eCampusOntario: Canadian Open Stories

eCampusOntario: Canadian Open Stories

eCampusOntario CEO David Porter, BC open advocate Christina Hendricks, and Ontario Open Rangers Helen de Waard and Terry Greene share their stories of how they came to be open practitioners.

all right well it is 12 o'clock on the
dot so welcome everyone to the fourth in a series of 101 open stories as part of
year of open with the great support of our partner the OE consortium
my name is Jenni Hayman and I am a proud member of the go GN graduate
network and working with a small team on this 101 open stories project and really
have had so much fun this week hearing people's stories about more or less how
the heck did you come to be an open advocate what was your path to this and so
our I would like to start alphabetically with introductions with our guests
Terry Greene is joining us but seems to be offline at the moment he'll be back
soon but we'll start with Helen just a quick introduction hi I'm Helen de Waard
I teach at the Faculty of Education here in central Ontario and my focus, passion is storytelling, digital storytelling and media production so I'm
really happy to be able to share some stories today alright great super and
Christina Hendricks from out in BC yes I'm Christina Hendricks I teach philosophy
at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver
I'm on the west coast and the other thing that I do these days I just got
appointed as the Deputy Academic Director for the Centre for Teaching,
Learning and Technology, that's a mouthful at the University of British Columbia so
yeah so I work in open and we'll connect with that thanks Christina and
David let's go with you I am David Porter. I'm CEO at eCampusOntario.
I'm originally from British Columbia and in British Columbia this morning on
vacation but heading back to Ontario next week. and hopefully Terry Greene will
be joining us I think his Internet is a little kind of challenging this
morning but he's at Fleming College and I'll get him to introduce himself when
he starts storytelling perhaps. So maybe we'll start with you Helen and if you
just want to start sharing your story with us that would be great. So this was
a particular challenge for me when you first invited me just to kind of talk
about how I became an open educator I ended up going down this rabbit hole of reflection
for a while and ultimately when I ask my students to tell their stories and come
up with their stories they find it really challenging to figure out where
the beginning the middle and the end might be how to craft it into a
narrative that makes sense for themselves so that's what I was trying to do and I
realized that there is no beginning or ending this open education story for
me I was born and raised on a farm so for me it it really started with you
know being part of that that open culture living in the open growing
things in the open the seasons mattered time to just get out and play with my
siblings you know that I called it imagineering, that sense of
exploration and tinkering and playing in the open ultimately comes from the deep
roots of being a farm girl and becoming a teacher prime my background as a
primary teacher and then moved into school leadership administration and
then took the step into teaching in the higher ed in the Faculty of Education I
think back on kind of the way I started teaching really was in an open way it was like the early onset of computers in the classroom the early
onset of internet access and I really connected to Penny's conversation
yesterday about you know the dial-up squeal and and finding yourself on the
internet and talking to people you've never talked to before so ultimately it
was another step towards open for me and then you know with that increase of
computers in the classroom really meant that I looked for ways to open the
classroom doors and windows for the students that I was teaching
particularly the exceptional learners those who are disenfranchised those who
were marginalized those who had doors closed to them a lot of time
and really finding ways for them to connect and have conversations with
people that mattered in their lives and using the internet and using
publishing beyond just the classroom material and you're not publishing for
me you're publishing for somebody else so again another little step to that
whole, you say, open access education that Martin Weller talked about and then I
have to say the next step was my my mountain climbing I've climbed the one
mountain if you look at pictures of Machu Picchu and you see the mountain
behind that's always in every picture I've climbed that mountain twice but I
connected it to I've gained educational experience twice by doing two masters
programs and the second masters program kind of was on the ground work based on
the ground work of the first masters that I did and the Masters of EdTech
from UBC really was a catalyst for what I'm now doing as an open educator it
pushed and coerced me I gained confidence we talked about my final
project was called my renovations and and because I was doing renovations in real
life it became my renovation how I became renovated by doing the you know
doing the course work and the content and the activities through the M.ET
program and then I started pushing myself even further because I started
teaching at the University Faculty of Education and I wanted to model and
share and be an advocate for my own students so the more I wanted to teach
about open and to have them become open educators I had to model it so I had to
step out so I started blogging more regularly frequently and I think um I
really liked the connections that a few other people made about that one moment when somebody paid attention to what they were talking
about and for me it was Alan Levine who responded to a
blog post I did titled "Me in Media" and I was really struggling with this notion
of who I was in open digital spaces so he responded with a whole, his comments is a blog post in itself and at the time I was using Alan's ds106
and you know all that open stuff that he was doing and Alan Levine, oh my god
Alan Levine being commented on my blog post so it's that same experience
that a few others have talked about you know they're their go-to person or
somebody that really paid attention to so I'm really conscious of doing that
now for my teacher candidates for people that I see are new to open spaces making
a point of responding to them in some way and encouraging that
affirmation and encouragement that we need to take the next steps and be
comfortable where we are so when I started teaching at the Faculty I made a
commitment intentionally to put my course work in the open I dual-layer all
the courses that I teach and they're within the learning management
system so the students who are not comfortable in the open have a place to
and a way to share and connect and then those who are ready to go to the open,
the open space is there so each of the courses are dual-layered all the courses
are on open web sites and the courses iterate and change as I
teach the courses each year so the pages change so I tell my students yes you can
come back and find whatever you want or all the stuff is still there but it may
not be exactly the same you know the content will necessarily change i've
revamped. The initial course that they did was digital teaching and learning
it's been revamped I moved it from a wordpress to a Weebly site I'm now doing
an online course called critical digital literacy that is again web-based
but I also have the backend secure space in learning management and they really
mirror each other so I've iterated the course designs as I
go but when I finished the M.ET program and I graduated, I I started looking for what
next and that's when I call it my year of MOOC
I became MOOCified, I went and MOOCed all over the place Rhizo,
digital pedagogy MOOC MOOC, CL MOOC human MOOC and then there's digital design
thinking MOOC so there were a whole pile of different kind of experiences for
open learning and that's how I got connected to Creative Commons and to
virtually connecting so those are the communities spaces that I continue to
share and and collaborate in and then this year it's nice to see becoming part
of the OEO Rangers group that i think is going to kind of open things in Ontario
so it's a you know a core group of people who will celebrate advocate model
share in open spaces and I'm really excited to be part of that network
communication collaboration all those really neat things that we want
for ourselves and for our students so when I was preparing for today this
this story I went to Martin Weller's book Battle for Open and chapter 2
really just jumped out at me so I started just thinking what are my
motivations for open and ultimately it's not necessarily for me but for my
students and modeling and being able to risk and to jump into open spaces and
look at what it'll mean for them in terms of their professional practice
yeah as teachers in the world today they really do need to be connected
they do need to be collaborating they do
need to be engaged in inquiry in their professional practice and that doesn't
end when they leave my classroom or graduate to go into the field so
this is kind of like their sandbox space for me so that's why I do
it so that they can see the risks and
rewards gain professional identity understand copyright and the student
safety and security those types of things so my story is doesn't have a
beginning or an end obviously it's an ongoing story it's not necessarily the
neverending story but as I say there's always another
mountain to climb and I'm sure that there are people that I'm going to be
climbing with Lovely, lovely, lovely,
thank you Helene. So just to confirm Helen your students are our Ontario
teachers, pre-service teachers is that correct? So they're going to teach
in the PK-12 system here in Ontario likely? Yes yes so they're pre-service it's
now a two-year program the courses I teach are elective courses or concurrent
ed courses and you can find them I'll put the blog link in and you can link
to the course content don't not but who was at Peter was saying? No it was…
somebody was saying that OER goes to a repository to die? I think it was Nicola
Pallitt. Yeah we don't want that to happen, things are recreated each year, and yeah so, pre-service teachers. Lovely thank you so
much Helen Terry we're going to surprise you by by
asking you to go next alphabetically and we're sorry we missed you in the round
of introductions but please go ahead Can you hear me? Yeah okay. Hi my name is
Terry Greene I'm a Learning Technology Specialist at Fleming College which has
campuses in "doing your nails?? This is Alice by the way, say hi, Fleming College has campuses in Peterborough, Lindsay, Halliburton and a small one in Coburg in
Ontario and okay so my story I I took a okay well I have a Bachelor of
Education in Elementary Ed from the University of Alberta then at doing that
made me realize I love to to educate and teach but I wasn't, well the little kids,
teaching kids wasn't what I wanted to do, I realized in the end, so I
moved on to I moved out to Toronto in and took a teaching certificate, ESL
teaching certificate, grad certificate at George Brown College
and I started to teach at George Brown after I finished and I really enjoyed
teaching adults but I was still wanting to continue my education ahhh, okay anyway so I was still looking for what did I want to learn in my own career
educational career path and I didn't know what instructional design was until
I saw an ad for a program in instructional design at the University
of North Dakota I see that and it was fully online so I could continue to, it
was online but it was live online and it started in the evening so I could
continue to work as a teacher or whatever I was doing at the time and go
to school at night or yeah take the class at night sorry I'm getting lost to where I'm talking about here anyway so it was live online, I wasn't open yet, I didn't know
anything about open yet but I started a master's degree in about 2009 in
instructional design and technology because I really enjoyed the creating of
educational spaces and things and stuff and in that program
I never nobody ever mentioned open or anything but can you hear me? hi Terry yup, hi what was
the last thing I that you heard me say something about EdTech masters I was
working on a master's of instructional design nobody at the University of North
Dakota, no talk about open yet but they were great at building learning
community in all their courses and they always talked about it this is very
important to build a community and I really was one of the huge things that
took away from from the program was that there's so much benefit to thinking
about and crafting community in your in your courses and programs so that was
big takeaway so after that degree I was started looking for work in the field
and I was lucky enough to land the job at Fleming College and we started to I
started to work there and doing that and then ultimately after a few years this
is I'm getting to the open part now, can you hear me now still yeah it's a little
freeze now and again but it's okay so far Terry, I think I'm low, come on
internet, hi sorry stuck again sorry okay I'll wrap this up as quick as I can, okay so
one I have a blog post that describes this entire story just so you know great on
my I post on my domain called and I think you'll share that so it's all there great It's telling me it's unstable, can hear me right now? yes
maybe try without the video Terry and see if just the audio is easier on your
internet you know what I mean? Yeah, stop video okay I stopped the video but can you
hear me yes we can hear you okay so when I get cut off again just so you know has a blog post which tells this exact story, it's called "Things Open" as you have asked me to describes how we got
into things open. So one day I'm asked to go to my boss's office and talk about my
performance review and she asked me to find something what do you want to do
for professional development and I had looked around and found, this was
mentioned a few times, ds106, aha, I wasn't looking for anything open
or I was just looking for kind of free online and it fit really well cause it I
figured I could learn a whole bunch of stuff about how to brush up on my
digital skills in whatever area so I it looked cool so I I suggested it to my
boss and she said go ahead and try it and I didn't really know what it was
about it that I thought was so interesting until later and now I
realize it's because on the site you don't just see what they say you should
do you see the work of the participants everywhere that's so I'm like I can see
what other people are going to do with these instructions I can see I can take
their ideas and run with them in my own direction I might be able to see my own
stuff up there it was so cool and motivating I could even suggest new
activities I can be a fundamental piece of this whole thing that's so motivating
so inspiring and I've kind of just run from there
with all their ideas in everything I do so from there and through the people
that are participating in ds106 has brought me to first of all just
basically develop an awesome network of people a professional Learning Network
on Twitter I could ask, Helen you mentioned Alan Levine, I like all these
open superheroes that I can tweet ask questions and get their their ideas
immediately anywhere in the world is like I don't know how do we put a price on
that is amazing I can't remember specifically what brought me to from
through this to virtually connecting I know, probably Helen somehow I don't
know how we connected Helen but through you I came to virtually connecting and
that's just like ds106 this great platform to to connect with open
thinkers around the world that it overlaps big-time ds106 but the people involved
but I can get to be involved with all these conferences that around the world
that I had no idea about or be involved with last year I was able to go to the
open education conference in Virginia this year I won't be able to make it but
I know I'll be able to do virtually connecting and feel like a big part of
it regardless even if I'm not leaving my hometown to go, so virtually connecting
like ds106 brought me to that let me figure out I'm just checking my blog
posts to see where I am in my story oh that's the other thing I learned through that
like Helen mentioned the blogging for yourself which I only
started because ds106 told me to – but from there it's so enriching of your
professional life – to take what you're doing in your day-to-day
job and write about it and you reflect on it and it makes you think hard about
your process and reflect on how you do things differently the next time and yeah do as I'm told to, and it's so you know
it plays on your your ego, in a good way I think that you put yourself
out there and you see people seeing your stuff and reading it and and connecting
to it it feels great and also you know if you are doing it you might
inspire other people to do it and you might get to see their ideas and it kind
of rises the tide for everybody I think and another kind of great benefit of
easing your way into open is that you get to to take before you give you can
go and see what's out there in open and you can take, and take, and take and
eventually it will help to build the confidence that what you have is
worth giving too, kind of like growing up you get birthday presents you get
Christmas presents, you get presents given, given, given but eventually you
start to to give back yourself you can do that with open um so I kind of like
that you're always going to be able to take more than you give because there's
so much great stuff out there and also that in all that and I don't like same
was virtually connecting, I can't remember where I got keyed into Creative
Commons, it's all just part of the whole big puzzle but that's been so nice to to be
able to contribute to something and take from it as well and so anyway Creative
Commons another big lovely piece of the puzzle what else is open oh I'm one of
how many David? 100 Open Ontario Open Education Rangers
How many of us are there? I would say actually maybe about 80 right at the moment Terry we're always looking for more and I forgot to mention in my introduction
I'm still waiting really right I'm waiting for my mule or my horse to
show up. So there's three three of us here Jenni do you count as
an Open Ranger? I do, it's possible that I've been assigned to be the sheriff
I've been deputizing, I just deputize people into the movement wherever I
don't know if I'm allowed to oh yeah you bet, which is it's just fun to be a part
of that community like back to my yeah back to my master's degree where they
talked about community so much like open is the key to community building and we
need a culture building of of this great open sharing life it's great so
one other little silly thing that has come to me through open is I am the
unofficial hander outer of crap badges which are poorly drawn low low low production
value personal created badges for people usually through Twitter that I hand out
just based on random acts of awesomeness so it's kind of my little thing is when
I see someone do something kind of neat I use the snipping tool a snip a piece
of my screen that's just there and draw a terribly drawn badge and tweet it to
them and and they seem to like them and it started after visiting the open
education conference in Richmond last year my reflective blog post that I made when I got home I handed out a badge to one of the
presenters I had seen there because as he it was called the f-bomb badge
because he dropped the f-word in the middle of a a presentation and this guy
was a student I admired his moxie and just the delivery of the f-word in
a professional presentation was just made me laugh so hard so I gave him the
f-bomb badge and I used that really poorly drawn my very poor skills not
even as high tech as ms paint I used the snipping tool and from there I've been
the hander outer of crap badges and that's kind of my my fun thing that I
like to do through open education but other than that like our every
I'm forgetting one huge piece of the puzzle is that from the open ed conference
I was inspired by Robin DeRosa and her her co-creation of a textbook with her
students to do that for open ed higher ed pedagogy so it's called the it's
called the open the Open Faculty Patchbook and two people on this panel
here have written patches half of them about half of them are by Fleming College
faculty and even a technologist and the other half are from Egypt Maja and a
bunch of her colleagues and few in in the States and over Ontario we've
created a kind of informal how to teach in higher ed textbook written by by each
other for each other and it's about to be published into a paper copy that we
will send to everybody who wrote one and have a few extra to hand out
and we're definitely handing them out to our new faculty starting in the fall to say hey we wrote we wrote a textbook for you about how to do this
and it's going to be an ongoing project new patches can pop up any day on the
WordPress site but then we move them into Pressbooks on a regular basis to
do publishing into books or manual which has been a pretty pretty awesome project
the the last one that came out was especially great by Chuck Pearson it's had
seven hundred, eight hundred hits because it's such a great it's a great
description of how to have empathy in your teaching if you haven't read it go
have a look, it's called Just Listen in the Open Faculty Patchbook I'll share the
list and Helen's is fantastic and Jenni's is fantastic they're all so
great and they're all so different looks at how to teach and if it wasn't for
the the kind of tenets of open education this this resource wouldn't
exist for all of us and I think it's going to be a great resource moving
forward and I think that might be plenty of story for me that's a really great round,
yeah the audio is perfect Terry thank you so much, I'm very glad that you
remembered about the faculty Patchbook because it's really a beautiful project
and also you know I think creativity seems to be a huge driver for you and I'm I deeply
appreciate that and you know your spirit of just go out there and try it and draw
any way you can so thank you for sharing your story and we're going to move on to
Christina next, okay so thank you I I've connected with all of you in one
way or another through my open work and and so I'm just going to try to hit some
of the highlights because somebody had said in the
the chat that they had well Terry had had blogged about it and Helen had
blogged about it and I thought that's such a great idea I should write a blog
post about my story about how I got into all this because I don't know it might be
interesting to some people and if nothing else it'll help me remember
forever so I did take some notes but they're not in a nice blog post yet so
um so like that I'm at UBC in Vancouver and I didn't know anything
about open until I got here so I got here in 2004 and before that you know I
just was teaching philosophy in a sort of you know way that I was taught which
is just in a regular closed kind of course and and when I got here I don't
know around the mid-2000s after you know maybe 2005-2006 Brian Lamb was teaching at the centre for teaching and learning here and he is the one who got me into
or helped me understand Creative Commons licenses and wiki's and
blogs so he did a number of workshops here on all of those things so it was
really around 2005-2006 that I started getting into to open to some degree and
I started a blog in 2006. I had to go back and look at my very first blog post
and it was 2006 and so that's a little tiny step you know
for anybody to listen but it was great as a reflective piece, and then I think
things didn't really take off for me with open until I had my year of MOOC-ing
which was like Helen did, mine was in 2013 when I was on sabbatical. I've tried to do a MOOC since then in the middle of my job and I don't do a very good job of it
but when I was on sabbatical I really got into doing a few of them. My first one was ETMOOC for educator people and and I do not remember them all and I'm kind of
like Terry where I know a whole bunch of people now in the open movement and I
don't remember how I connected with them and many of them were through ETMOOC or ET MOOC but I just don't remember who was with what but I know that Alec
Couros was a big part of that MOOC and Alan Levine was also part of that as
well so his name comes up quite a bit I took that in January 2013 to March then
I sort of had this in that we had a whole section on open education so it
was a MOOC that had different kinds of themes around educational technology and
one of them was open education I think Audrey Watters was speaking during that one as well and it just kind of sparked something in me, like all right yeah
I kind of forgotten about you know Creative Commons and Wikis and blogs and I'm
blogging but something just kind of fit to me with with the idea of being open
as an educator so right after that Martin Weller at the Open University in
the UK was offering a course on open education it was through the Open
University so it had OU students but it was also open to anybody else so I
was moving through that along with with people who were officially registered in
the course so that one was all about open education I took that I
learned quite a bit more there and connected with some more people again I
can't remember who all was in that and who was elsewhere and then you know you're
going to hear the same story I suppose from a lot of people in the open
education movement that I took the ds106 which digital storytelling 106 is
kind of all about using digital technologies using films videos images
drawing to tell stories basically and Jim Groom was running that version Alan
Levine was a big part of that as well I met quite a few people through that I
then connected with Creative Commons to some degree through what was then called
and I'm not sure it still exists in this guise Peer-to-Peer University so Peer to
Peer University with a sort of platform for people to put on their own open
courses and Creative Commons had what they call the School of Open at
Peer-to-Peer University so I worked with them a few people in Creative Commons
and somebody else who wasn't part of Creative Commons but just like me kind
of interested we put together an open online course called Why Open which ran
in 2014 and 2015 during the summer so through these early kinds of things I
just made I guess this is kind of the key you just connect with people in the
open education movement and then things sort of start to take off right you can
do it through taking open online courses you can do it through well virtually
connecting which I just recently got connected to which is a group of people
who find ways for those who can't attend conferences to attend them virtually. I
mean you're not always able to actually attend the sessions but you're able to
connect with people who are at the conference and talking about what's
going on at the conference and that's huge and it doesn't feel exactly like
you're there but the thing for me that's most useful about it is you get to find
out what you know kind of the talk is or what the new projects are that are
happening at the conference but maybe you probably even more valuable than
that to me is connecting with people. So I've met quite a few people through
virtually connecting that I wouldn't have otherwise so to me I mean if you
want to get into you know open education if you want to kind of do more and
involve yourself in more projects find a way to connect with people around
the world virtually through virtually connecting or otherwise Twitter has been
really huge for me as well there's a big open education network on Twitter
that you can you can link up to and and what I did is I just found people that I
had shared interests with and I saw who they were following or who was following
them you know and then you kind of snowball out so that worked really well
ok so that's kind of the beginning and what I do now at my own University is in
my classes so I teach philosophy and kind of like Helen
I've got the open layer of my courses my courses are on a WordPress site, each
of them have their own WordPress site and then there's also a little bit
that's on the closed LMS in case students want to do that although I have
very little on the closed LMS and if they don't want to put anything publicly
on our course website then they just submit it to me separately or I share
most of my teaching resources openly with a Creative Commons license
almost everything except for my exams because you know sometimes I want to reuse those and I do a number videos for my courses so those are up all up on
YouTube and then so that's teaching at my university I kind of became partly
because I was blogging literally because I was blogging about all this stuff I
became sort of one of the the main open faculty at the University because I
was out there right, they knew what I was doing so I got invited to do
presentations and workshops I got invited to join this what we call our
open PAC which is a group of people at our university that includes students
faculty staff from the teaching and learning centre and librarians and we get
together once a month and we work on open stuff at the University we put together a website we talk about events we think about what kinds of awareness
raising we need to do advocacy so that's that has been a fantastic group I highly
recommend working with students the students at UBC and I'm sure it's true
in a lot of places have gotten so much more done than we would have been able
to do on our own through the student government they have a big voice so work
with students and now I'm I'm Deputy Academic Director of the Centre for
Teaching and Learning and I just started in this position so I don't know exactly
what it's going to look like but I will continue working on open issues
and at the university through that and maybe have even a bigger voice based
on that which could be useful. What am i doing now? I'm working on quite a
few things but one big thing is an open textbook project.
So I'm working with the Rebus Foundation which is a new foundation run by a few
people but that includes Hugh McGuire from Pressbooks.
They've gotten some grant money to work on open textbooks and it's been really
great so far so it's an open textbook in the Introduction to
Philosophy and it's a huge project because we're collecting people from all
around the world to each write a small section that's going to become this
really big open textbook we have part editors for each different part of the
textbook and each part editor is collecting authors and I'm kind of the
main editor and we're just we're just at the early stages by this is really
exciting so hopefully that will come out you know within our lifetimes oh hopefully very soon and I'm also highly connected with Virtually Connecting too so I will be at
the digital pedagogy lab Institute in Vancouver starting tomorrow we're
virtually connecting from there if anybody wants to connect with us you can
go to Virtually Connecting website and find out how to do that we were also
asked to think about the things that we're interesting or surprising or
frustrating or and I just have a couple of minutes I'll just say a couple
of things the interesting maybe surprising but also frustrating things
in my work as somebody who's trying to advocate or raise awareness about open
is the resistance that I'm seeing in people to adopting open educational
resources and I think I mean a lot of it is lack of time and that I understand
okay it's it's hard to find the time to revamp a course to you know to do new
materials and things like that so that I completely understand but there's
there's also some resistance that I don't quite understand which is that
they must be lower quality rights then and publisher materials and and I
honestly don't get it because even with publisher materials as a teacher
I redrew it you know I don't just don't just assign it because a publisher made
it right you know big publisher made it I read through it to make sure it's good
quality right so you would do the same thing with OER, say with an open
textbook or any other open educational resources
Maybe sometimes it's because they know the person who wrote the the material or
something like that but you know open materials often have good reviews right
they'll have reviews peer reviews by people who teach and then you read
through it yourself and you decide if it's any good so yeah I guess I've been
a little bit frustrated and somewhat surprised by the resistance to adopting
open educational materials beyond simply you know the real problem of not having
enough time to revamp a course related to that and then also the resistance to
sharing your own materials and that one I really want to try to dig into that
question more I've done some research on open textbooks I've published a couple
of things on open textbooks and other open educational resources and how
students feel about them and how faculty who've used them feel about them and
they're quite positive and I next I'm hoping at some point to do some research
on the the barriers that that faculty have to sharing their own teaching
resources because I'm curious what those are obviously I do a lot so I don't have
very many but I'm curious you know I find it interesting and want to know
more about about why others don't so it's kind of where I'm at right now
alright thank you so much Christina I'm so glad you're part of the community
it's such a nice connection peer-to-peer, educator-to-educator to
hear what's going on among educators as part of my work for eCampusOntario
that's like gold for me, I need to understand those perspectives better so that I can
support and and keep the open invitation useful for educators so yeah thanks for
your work and thank you for your story and we'll move on to David
hi thanks for having me to this little storytelling session my story of
course is much goes back a lot further I've been doing this for a long time I
actually started in k-12 education and worked at Simon Fraser University in the
90s in teacher education working with faculty and faculty associates and
supervising the whole sort of rethinking of the teaching process that was
happening in British Columbia at the time and my role there was really to
bring a technology theme to education and teacher education and so we equipped
students with really rudimentary laptops and earcoupled modems and all kinds of
really great gear way back in the 80s late 80s and early 90s that worked out
really well I ran a network called SFU exchange then that brought experts
like lawyers and and people who knew about science into the open and into the
sort of digisphere where people could ask them questions and the university
let us run wild with giving people access to accounts in those days so that
we could actually promote the notion of a networked environment for learning and
it was really kind of cool we cost the university like literally
multi thousands of dollars a month to do that but we had a wonderful VP academic
at at Simon Fraser University who said that's what we're here for that's part
of our service mission just go do it don't worry about the cost and we just
kept doing it and that evolved into the Ministry of Education looking at us and
saying hey maybe this would work in really remote areas of the province
where they've really been poorly served in the past for education and learning
resources and the real opportunity for kids to graduate particularly up north
along the Alaska Highway from Fort St. John right to the Yukon border and we
set up a project there called New Directions in Distance Learning to
really push some boundaries around thinking about learning resources
and interactions with teachers and sort of community-based aggregation of
learners and learner support it was really quite successful but again it was
really expensive and in those days the government of British Columbia was
really cool and keen on the notion of doing these experiments but not so cool
and keen on paying for them over the long term and so that great idea kind
of went away about the same time the whole learning object idea came around
and so I was highly engaged in that and worked then at the open learning agency
which was a distance education agency in Ontario and we were part of a huge
federal government project called Edu Source Canada which was the first
cross Canada collection of learning resources that was starting to be built
around a kind of a repository network with research components that went with it
the government invested nine million dollars in that in that project it was
pretty significant way back in 2001 but it was also a time where I was starting
to really see there was just way too much technology involved in this and
what I was seeing that was missing was kind of a soul for this sort of learning
environment and the rethinking of resources like where's the soul in this
like it's one thing to do it technically and make it work but it was another to
actually engage people to think it was interesting useful and beneficial to
them in building a community around it and that was really hard and I couldn't
quite figure out what was missing and I wrote a paper then called Object
Lessons from the Web 2001 I just put the link there for it's on a Penn State
University site right now and you'll get a sense from the tone of that paper that
I was pretty strident in those days like "Move" and so it was pretty
questioning of the way our universities were organized particularly around how
to use learning resources and it wasn't very effective and interestingly I moved
to the private sector for a year in that time period
precisely because the private sector wanted to objectify
many of its teaching and learning resources and in fact our company was
building for mobile phones back in 2001 things we called nanobytes and learning
nuggets stuff we actually marketed to the public like five things to think
about before you go into a negotiation meeting stuff like that it was actually
fairly successful but oh god I couldn't do that forever so I moved to a I moved
to the New Media Innovation Centre which was just one building over where I
worked it was a research lab run by our universities in the province and a bunch
of big companies like Electronic Arts and during that time period I met David
Wiley for the first time it was 2001 and he came to New MIC and I immediately got
the idea about where the soul part of this lived and it was so refreshing that
hey if you give stuff away people may like it and by the way your reputation
may just climb enormously from that process so meeting David was a seminal
moment for me it was like "I get it" and so it was really interesting in that
time period I was then part of a consulting group that was ramping up
BCcampus for government I was working for the Research Universities Council of
British Columbia and they asked me to do some work on this particular idea that
government had for bccampus and it all kind of evolved from there I ended up
becoming the executive director of BC campus in 2003 and hired as two of my
first people Paul Stacey and Scott Leslie and both those guys were kind of
totally vested in the same idea and it was why would the crown own copyright for stuff they fund why wouldn't we vest it with the
creators and ask them for a reuse license back and so we started playing
with some of those ideas in the early days but we couldn't like Christina the
resistance Christina just noted we were getting all that resistance then it was
like no it has to be only used within the boundaries of British Columbia it's
tax payers money from British Columbia and
so we wrote a bunch of licenses with Fasken Martineau's IP Department big legal firm in Vancouver called the BC Commons licenses and that was probably one of
the worst decisions we ever made because we ended up having to kind of wean those
back from institutions over time and thankfully people like Brian Lamb worked
at UBC in those days and there were people at UBC who really understood what
we were trying to do and were some of the early pioneers in this province
of actually giving institutional support for an idea of this type we had an
associate vice president on our board of directors at BCcampus at the time and
and she got it and just through her force of voice we started to move things
forward It wasn't until 2006 that we started
playing with Creative Commons licenses and probably one of the best
storytelling things I've ever seen happened at Open Ed 2009 in Vancouver and
it was of course Cogdog, Alan Levine did a keynote called amazing stories of
openness in which he had a kind of Hollywood Squares wall o' video up on the
front of the podium with all of these people like Martin Weller
and Audrey Watters the people like that who he could just kind of push a button
and they would tell their story it was fantastic
it's one of the best things I've ever seen and I always remind Alan of that
when I see him it's like that was the best we got to do that again sometime.
Around 2012 we realized after running 8 million dollars of public funding
through British Columbia's universities that we were getting lots of material
built but it had no cohesion and so we really started to think what would make
it happen and we saw what open Stax was doing and decided an open textbook
program really is what we should focus in and I was very fortunate
to convince the minister of the day that this would be really good public policy
if she were to push for it and so I built her a presentation which is here
at the link I just sent you when she took to the council of ministers of
Education Canada summer 2012 to say this is where we think we'd like to go in
British Columbia and I thought it was a bold step for her to take that forward
that was the year that the Paris OER declaration happened and I was fortunate
to be invited to Paris to speak on behalf of Canada in that beautiful big
auditorium at UNESCO about what was happening and where we saw things going
I remember the people who were also on the podium Hal Plotking who I now
know and lives in California he was part of the Obama administration's pitch on
open and people from the European community who were there from Poland and
and Slovenia who were kind of moving in this direction at that time we announced
that open textbook program in 2012 and it has taken off since then
Mary Burgess has done a fantastic job with the BCcampus team to move that
stuff outward and we're reaping the benefit of that now in Ontario by
migrating that library to Ontario and now seeking to enhance it in a project with
Ryerson University with the Rebus foundation to build an open publishing
infrastructure for the province of Ontario that kind of stuff is what we
need to do and then share it back across the country as a kind of a federated model
I think one of the great things about openness just the sense of community
that people get through being a part of it and for me that is a really important
piece of the puzzle and I've tried really hard while I was at Simon Fraser
University briefly for a year at BCIT for a year to kind of ignite that
thinking in those two institutions and I think fairly successfully so I'm
pleased to have been a part of that also pleased to be going
in Slovenia in 2017 in September just got an invitation from the government
Slovenia to come there and be a part of that event and I think that the open
community really has begun to take root I mean I can really feel it when I talk
to people in Ontario now that they get it the Open Ranger community the Helen
de Waards the Jenni Haymans Terry Greenes the people who have got infected
by the bug are going out there and talking about it and bringing colleagues
and friends along and it's very much a gifting community a gift of knowledge a
gift of friendship a gift of community it's really good stuff and so for me I'm
really pleased to be continually a part of this community from all the way back
in the learning object days to the finding of soul to go with that and now
to see how that's vested itself in our kind of burgeoning community across
Canada and I hope we can continue to support it and make it move forward
productively that's my story Wow David, thank you so much I forgot
to mention early on that I am very privileged to be part of David's team at
eCampusOntario right now and even more privileged to be asked to be
leading some of the open OER community building for Ontario at this
time because as you say David and I agree there's momentum really really
strong momentum and I'm feeling that in all of the stories and all the people that
I talked with this week are feeling very engaged and I know from time to time in
the community we can start to feel a little bit disengaged and a little
frustrated and things like that but I feel like there's so much positive
momentum and I just want to add one little thing from Rajhiv Jhiangani
was talking about you David and we were having a good laugh that he was going to
present you as patient zero in the epidemic of open in Canada
and hearing your story I can hear exactly why that would be
true and you know I learned quite a bit about you that I didn't know and I'm
very pleased to know from hearing your story today, from hearing all the stories so
I want to thank you all very much for sharing your time and graciously sharing
your stories if there are any additional links to the things that you talked
about today please send them to me and I'll make sure I post them with the
recording of what we've done today and there's Terry showing off the OEO
Rangers badge yeah it's really a wonderful time to be working at eCampusOntario and working in Canada with such amazing educators as yourselves, so I hope
everyone has a really great day and thank you again for your time I'm going
to the beach oh, have fun Terry, yep lots of fun I thank you thanks bye


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