OpenVa: Open & Digital Learning Resources Conference

On March 7th, 2013 UMW will be hosting Virginia’s inaugural Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is OpenVA which will explore how Virginia’s public institutions of higher ed are confronting the possibilities and challenges of open educational experiences and resources.

What’s particularly cool about this conference is
that it’s a state-driven initiative to bring constituents from all of Virginia’s public colleges and universities into a day-long dialogue about digital resources that will hopefully evolve into cross-institutional, collaborative projects statewide. Richard Sebastian, one of the many architects of the conference, notes as much in his post announcing the vent:

….finding a statewide solution to rising textbook costs was the original focus of this effort, the planning committee concluded that limiting this conference to such a narrow topic would be a missed opportunity….the hope is that an eventual outcome of the conference will be to create or identify statewide mechanisms that can support [open digital learning resources] in higher ed.

The move from solving textbook costs to re-thinking how we define and share digital resource more broadly across Virginia’s public higher ed institutions is crucial in my mind. It’s the perfect opportunity to forge new, cross-campus relationships, share resources, and build a framework of connections across institutions to start augmenting all the innovation happening in isolation around the state. I’m excited at the potential of this conference and I’ll be blogging its development on the bava as well as on the openva blog regularly for the next few months.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our debt to the Open Education conference in imagining this conference. In fact, we modelled the OpenVa call for proposals on theirs almost verbatim :)

Also, the conference is free and open to the public, in keeping with the theme. So, feel free to register here and find out what’s good in Virginia’s edtech world. Or, if you are part of a VA public institution and you have something you want to share then be sure to submit a proposal before November 30th, 2012.