Author Archives: Jim Groom

From Punk to Policy

For over a year now I’ve been part of the Digital Learning Resource working group (along with 15 other representatives from a range of public colleges and universities) run by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. I’ve already written about my excitement at witnessing this committee morph from a routinized exploration of e-textbooks to a much more relevant focus on the broader landscape of open, online learning. It’s been a wild ride, and I have been having a lot of fun all the while talking about some of the implications if public colleges and universities start sharing and collaborating on the work we are doing in this space.

Continue reading

Registration closing in one week or 45 spots-whichever comes first!

Update: As of Thursday, February 21st at 5:00 PM registration is closed.

Update: As of today (Wednesday, February 20th at 1:20 PM) we are 10 spots away from closing down registration. At this rate registration will be closed this afternoon.

closing As of this evening we have 205 registrants for the conference and we have budgeted for 250. Doing the math you quickly realize we only have 45 spots left. Given this fact, we’ll be closing down registration on Friday, February 22nd, or as soon as we hit 250 registrants—whichever comes first. The conference is free, and the day promises to be inspiring (you can see a draft of the schedule here) so be sure to register now before it’s too late.

Image credit Connemarathon 2013

Draft Schedule Now Available

Image Credit:

Image Credit: “1958 Primetime Schedule” by Brykmantra

With less than three weeks to go the conference is actually starting to come together, a fact which has surprised more than a few of us 😉 We have posted a draft of the conference schedule that breaks down the events of the day that has most, but not yet all, of the sessions listed with times, presenters, and room assignments. The morning will be split between a series of carnival showcases featuring work happening at colleges and universities around the state. At the same time, there will be a series of featured talks in breakout rooms that will be exploring an idea around digital learning resources in a Ted-talk like format.

The afternoon will feature numerous presentations, panels, and a culminating session that will reflect on the day and look towards the future along the lines of collaborative possibilities, funding, and statewide policy.

To see the draft schedule take the hyper jump here.

Image URL:

Deadline for Submitting Proposals Extended

For Image credit click above.

The deadline for submitting proposals for “Virginia¹s First Annual Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference” has been extended from November 30th to January 18, 2013. This extension was recommended by the conference planning group so as to enable presenters to avoid having end of semester and/or holiday season commitments impede the preparation of proposals.

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.

Hello Virginia!

Welcome to site for Virginia’s inaugural Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference that will be held on March 7th, 2013 at the University of Mary Washington. The broad theme for this year’s conference is OpenVA, and encourages all state institutions of higher ed in Virginia to confront the possibilities and challenges of open education experiences and resources.

The Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference is an initiative of the Office of Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Virginia Community College System, and a list of partner institutions you can find here.

This space will be updated regularly with conference news. In the short term, we will be opening up both registration and allowing for the online submission of proposals <

is now available on this site. as of October 4th. So stay tuned!