#OUConf10,  conference,  openness,  OU

The Open University conference is Open

<Image OU Campus by Karen Cropper http://www.flickr.com/photos/dentonpotter/4480661125/in/set-72157623621643665/>

Every year the OU has an internal conference focused around learning and technology. It's a chance for us to share research and projects, broadcast about big initiatives and discuss some interesting ideas. It's usually a two-day event on campus, aimed at OU staff.

This year I have been given responsibility for organising it (I know! Who thought that was a good idea?) and  changing it a bit. So, this year's OU conference is completely online and is open to all (not just OU people). It will have an OU focus, but anyone is welcome to join in.


The theme for the conference is 'Learning in an open world'. As readers of this blog will know, I am interested in the manner in which the term 'open' has evolved in education since the OU's inception in 1969. With projects such as openlearn, cloudworks, Moodle, iSpot, etc this dialogue around what 'openness' means is important to the OU's sense of identity in a digital age, and this is what the conference will try to explore.


The conference is the 22nd and 23rd June. There are four sessions, each around a particular area: Open Content, Open Learning, Open Teaching and Open Access. In each session we will have an invited keynote speaker, four or so speakers from the OU who will address the key question of 'how does openness affect this area?', and an opportunity for discussion in breakout rooms. These synchronous sessions will take place in Elluminate.

There is also an asynchronous element hosted in Cloudworks, where each of the elements can be discussed, going on beyond the conference end.


The main elluminate sessions will be from invited speakers, but instead of papers we would like people to submit contributions in any acceptable multi-media format: YouTube, Slideshare, Animoto, Xtranormal, etc. These can be embedded in the relevant Cloudworks area. We will then pull these contributions into the discussions in the main sessions and use them for the asynchronous discussion.

What next?

If you are interested in attending (even if it's only one session) pop along to the Cloudworks space and click the 'Mark as attending' button. This doesn't get you anything but it does gives us an idea of numbers and also means we can communicate with those who are coming.

If you want to contribute, please do, otherwise sit back and await further info as we sort out the agenda.

The twitter hashtag is #OUConf10

Here are some movies I've made to encourage contributions:


  • Tracy

    In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, boojeebeads.com is having a contest where every teacher in your school can win a free gift! Check out the contest at my link.

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