Category Archives: Announcements

OpenVA 2.0: October 18th, 2014

Below is the text of an email I recently sent out to all of the attendees at last year’s inaugural OpenVA conference. As the following email notes, this year we are doing things a bit different, focusing more intently on how we utilize out time together to build some momentum around getting some things done. It seems to have resonated with folks because we already have 75+ registrants in less than two weeks, and most folks on that email list are still enjoying the precious last moments of summer vacation. Read on for more details and be sure to register before we cap out at 150.

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Image Credit: EdCamp Fort Wayne

WE’RE BACK!!!

This Fall we are running a 2nd Annual OpenVA conference, but we have decided to change up the format a bit. As you may recall, the inaugural event held last October at the University of Mary Washington was a conference format that brought together educators, learning technology specialists and administrators to share innovative practices using open education resources. Since that time, the planning committee has remained engaged and they are enthusiastic about furthering the work in this area.

We have scheduled a follow-up event, to be held at Tidewater Community College on Saturday, October 18th. The event is free and open to all, and will focus on a relatively small number of existing projects in and around Virginia that feature how various universities are utilizing open content, infrastructure, and pedagogy to garner both grassroots and institutional support for sharing open resources and to promote institutional collaboration. Some specific projects include Tidewater Community College’s “Z-Degree” focused on affordable textbooks, University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own created to empower students and faculty to manage their digital lives, as well as looking at how various institutions are rethinking IT infrastructure in light of cloud computing. And that’s just a few of the projects and topics

What’s more, we want your projects too! We are interested in other innovative higher ed projects exploring open educational resources, open infrastructure, or open pedagogy happening around the state. Submit your example using the following link, and the committee will reach out for more details: http://openva.org/innovation/

This Summit on Building Open VA will features examples as well as gather input from participants during four focused discussion sessions with the purpose of developing recommendations for a statewide open resource strategy.

Please help in the promotion of this event among your colleagues.  We wish to attract faculty, administrators, legislators, librarians and learning technologists,

  • who have put together successful individual initiatives that they would like to expand or scale
  • who know, or want to know, how to support an Open educational initiative,
  • who understand the importance of an Open Initiative and want to get a better understanding of how ‘Open’ is currently being deployed throughout Virginia,
  • who believe in the promise of ‘Open’ but don’t know where to get started or how to sustain an open initiative once it gets started,
  • who want to learn how to form and write policy for open education.

Some event presenters will be invited by the planning committee based on its prior knowledge of their work and its relevance to the topics.  However, there is also an open call on the website for submissions so that the committee can learn about other examples and incorporate them into a robust schedule for the day.

The event website is:  http://openva.org/

Also, you can register for the event, which will be free of charge, here: http://openva.org/register-2/

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks for your attention,

Jim Groom
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If you want to end any further emails about OpenVA, send me an email and let me know. You can respond to this email or send a note to jimgroom@gmail.com.

OpenVA Under Construction

I just published this post announcing the second annual OpenVA conference that will be happening October 18th, 2014 at Tidewater Community College. This announcement will be followed shortly by an email from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to the provost (or academic equivalent) at every pulic higher education insitutiton in Virginia. That email will layout the reconsititution of this committee under the official banner of OpenVA, and frame this conference as the first step in building an infrastructure around open education in Virginia . This email will also be a call to these campuses to appoint representatives at Virginia’s various public colleges and universities to steer this newly imagined group.

It was pretty excited to hear that OpenVA got a second act, and it’s even cooler to think SCHEV intends to given this group credence, support, and a platform to operate from. But this also means we need to actually get down to brass tacks. Start building, if you will.

So when thinking about this year’s conference, we came up with a somewhat different approach. Rather than reproducing what we did last year, we decided to try and dedicate the time during the event to try and focus on what it is we want, and try and hash out how we can make it happen—hence the title “Building OpenVA.” It will be like a hackathon for pushing policy conversation towards action:

  • Open infrastructure
  • Open content/resource
  • Open pedagogy/curriculum

This event isn’t a conference, per se. It will be broken down into four sessions.  The first three will showcase open initiatives happening currently in Virginia that embody each of the three faces of  open listed above .  The final session will be a culmination of the discussions with the goal of charging participants and laying out a strategy for action at SCHEV, higher education institutions, and legislative bodies.

Each session will be 90 minutes long and formatted as a kind of call/response. The first half will be a presentation by a panel consisting of Virginia higher ed institutions and educators who are at the forefront of open innovations currently taking place in VA.  This will be followed by a directed panel discussion by a small group of stakeholders including representatives from faculty, IT, librarians, administration, and legislature.  The panel will discuss how the current initiatives might be scaled to move beyond their existing implementations and be adopted by a larger number of Virginia institutions.

It’s this call and response idea that I hope takes off. It reinforces the fact that Virginia’s colleges and universities are a distributed, but connected voice that needs to collaboratively frame the conversationcof our future. To that end, we’re asking that anyone from around the state contribute their example of an innoVAtion (forgive the cheesey camel case, I couldn’t resist) from any of Virginia’s public higher education institutions.

 ….there is an open call on the OpenVA website (http://openva.org/innovation) seeking examples of projects happening currently in Virginia’s colleges or universities that represent an innovative approach to opening up infrastructure (sharing technical resources, server space, applications, etc.), content (open educational resources, textbooks, media, etc.), and pedagogy (syllabi, innovative course practice, research, curriculum, etc). The organizing committee will use these examples to contact various presenters and create a schedule for the day that is rooted in what’s happening on the ground. The event will be about augmenting and amplifying the best of what’s already out there.

I’m pretty excited about this approch to the confernece, and all the credit goes to Andrew Feldstein and Steve Nodine who took time out of the Sloan-C Emerging Tech conference in Dallas this past April to hash this idea out in person. I should also add that as we go through a transition to the OpenVA incarnation, the committee has been pared down to a few highly motivated and dedicated people. And they make it very apparent that the vision of an open Virginia has taken hold and driving us all.

We’re running the conference at a different campus this year, thanks to the ever great Diane Ryan of Tidewater Community College, and that idea of a moveable, shared vision for which we share responsibility is why I know this group will be successful. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, there is much more to do over the next four months. Sountil then save the date: Saturday, October 18th in Virginia Beach. This analyzing is paralyzing, let’s build the future of open education in Virginia we want to see!

 

OpenVA and Minding the Future featured on NPR

As we mentioned previously, NPR radio host Sarah McConnell of “With Good Reason” attended bothing Minding the Future and OpenVa in October, and featuring sessions from both conferences in a recent episode focusing on the future of Higher Education.

Gardner Campbell’s OpenVA talk “Wisdom as a Learning Outcome” was featured in the episode, as was part of the culminating panel discussion of Minding the Future. You can listen to the episode above, or watch both in their entirety below (note the video of “Wisdom as a

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Learning Outcome” is the talk delivered days later at TedxUSagrado).

Minding the Future Panel to be Featured on NPR

Looks like parts of the Minding the Future panel along with individual interviews with its particpants will be featured on NPR’s “With Good Reason” radio show this Sunday, November 17th from 1-2 PM on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. It will be fun to hear what the show makes of the event and its featured speakers. What’s more, I’m hoping Sarah McConnell covers some of the issues, topics, and presentations she saw at the OpenVA conference the following day. I guess I’ll just have to listen to find out. Below is a copy of the press release released by UMW yesterday. All this just serves as a haunting reminder that I have yet to blog about either of these amazing events that took place almost a month ago. Hope springs eternal!

Highlights from the first Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference held at the University of Mary Washington in October will be featured on the public radio show “With Good Reason.” The conference, known as OpenVA, brought together more than 250 experts from Virginia institutions to examine the future of higher education and technology. The show, “The Future of Higher Education,” will air beginning on Saturday, Nov. 16.
Jeffrey McClurken moderated a panel during the first OpenVA conference at UMW.

The program will feature the panel of David Wiley, Kin Lane, Alan Levine, Gardner Campbell and Audrey Watters, moderated by Professor and Chair of History and American Studies at UMW

Jeffrey McClurken. Experts from Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University also will discuss the challenges and opportunities of digital learning. The two-day conference was sponsored by the State Council for Higher Education and the University of Mary Washington. Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted online the week of the show at http://withgoodreasonradio.org/2013/11/the-future-of-higher-education/.

For full videos from conference sessions, visithttp://www.youtube.com/user/umwnewmedia.

“With Good Reason” is a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show airs weekly in Fredericksburg on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. on Radio IQ 88.3 Digital. To listen from outside of the Fredericksburg area, a complete list of air times and links to corresponding radio stations can be found athttp://withgoodreasonradio.org/when-to-listen/.

OpenVA Live

Update: the recordings from Minding the Future and OpenVA are being embedded on the Video Archive page.

Most of the panels will be live-streamed today starting at 9:30 AM (EDT). You can watch below or on the dedicated page by clicking on the live button in the header.

Live!

Teaching in the Open: Public Pedagogy

Martha Burtis and Jeffrey McClurken, University of Mary Washington; Tom

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Minding the Future Program at a Glance

It’s hard to believe both Minding the Future and OpenVA are less than a week away now. I’ve finally gotten the titles and abstracts of the 10-minute talks happening in the afternoon along with a sneak preview of some of the issues to be discussed in the closing panel discussion. This should be a pretty amazing day, and I think we should be able to stream it all live at http://ds106.tv. Stay tuned for more on that front. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this, a conference about the future of education that can actually resist the popular urge to advocate systemically dismantling and defunding higher ed ;)
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2:30-3:00 Alan Levine’s “Memorable/Unmemorable”
If asked whether they would like to be remembered, almost no one would answer “No”. But multiple choice questions can be trickier than they seem. The education future some are painting for us is a path focused on a destination, reached via an unmemorable journey.

3:00 -3:30 Kin Lane’s “Access, Interoperability, Privacy and Security Of Technology Will Set The Stage For The Future of Education”
The future of education will be fueled by the access and interoperability introduced by common, everyday web and mobile applications that our children use in school and at home, and we depend on as adults in our workplaces and personal lives. By providing proper access and interoperability in applications, bundled with the healthy education of end-users around these features, and fully respecting user’s privacy and security, technologists can help define the future of education and evolve the next generation of citizens who are web literate by default, and never stop learning, creating and sharing.

3:30 – 4:00: Audrey Watters’s “A Future with Only 10 Universities”
Sebastian Thrun’s claims that in 50 years, we’ll only have 10 institutions “delivering higher education and Udacity has a shot at being one of them.” What (horror) has to happen in order to get us to “ten.”

4:00 – 4:30 David Wiley’s “Implications of the Open Content Infrastructure”
Open infrastructures radically decrease the cost (and therefore risk) of experimentation, which consequently increases the pace of innovation. For example, the open communications infrastructure known as the internet radically reduced the cost of experimenting with new services and business models dealing in information (c.f. the costs and risks of experimenting with pre-internet “publication” business models for disseminating information or enabling communication). Over the last decade, individuals, foundations, and governments have built an open content infrastructure (OER) on top of the open communications infrastructure (internet). This open content infrastructure has enabled a second wave of low cost / low risk experimentation in a range of content-related fields including education and research.

4:30 – 5:00:  Jon Udell’s “Observable work and the reinvention of apprenticeship”
For most of human history the work of the world was directly observable. A young person saw, and often participated in, the farming and the hunting and the building. Then the adults vanished from the scene. They had all gone to the factory or the office. Work became opaque to the young.

Now work is again becoming observable. Increasingly both the processes and products of work are represented digitally, in ways that can enable learners and practitioners to connect. Will universities nurture those connections?

5:00 – 6:00 Break/Food and Refreshments

6:00 – 7:30 Panel on the Future of Higher Ed moderated by Jeff McCLurken 

This panel will include all of the day’s speakers responding to a wide variety of questions—a sampling of whcih can be found below:

  • What have been the most exciting developments in higher education over the last 5 years?
  • What will be the most exciting developments in higher education in the next 5 years?What developments concern you?
  • Who are the major players (people, institutions, businesses, foundations) in the digitally enabled higher education landscape?  What are their goals?  Who pays for this transformation?
  • What role does the defunding of higher education, especially at the state level, have to do with these changes?
  • What is the role of the state and federal government in these conversations?  What is it likely to be, going forward?
  • Business and technology leaders have been telling those of us in higher education that we have our heads in the sand, that MOOCS in particular are going to wash over us and we will be out of business. So, do public institutions of higher education have their collective heads in the sand when it comes to MOOCs, online learning, and “electronic delivery revolution”? If so, what are we missing and why?

Getting Ready for OpenVA

Note: This email was sent to everyone that registered to attend the OpenVA conference, if you believe you are registered but did not receive this email let us know by emailing jimgroom@gmail.com ASAP.

Donkey-kong-cleanHello all,

I want to start this email by thanking you all for your patience it was has been a fairly drawn out planning process given we were forced to reschedule last March due to an anomalous snow storm. That said, it is time to get excited again because the schedule for OpenVA is nothing short of amazing. Over 230 people from just about every college and university around the state of Virginia will be on hand to share the work they’re doing. And that is what this conference is all about!

What’s more, if you are coming into town the day before, October 14th, we recommend you registering for the “Minding the Future” event (it’s totally free and dinner will be

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served) to listen to a number of nationally recognized technologists and educators discuss the broader national landscape when it comes to the convergence of education and technology. If you are interested, go here to register. Think of this as setting the conceptual table for the following day’s event at OpenVA that will demonstrate the innovative thinking and practices happening around the state.

Some important details!

Directions to OpenVA (Oct 15)
OpenVA will be taking place at UMW’s Stafford Campus, here is a link to it on Google Maps. Keep in mind it’s about 15 minutes northwest of the Fredericksburg Campus (exit 133 West on the 95).

Directions to “Minding the Future” (Oct 14)
The “Minding the Future” event happening on October 14th from 2:30-7:30 will be held at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center on the Fredericksburg Campus, here is a map for that.

Carnival Presenters
If you are presenting in the morning at the carnival and have not been contacted about any technical requirements you might have, please contact us immediately at jimgroom@gmail.com

All Other Presenters
If you have technical requirements beyond a provided computer (or a computer hookup) and internet, please let us know ASAP.

Finally, if there are any emergency issues related to weather or otherwise leading up to the conference please check the OpenVA website for announcements and information: http://openva.org.

And that’s that, barring another act of God this conference is on like Donkey Kong!

See you all soon!

Best,
Jim Groom

Confirm your registration for October 15th

If you already

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registered for OpenVa and are still able to attend on October 15th, take a minute to let us know using the form below.

New Date – October 15th!!

The conference committee has decided to reschedule the first annual Digital learning Resources conference for October 15th at UMW’s Stafford Campus. We understand that rescheduling may present certain scheduling challenges and conflicts for some, but given the restraint on facilities and open dates on UMW’s campus this is the date the worked best.

If you were scheduled to present, and this causes any issues please contact us directly here. If you were registered to attend, but can’t attend given the the new dates, let us know using

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