Visual Note-taking at OER23

I am still blogging about OER23 because it was the best 1-star conference I have been to yet.

OER23 Polaroids, Day 1

Shot taken featuring some Visual Thinkery T-shirt Art at the Bluffer’s Workshop

I have to be careful how much I publicly praise Bryan Mathers given we currently have him doing some new art for Reclaim and I would hate for any more demand to jack up the costs 🙂 But as anyone who has worked with him knows, his work is pure gold and a deal at any price! Bryan Mathers’s pre-conference workshop “A bluffer’s guide to Visual Thinking,” was wonderful to start off the OER23 experience, who’s warmer and more welcoming than Bryan? Not to mention a host of amazing folks like Catherine Cronin, Frances Bell, and LC at the same table thinking through and drawing the values of Open.

OER23 Polaroids, Day 1

Frances Bell and Catherine Cronin after Bryan Mather’s workshop at OER23

Bryan’s workshop not only got Lauren and I thinking about how we can use zines for Reclaim Hosting, but it also opened my eyes to. the possibilities of visual note-taking. And like any good learning experience, I was inspired to take visual notes at the following morning’s opening keynote “Hyper-Hybrid Futures?” by Rikke Toft Nørgård.

Visual Note-taking at OER23

Visual Notes from Rikke Toft Nørgård Plenary

Rather than tweeting or taking photos, I listened and took visual notes based on the ideas in the talk. And this talk was chock full of visually rich ideas. I see so many threads from the notes above that take me back to the talk, whether its a hybrid tiger-owl, or Towel, or the what an atmosphere for OER would look like? I loved that question, and it immediately made me think of containers, and then VR, and then brains in glass jars, which was weird—The Man with Two Brains anyone? There is also the femedtech quilt, a fediverse diagram, an “open” heart, and an effigy of Bryan Mathers. I spy a polaroid camera, GO-GN penguins, and much more. It gives you a sense of all the things mentioned leading up to Rikke’s talk. Her talk coincides with the chimerical Towel, which then made me think of the Owlbear from AD&D, only to see Honor Among Thieves the following week and learning about the Owlbear kerfluffle. In fact, looking at my notes Rikke’s hybrid monster images really sent me down a Dungeons & Dragons rabbit hole. I spent a good part of the talk drawing a full-page Beholder, which is an interesting way to think about her talk given it was such a fresh, monstrous vision of the world of OER we have been trapped in.

OER23 Visual Note Taking: Beholder

Visual Notes from Rikke Toft Nørgård Plenary

And the talk also dug into some really powerful and resonant topic like hoping in the face of the apocalypse, what gets framed as Hopepunk. A concept I both love and truly believe in, and that made be draw narwhals and unicorns, because the tone of the whole talk was somehow magical, as if Rikke had cast a spell on us all!

Visual Note Taking

Visual Notes from Rikke Toft Nørgård Plenary

There was then talk of glaciers and giving the Ganges River personhood, as well as what OER for Bees would look like, WTF?

Visual Note-taking at OER23

Visual Notes from Rikke Toft Nørgård Plenary

It was a brave, beautifully outlandish talk that really resonated with the OER23 crowd, and as you can see from my rudimentary visual notes, it helped me remember so many moments that might have otherwise been lost in the oblivion of my mind. It was a really fun process, and giving myself the permission to doodle throughout thanks to Bryan’s workshop made both the experience and the re-living of it while writing this that much more pleasurable. YEAH!

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5 Responses to Visual Note-taking at OER23

  1. The day before we had Rikke’s talk and learned we’re all a bunch of dirty #hopepunks Catherine Cronin gave me a gift with a bit of Heaney poetry on it:

    “Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for”

    The messaging at #OER23 was consistent and constant.

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