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OER24 – Here we come

It’s a miserable day today in Cardiff. Grey, dark and rainy. Typical November weather. I am sitting at my desk with the light on although it’s only midday. Inside my head however, the sun is shining, at least figuratively, because my first OER24 submission is in!

OER24, in case you are new to the conference, is:

the 15th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy will be organised by ALT, the Association for Learning Technology, in partnership with Munster Technological University (MTU).

MTU offers an excellent space for all members of the open education community to collaborate, learn and share in an inclusive environment. We are excited to welcome OER participants from the UK and across the world to the MTU Bishopstown Campus in Cork, Ireland. 

Dates: Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 March, with the GO-GN workshop on Tuesday 26

OER24 will bring together the strong Irish Open Education movement and international participants to leverage our shared expertise for change in policy and practice. 

The Call for Proposals is open until Sunday 12 November 23:59 (anywhere in the world).

Now, I have blogged quite a lot about the OER Conference over the past few years, culminating in one very long post (love letter) to the event last year… as OER23 was my final event as CEO of ALT and an unforgettable conference.

Conference logo for OER23 with a background of hearts in different colours

The start of a new chapter

This year however, I get to return as a delegate for the first time, and hopefully as a presenter, too. Thanks to the great work of all involved, the Call for Proposals was out earlier than usual, giving me extra impetus to get my thoughts in order and draft my first ever ‘external’ submission to the event.

I love the themes the Chairs and Committee have picked this year:

The conference will put the spotlight on Open Education practices through five themes:

  • Open Education Landscape and Transformation: This theme explores Open Education and its transformative potential, with a particular emphasis on key initiatives and developments in the Irish education and training context.
  • Equity and Inclusion in OER: This theme delves into the role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in serving marginalised groups and in promoting inclusivity, diversity and equity in open education.
  • Open Source and Scholarly Engagement: This theme focuses on the connection between Open Education, Open Data, the Open-Source movement, and digital scholarship/librarianship, showcasing the collaboration of researchers across these areas.
  • Ethical Dimensions of Generative AI and OER Creation: This theme highlights the ethical considerations surrounding the use of generative AI for content creation and its potential in making educational content more accessible. 
  • Innovative Pedagogies and Creative Education: This theme explores the intersection of Open Education with instructional design and learning design, examining creative practices and innovative pedagogies that enhance the learning experience.

And I picked the theme around innovative pedagogies and creative education for my submission. My hope is that if everything works out as planned, I’ll be there with my partner and his colleagues from the Open University as well as my colleagues from Reclaim Hosting, and of course I can’t wait for an opportunity to see at least some of my former team at ALT in person, too. Hugs will most certainly happen.

Get your proposals submitted!

If you are thinking of making a submission, I would really encourage you to put one in. You only need between 250 – 500 words and there are a lot of fun formats to choose from, ranging from workshops to presentations and, of course, the one and only GASTA format, which promises to be 5 minutes of unforgettable fun.

This is a conference where you will not only be welcome, but which will recharge those batteries of enthusiasm and hope for the whole year… (just look at the keynote line up!).

Fingers crossed, I’ll be seeing you in Cork in March!

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