#occupyopened11 Presentation

Image credit: Micahel Branson Smith's "#Occupyopened11"

The Open Education 2011 conference has come and gone, and I would like to think my keynote got a few people thinking. I don’t believe everyone will like it, and I’m not even sure it is all that cogent—but there is a bit of theater, a few jokes, and a general argument that open education should be approached as an experience not a resource. That last bit came to me the night before the talk thanks to a discussion between Gardner Campbell and Alan Levine on #ds106radio. What’s more, the #occupyopened idea was Chris Lott’s brainchild, the tent was thanks to Marc Hugentobler‘s awesomeness, many of the performative details were filled in by Brian Lamb, and the visual aesthetic thanks to Michael Branson Smith. As usual, if it was at all a success it has everything to do with all the people who were so generous with their ideas, time, and feedback.

The idea of the presentation, in short, was to re-situate the power of open education back to connections, people, and relationships rather than resources. I used ds106 as the model for this argument while using Gardner’s privileging of open educational experiences over open educational resources (OER) as a general refrain. It was fun to do, and while I was nervous about the tent and had some technical difficulty up front (thanks David for bailing me out) it seemed far better received than I expected—which is a relief to me. Anyway, if you have any interest, you can be the judge of that thanks to the fact there is already an archived video available on YouTube.

And I am also including my slides here—which have links to many of the sites discussed—as an added “experience.” 🙂

Finally, special thanks to Giulia Forsythe for animated the talk with her awesome art, I am honored and humbled.

Animation of OpenEd Talk
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

OK. that’s enough for the “I love me!” wall.

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13 Responses to #occupyopened11 Presentation

  1. Bryan says:

    But we do love you, of course, and this keynote is the embodiment of so many of the reasons why.

    “We don’t need the Gates Foundation to fund our work, because we’re already doing it.”

    Damn right. Preach it, brother Jim.

  2. uncle fester says:

    Nice tent!

  3. Mark McGuire says:

    Hi Jim

    I downloaded your slides and watched your keynote on YouTube. The audio is distorted in places, but your argument was made effectively, and with passion. We’ve had some debates at my university (U of Otago, Dunedin NZ) about the value of OERs v.s. the engagement between people. At the Otago Polytechnic (next door to the University), the OER Foundation (under the Director, Wayne Mackintosh) is working on setting up an Open Educational Resources University (http://goo.gl/nkXnu). This effort is related to the OER Foundation’s http://wikieducator.org/, an OER repository.

    I agree with you that the important thing is the experience of engaging with others, and not just with artifacts. We are good at using the Internet to send, exchange, and share content, but we are not very good at using it to support meaningful social activity, and teaching and learning are social activities. How often do people say “thank you” when they use a CC photo downloaded from flickr? A CC-BY licence only requires that an acknowledgement of the original author accompanies its use, on the site where it is published. Recent research and comments suggest that OERs are being created and gathered together in repositories, but they are not getting used (http://goo.gl/hyURH, http://goo.gl/5WiRQ). This is despite significant investment by the likes of MIT (and others that follow a top-down institutional model). Why? Maybe it is because people are not drawn to artifacts, but to other people. An exchange of artifacts might start a conversation in physical space (say, at a farmers’ market), but this rarely happens in cyberspace – the tools are designed for transactions, not conversations. Also, we are not very good at building (or encouraging the development of) the kind of open spaces that support casual social encounters and the more intense discussions that can follow. Perhaps one of the reasons why ds106radio has proven to be effective is because it privileges oral communication, which is an easy, natural, way to connect with others, even if they are not co-present. We feel we are part of the party even if we are a silent listener.

    What we need online is an experience that captures the richness of a good conversation, improvised Jazz, a square dance, or a choir. Something that lets us participate in the creation of an experience that none of us can produce on our own; a transformative experience that makes us feel vital, alive, and growing.

    Oh my God, it’s almost 2:00AM!

    Good night, Jim Bob.

    Mark
    http://markmcguire.net/
    @mark_mcguire

  4. Brian says:

    Harry especially dug the human mic intro, and the Daft Punk outro.

  5. Polly says:

    I did the assignment, Reverend. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Fight Club

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  7. Rob Farrow says:

    I’m interested in your views on this issue. It’s become clear to me over the last few months (when I started work on OER) that talk about OER has come to obscure a clear view of what it means for education to be ‘open’. I think people need to think more in terms of open educational *practices*. I’ll blog a fuller response soon. In the meantime, you may be interested in the slides at http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/openminded/?p=346.

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