Open Education Week 2014 (OEW) is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement. This is the third year for this annual event that includes online and on-site events all over the world Monday, March 10th through Friday, March 14th.
Coordinated by the OpenCourseWare Consortium, OEW provides free access to a wide variety of presentations and resources related to the open sharing of educational materials. No registration required!
Wondering how open education resources and open access materials might benefit your courses? Through the use of tools like Creative Commons licenses – which allow content creators to easily indicate their willingness to share their materials with others – more educators are posting their work online with not only permission, but also encouragement to re-use and re-mix in your classes.
Collections and repositories, such as MERLOT II, provide easy access to shared materials online. But there’s much more to learn! Prepare to make the most of Open Education Week by reviewing the event’s website and adding a few sessions to your schedule.
Whether you are new to open education or a veteran of the movement, OEW has opportunities for continued learning and networking for educators at all experience levels. Explore ways you can participate through:
- Events: These live sessions may be scheduled to take place at a physical location, through a webinar format, or both as the in-person presentation is streamed online. Each event’s profile page on the website’s calendar includes more information about the facilitator, anticipated audience, and instructions for attendees (i.e., how to log in).
- Projects: Browse this video showcase of open educational resources in use. Each project page includes details about the project featured and access to the presentation.
- Social Media: Follow Open Education Week on Twitter via @openeducationwk and Facebook to receive the latest announcements and event updates. Use hashtags, such as #openeducationwk, #OER, and #OCW to search for what other participants are saying about the event and join in the backchannel conversation during the sessions and beyond.
- Frequently Asked Questions: If you are not familiar with open education resources, spend some time with the event’s FAQ page to learn more about the open education movement, the benefits of using open resources, and how you can share your materials with other educators.
- Archives: You may also want to review some of the recorded webinars and archived projects from Open Education Week 2013.
OER and Online Education
What are the take-aways for educators in higher education? Where should you focus your attention this week? With more than 30 institutions participating, there are a lot of sessions to choose from, so it may be helpful to narrow the field by identifying specific topics of interest.
As you browse the OEW event calendar, note that the times are all listed in UTC/GMT time. Use the easy “Add to Calendar” buttons to add events to your schedule, in your time zone. Consider blocking the time on your calendar now, so that you’ll be ready to jump in once the event kicks off.
Here are a few of the scheduled sessions and projects that specifically address topics related to online learning and higher education:
- Congressional E-Learning Caucus Briefing: Open Educational Resources (Monday): This panel discussion originating from the U.S. Capitol features topics related to how open education resources can help solve current challenges in K-12 and higher education, such as the cost of textbooks.
- Making Web Content Accessible in 10 Steps or Less (Tuesday): Explore standards-based techniques for improving accessibility, including the use of screen readers.
- Creative Commons Version 4.0 for Educators and Education (Wednesday): Learn more about the latest updates to Creative Commons licenses presented with examples of use in education settings.
- How to Use Open Resources in the Classroom (Wednesday): Find out how one professor is implementing open education resources and technology in the higher education classroom.
- Open Education Working Group Call (Thursday): Join this cross-sector, cross-domain group to learn about members’ current open education projects and to share your own. A great opportunity to expand your network.
- Faculty Members’ Experience Using Open Educational Resources (Project): Hear from instructors who have integrated open textbooks and content in their college courses as part of the Kaleidoscope Project.
- WikiStage – A New Format for Events (Project): This non-profit initiative is working to develop a library of free videos in which subject matter experts respond to a single question in an “on stage” environment.
These are just a few of the many options available throughout the week. Search the website by keyword and category to find additional presentations that match your areas of interest. Each scheduled session and project has been tagged with multiple topics as well as the Creative Commons license (e.g., CC-BY, CC-BY-NC-SA) chosen by the presenter.
This week the Inside Online Learning Chat (#IOLchat) will focus on open education opportunities for professional development in recognition of Open Education Week. We meet on Wednesdays at 12pm ET and hope to see you there! Follow us at @IOLblog for more information.
Throughout Open Education Week we are all encouraged to “Learn, Participate, and Share.” Think about how you might add existing open materials to your courses, re-work open resources to meet the needs of your learners, and spread the word about open education options to your students and fellow educators.
What could you share next year? As you experience the event this week, consider ways in which you might answer the call for participation in 2015.
Image credit: OpenEducationWeek.org
Source: Inside Online Learning Blog