Sharing, not just planning to share – Crowdsourcing OER Search for Africa

I am hoping that Dave Cormier will write this up fully, as it was his idea for which he deserves full credit, but the eleganceand simplicity of it, coupled with the real need it hopes to serve, compelled me to post something right away in hopes of helping it get going.

As I understand it, after Catherine Ngugi’s powerful opening keynote at Open Education ’09, Dave spent some time chatting with Catherine, in which he came to learn that there was a person tasked with locating useful open resources for faculty but that this was an overwhelming task. Dave, being Dave, immediately saw the potential for our existing networks to pitch in, sharing as we already do, and set about creating a twitter account, findanoerafrica to send out requests to the community for help finding appropriate resources. The idea was hatched on Wednesday and announced this Friday morning.

Only time will tell if it works and how effect it is. You can help, really easily. If you use twitter, then follow findanoerafrica and basically respond in the helpful way you already do. The difference being you’ll be helping someone who is in turn supporting hundreds of educators. The beauty – it isn’t asking you to do anything you’re not already doing, and the cost was essentially zero. Obviously, this is not going to solve all the worlds ills, but it’s one of those little steps to maybe make it better than it was. Dave – your energy and enthusiasm are both infectious and inspiring. Getting to hang with you this week in Vancouver has definitely been one of the highlights for me. – SWL

How to participate in the Open Ed conference even if you can’t get to Vancouver

So the Open Ed conference has begun and I am frankly overwhelmed to see the 200 or so amazing folks who have come together in Vancouver around “Open Education.” But this movement is far larger than that, it’s a global movement, and we are doing our best as organizers to help folks who couldn’t make the journey participate in various ways. In addition to streaming every session live via the conference uStream feeds, many folks are following along on the extensive twitter coverage via the #opened09 tag.

And that’s not all – I am SO chuffed as an organizer to see this community of network learners creating their own ways of interacting, without any help or coordination.

If you’ve found yourself accessing any of these, we’d love if you’d consider adding yourself to the list of “virtual attendees” – both as a way for people here to connect with you, and also to help demonstrate to our sponsors how the conference has had some impact outside of the immediate physical attendees. And please, let s know if there’s anything we can do to help improve your experience, you are an important part of this community and conference too. – SWL

3 Travel Scholarships Available for Open Ed & Other Various Conf News

Hopefully you are already following the Open Ed 2009 conference news feed and this will be just so much cruft, but if not I thought it worthwhile to re-post here in Edtechpost the fact that, due to some very generous sponsors, we are able to offer 3 travel scholarships to Open Education in Vancouver, August 12-14, 2009.

I should also note that the deadlines for getting the secured hotel room rates are fast approaching, and a gentle reminder that we will have limited space for the (included in the reg fee) Barbeque-to-end-all-Barbeques on the Wednesday night, so if you want to come, getting your conference registration in as soon as possible will make that entirely more likely.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming… – SWL