple of months ago, and yesterday we officially announced the launch of our instructional technology offering. Lauren Hanks provides an excellent overview in the following video, which is then followed by the group explaining how we got here, why we’re excited, and what’s to come—a document of a momentous occasion.
So what is Reclaim Edtech? It’s a professional development and support community built specifically with Educational Technologists in mind. We will be rolling out more details and specifics over the course of April and May as we gear up for the first major event which is the Domains 101/201 Workshop on May 24th and 25th. But if you take a look at the Reclaim Hosting Events Calendar you can see we are programming up to a year out with numerous flex course and workshops that are aimed not only at educational technologists working with Domain of One’s Own and WordPress Multisite, but also for those who want to learn more about Gravity Forms, Docker containers, headless web development, and/or open source applications like OBS, Ghost, PeerTube, and Jitsi. And that’s just for starters!
The real gold will be in the Reclaim Networks, a Discord community wherein folks can access the various workshops and courses we run, as well as commune and share the work they are doing and connect around shared interests and beyond. We saw the power of Discord during the OERxDomains21 conference we helped organize last year as well as the subsequent Virtual Domains Workshop in June of 2021. The possibilities of bringing together educational technologists around various explorations of an assortment of technologies is quite exciting, and that was a huge reason we wanted to pursue instructional technology at Reclaim to begin with.
At the same time, one of the things we’re trying to balance is making sure we can sustain the time and energy it will require to manage this offering while also making it accessible. We want to ensure all experts running flex courses and workshops are compensated for their work. At the same time we will be dedicating Reclaim staff to not only running sessions, but also planning and programming the calendar as well as managing the community. This all takes time and resources to ensure consistent, reliable professional development, part of why paying for professional development is nothing new in higher ed. Up and until yesterday we’ve been assuming it would predominantly appeal to colleges and universities we currently work with as an additional service at a yearly subscription fee. But as more and more individual consultants and one-off edtechs reach out, we’re thinking through and individual/consultant tier to make this accessible to folks that may not have an edtech group larger than one person or institution willing and able to foot the bill.
Not only does the immediate interest suggest a need, but seeing who is interested highlights we may have to think beyond the institutions we currently support, which is doubly exciting. YEAH!