Participating Virtually at OER18 – before, during and after the conference – Guest post by Frances Bell


[Participation by opensourceway CC BY-SA 2.0]

OER10 was dubbed “the first major conference on Open Educational Resources in the UK ”, and Gabi Wiithaus gives an interesting history in From OER10 to OER18: OER grows up. These conferences appeared on my horizon and my first participation was in OER15 when I saw several videos and followed the hashtag. There is an impressive range of resources that have emerged from the OER conference, some of which I have listed at the end of this post.

If you are interested in OER18 – Open to all, but can’t attend Bristol as a delegate, you can still enjoy meaningful participation: before, during and after the conference. The conference web site is a useful hub whose content and links will continue to grow over the next three months. Whether you want to take up every opportunity to participate virtually or just check out a keynote, you will be able to find out all you need to connect with the warm and friendly folks around the OER18 conference.

Before OER18

#OER18 is already active on Twitter and is a good place to find people and issues relating to the conference. You can also follow @OERConf , the official Twitter for OER18 that will be tweeting and retweeting relevant news and links until the conference begins, after which a small team will be live-tweeting the conference.

A group of open educators is running a hybrid workshop Breaking open: Conversations about ethics, epistemology, equity and power and they are extending an invitation for you to participate in-person or virtually as they describe in this blog post.

OESig, the Open Education Special Interest Group, plans another OER18 preview webinar on 6 March, so keep checking the OESig page for full details as they become available.

All invited blog posts from keynotes and other authors are linked from this page on the OER18 web site.

During OER18

The activity on #OER18, @oerconf and individuals’ blogs will step up during the conference.

Each keynote will have a page with a link to the Youtube page that is used for live-streaming and the recorded video shared after the conference. Here is an example of the page for Luci Compton-Reid’s OER17 keynote page that was linked from the programme page. The programme page is an excellent resource for virtual participants to plan what live-streamed sessions they want to see.

Virtually Connecting is a volunteer organisation that hosts Google Hangouts at conferences. Here was their agenda for OER17 so if you want to participate watch out for what they will offer nearer the time.

ALT published a guide for remote participants for OER17, and I am sure that they will publish one for OER18 once the programme is confirmed. Another resource to watch out for is the crowdsourced blog post links.

After OER18

ALT does an excellent Engaging throughTwitter hashtag, live tweeting, (live) blogging, OERVirtually Connecting, Livestream video Youtube playlists

As one OER conference draws to a close, preparation and planning for the next one has already begun. Behind the scenes, the process for choosing a venue, conference Chairs and a theme will have taken place so that OER19 can be launched in the closing session of OER18. Shortly afterwards, an early opportunity to participate will be offered to join the programme committee. If you are new to the OER community and enjoy participating in OER18 (virtually or as a registered delegate), then consider applying to join the OER19 committee in April/May 2018. Reviewing submissions in November/December 2018 and helping to plan and promote the conference are valuable modes of participation too.

I will almost certainly have missed something so please feel free to alert me to errors or omissions in the comments. I’m looking forward to engaging with remote participants at OER18.

Links to some of what emerged from previous conferences

OER10 –  web site, JIME Special Issue, #OER10

OER11 – web site, #OER11

OER12 – web site, JIME Special Issue, #OER12

OER13 – web site, blog, JIME Special Issue#OER13

OER14 – web site JIME Special Issue #OER14

OER15 – web site, Video Playlist, #OER15

OER16 – web site, Video Playlist, Links to blog posts, Live-blogged keynotes / other sessions, #OER16 

OER17 – web site, Video Playlist, Blog post roundup, #OER17

OER18 – web site, #OER18