OpenEd2009 Conference in Vancouver
After two days of attending the OpenEd2009 Conference in Vancouver, I am incredibly impressed with the vast array of new projects that are emerging in the open education field. The energy level is high, and the connections being made here at the meeting promise to produce an even higher energy level throughout the field in the months and years to come.
At least two of the sessions I attended are direct outcomes of connections and conversations that began just one year ago at OpenEd2008: Peer2Peer Univesity (P2PU) and the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in OpenCourseWare.
P2PU describes itself as "an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses." The P2PU helps enrolled students navigate the wealth of available open education materials, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and the leaders are exploring the extra step of building pathways to formal credit. You can view the session here via Ustream, and enrollment is now open for its first offering of courses.
The Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in OpenCourseWare is a soon-to-be-released document with the goal of helping OCW producers to interpret and apply fair use under US copyright law. As one of the Code's co-authors along with a group of practitioners from other institutions (Notre Dame, University of Mighican, Tufts University, MIT, and Yale), I am eager to see how its release will affect the practice of OCW production in the future. When the project began as an ad hoc session at OpenEd2008, I was very skeptical of its value and was worried that encouraging fair use in OCW would discourage the creation of new open learning object. Now, however, I'm convinced that this is an important step toward attaining OCW's full potential. You can view the session led by Lindsay Weeramuni of MIT OpenCourseWare and Lila Bailey of ccLearn here via Ustream.