I’ve had a few people tell me that while they hope to attend the Open Education Conference (August 12-14 in the shockingly delightful city of Vancouver), they are not sure that their own work or interests qualify as sufficiently ‘open’ to submit a proposal themselves. I’ve been a little surprised to hear this, as I had not realized that the open education movement was perceived to be such an exclusive and rigidly guarded domain.
So if you are wondering if you have the right stuff to make a contribution to OpenEd 2009, but need some additional guidance, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Is your stuff readily available online, indexed by search engines?
- Do you make your stuff openly licensed, specifying terms of re-use? (Most commonly through Creative Commons?) If someone reuses your stuff with attribution, you’re not going to be a jerk about it, right?
- If someone wants to reuse your stuff, is it in a format that can be revised or remixed? Or at least embedded or directly linked?
- Do you think developments in new media and the internet fundamentally challenge notions of accessibility, engagement and the practices of teaching and learning?
If you answered “uh, yeah” or even “working on it” to most of those questions, then you are at least as open as I am… And I hope that if you have ideas or work that might be of interest you will give some thought to submitting a proposal before May 1.
Disclaimer: I recognise that there are more zealous types out there who may think my acid test is too broadly defined. Speaking for myself (to the best of my knowledge the other conference co-organizers agree) I want this event to grow and to energize the open education movement in some way. And to do that we need new voices and new ideas. We might disagree on whether the non-commercial clause is a good thing or not, or we may exhibit varying degrees of purity in terms of open source software adoption. But diversity can be seen as a sign of strength, and I hope to see a lot of it at OpenEd 2009.