Next week @ UBC: Discussions on Facebook; Wikis and Open Education


Photo by psd

No point easing into the new term, and out here at the UBC Mothership Campus there’s going to be a couple enlightening and provocative events to get 2009 rolling…

Next Tuesday, January 13th, 10am – noon, (Dodson Room, Irving K Barber Learning Centre) there will be a panel entitled Facebook and Education: The Pros and Cons:

Facebook’s popularity is uncontested but questions remain as to its role and purpose in an educational setting. How are students and educators using Facebook? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this social networking tool? Come join our diverse panel for a discussion that promises to provide multiple perspectives, deeper understanding and further questions.

The panel includes Phillip Jeffrey, whose session on Facebook at Northern Voice a couple years back convinced me to set up an account; Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian Sheryl Adam, who I have had the pleasure of working with on the Digital Tattoo project (see this recent Globe and Mail profile); and Cyprien Lomas, who between his gigs as Director of The Learning Centre at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and as Scholar in Residence for the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative can always be counted on to offer up abundant insight and perspective. I expect a thorough and honest workout on the implications of this wonderful, creepy, wonderfully creepy social network.


Image by Leigh Blackall

And on Thursday, January 15th, 1:30 – 3:30pm (also at the Dodson Room, Irving K Barber Learning Centre), WikiEducator: Our journey in getting OER right for the academy:

WikiEducator is an international project working collaboratively on the development and reuse of Open Education Resources (OER). The OER movement shows considerable potential to reduce cost, improve quality and widen access to educational opportunities. Facilitated by the power of social software and peer collaboration, academics around the world are returning to the core value of education, namely to share knowledge freely. The founder of WikiEducator, Wayne Mackintosh, will visit UBC to share experiences from the project. Wayne will highlight selected initiatives aimed at resolving the “reusability paradox” associated with OERs in higher education and current projects designed to address quality in open environments.

Readers of this weblog will know how enthusiastic I am about what WikiEducator has accomplished, not only as an open content project but as a model for open educational training and community engagement. Wayne gave a compelling and inspirational keynote at last year’s Open Education Conference, and I am delighted and honoured that he will be able to speak at UBC as his term based in Vancouver with the Commonwealth of Learning comes to an end.

Anyone is welcome to attend these sessions, and there is no charge. We do ask attendees to register.

5 thoughts on “Next week @ UBC: Discussions on Facebook; Wikis and Open Education

  1. Is there any way to get a transcript or podcast of the “Facebook and education pros and cons” talk on the 13th-what other discussions are coming up?

    thanks Brian…guess you heard Marco Torres is coming?

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