OpenVA 2.0: October 18th, 2014

Below is the text of an email I recently sent out to all of the attendees at last year’s inaugural OpenVA conference. As the following email notes, this year we are doing things a bit different, focusing more intently on how we utilize out time together to build some momentum around getting some things done. It seems to have resonated with folks because we already have 75+ registrants in less than two weeks, and most folks on that email list are still enjoying the precious last moments of summer vacation. Read on for more details and be sure to register before we cap out at 150.


Image Credit: EdCamp Fort Wayne


This Fall we are running a 2nd Annual OpenVA conference, but we have decided to change up the format a bit. As you may recall, the inaugural event held last October at the University of Mary Washington was a conference format that brought together educators, learning technology specialists and administrators to share innovative practices using open education resources. Since that time, the planning committee has remained engaged and they are enthusiastic about furthering the work in this area.

We have scheduled a follow-up event, to be held at Tidewater Community College on Saturday, October 18th. The event is free and open to all, and will focus on a relatively small number of existing projects in and around Virginia that feature how various universities are utilizing open content, infrastructure, and pedagogy to garner both grassroots and institutional support for sharing open resources and to promote institutional collaboration. Some specific projects include Tidewater Community College’s “Z-Degree” focused on affordable textbooks, University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own created to empower students and faculty to manage their digital lives, as well as looking at how various institutions are rethinking IT infrastructure in light of cloud computing. And that’s just a few of the projects and topics

What’s more, we want your projects too! We are interested in other innovative higher ed projects exploring open educational resources, open infrastructure, or open pedagogy happening around the state. Submit your example using the following link, and the committee will reach out for more details:

This Summit on Building Open VA will features examples as well as gather input from participants during four focused discussion sessions with the purpose of developing recommendations for a statewide open resource strategy.

Please help in the promotion of this event among your colleagues.  We wish to attract faculty, administrators, legislators, librarians and learning technologists,

  • who have put together successful individual initiatives that they would like to expand or scale
  • who know, or want to know, how to support an Open educational initiative,
  • who understand the importance of an Open Initiative and want to get a better understanding of how ‘Open’ is currently being deployed throughout Virginia,
  • who believe in the promise of ‘Open’ but don’t know where to get started or how to sustain an open initiative once it gets started,
  • who want to learn how to form and write policy for open education.

Some event presenters will be invited by the planning committee based on its prior knowledge of their work and its relevance to the topics.  However, there is also an open call on the website for submissions so that the committee can learn about other examples and incorporate them into a robust schedule for the day.

The event website is:

Also, you can register for the event, which will be free of charge, here:

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks for your attention,

Jim Groom
If you want to end any further emails about OpenVA, send me an email and let me know. You can respond to this email or send a note to

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