Lillian Hogendoorn, working towards open, working for you
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Lillian Hogendoorn, working towards open, working for you


Thank you, Mark for excellent introduction
and Laurie for that introduction and thank you for doing such a wonderful
land acknowledgement I just wanted to reiterate before we start that today I’m
gonna talk a lot about my journey to open education and that journey is all
sort of rooted in being a settler on this on this land and it’s inextricably
linked to this land so I’m really glad that we’re taking the time to honor and
recognize the land and its rich history Okay, so first of all it’s a small room
and I kind of want to get to know you guys a little bit better. Can you just
raise your hand if you would consider yourself to be an educator? And what
about a learner? Okay. Can I just see who’s a librarian? Yes, okay. Faculty member?
Instructional designers? No, that’s good yeah…students? Any students? grad
students? cool, okay so, I just like to know who I’m talking to.
I like to think of myself as both an educator and a learner as you all
probably guessed by looking at me I’m pretty early career. I’m still learning
everyday but I get to stand here in front of you and kick off this event and
I have OER in my job title which is cool. So I have to at the very least give
you some new information about open education and hopefully you’ll leave a
little bit inspired at least and today that makes me an educator. So I stumbled
into open education work I was an undergraduate student studying English
and I was supporting myself by shelving books at Robarts library at the
University of Toronto and I really loved the job because I got to listen to
audiobooks all the time and I would do these eight hour shelving shifts and just
listen to like Tina Fey read bossy pants and it was awesome and every once in a
while I got to also find like a really funny book title
this is a real photo that I I took on one of my shelving shifts of a book
called, Evil: a guide for the perplexed which I’m sure is very interesting and
unlike I had a couple other jobs unlike my second job where I worked at a
telefund. I didn’t talk to a lot of angry people at the library and unlike
my third job where it was a barista at a Teavana
I did not burn myself very frequently so overall it was pretty good. So like many
humanities undergraduates nearing their time at the end of the university I
really did not know what I was gonna do next but I loved working in the library
it was really chill so I applied to graduate schools to get my master of
information degree or to go to library school and as luck would have it
around this time copyright law in Canada was changing so much and U of T
libraries was hiring for a scholarly communications and Copyright Office and
one of the first projects that office wanted to do was called the zero to low
cost course pilot project or as ETL CCPP which is a intense acronym and they
wanted to exercise the new expanded copyright fair dealing guidelines by
replacing course packs with library licensed material and one of the things
they needed to do for that was scan a ton of book chapters which they had to
retrieve from the library stacks so I knew those stacks really well so I felt
like I was a really good fit for that job and I decided to take the department
head scholarly communications course so it would be really hard for him to say
no to me and it was! so I started that job in November which is like the peak
time for getting course materials ready for the winter term and when that busy
time was over in about mid January, we as a team started to work to calculate how
much money we had spent but also how much money we had saved. In that term we
saved students over a hundred and seven thousand dollars in just 12 courses they
even let me talk about it at a conference which was awesome so I was an
extremely privileged student I want to say that I had significant financial
support from my family but I also worked three jobs I had a ton
of student debt because I even though I look Canadian I’m American and I was
paying international student fees and I had a huge pile of expensive textbooks
under my bed because I did not know what I wanted to do with my life and I tried
a lot of different majors and changed classes a lot of different times so I
had finally found something that felt really good and I felt really excited
about it and that was saving students money so it didn’t take too long to
go from thinking about saving money through electronic reserves to thinking
that there must be other ways to save students money on course resources. I
actually felt that our project catered really unfairly to upper-year social
sciences and humanities courses which is not something you hear a lot but that
obviously fundamental science and fundamental math texts were incredibly
expensive and I knew that because I had a $200 introduction to psychology book
that was just kind of sitting under my bed because the bookstore wouldn’t buy
it back and I had taken it to fulfill a science requirement and I was never
gonna touch it again so I did some googling. A few quick google searches of
free textbook science and free textbook psychology landed me on this open stacks
psychology book which was a complete textbook to my untrained eye looked very
similar to that book that I had paid a lot of money for. It was customizable, it
said it was remixable, you could even print a copy of it and they were calling
it an open textbook. So…very novel. This introduction to psychology course that I
had taken had assigned that $200 book there were 1,500 students in that class
it was taught in Convocation Hall, which is the largest space on university of
toronto’s campus and it was half of the year so it was offered twice a year and
I had some math skills and replacing that textbook with an open textbook
meant six hundred thousand dollars of savings. Yeah so that’s how I found open
education and I was aware of SPARC because the Scholarly Publishing and
Academic Resources Coalition because as part of my graduate
assistantship I also managed like hyperlinks on the scholarly
communications office website and it was 2014 so the SPARC author addendum was
super in vogue at the time and we had a bunch of links that were pointing over
to sparks website and I knew they worked with open so I found their definition of
open education. “Open Education encompasses resources tools and
practices that are free of legal financial and technical barriers and can
be fully used shared and adapted in the digital environment. Open Education
maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable
accessible and effective.” That sounds pretty great right and then I found some
other foundational stuf. David Wiley’s five R’s with an open textbook you can
RETAIN your book. Awesome, that sounded great to me! I couldn’t count the number
of PDFs of scanned chapters that I never downloaded from our learning management
system and I really wished I had access to later on. REUSE the content…to me I
thought seems kind of silly to have that there. Of course you want to be able to
REUSE your content. REVISE it… that sounds good. No professor using an open textbook
would ever say, “hey skip this chapter, I don’t like the way this person explains
this.” They just take it out of the text. Great. REMIX. Awesome
Sounded like e-reserves to me. Didn’t really understand it… and REDISTRIBUTE
Great, never would I have to worry about sharing a copy with a friend in my class
or for me because I was kind of a nerd emailing my parents a copy of an article
that I had read that I thought was really fun so I thought great I’ll
become a scholarly communications librarian I’ll be an open education
advocate this sounds awesome and I graduated and I packed up my Toronto
apartment and I headed south to the u.s. to North Carolina State University to
become a copyright and digital scholarship librarian. So I had a lot of
support in this role to pursue open education work I was extraordinarily
lucky to have the support of a department head and a leadership team
that had been prioritizing open work for years and I had the luxury of being in a
fellowship which meant that even though it was a precarious
role and a time-limited role I had a lot of special privileges kind of thrown at
me like extra professional development funding and also a big spotlight on any
projects that I wanted to do and part of the reason why I wanted to go to North
Carolina State is because they had already established an open education
program the alt textbook project this was a project to distribute small
amounts of funding to faculty to replace commercial resources with free resources
and it had sustainable funding for about three years since 2013 and it was
well on its way to saving students half a million dollars. It was also when I was
doing my research one of the first of its kind in North America so I felt
really excited to get to go down there and work on it and in an incredible
twist of fate about a month in my supervisor told me he was going to have
his first child and he was going to go on paternity leave which left me the
de-facto director of the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center and its sole
employee so and it also left me in charge of this Alt Textbook Project so I
had to learn really quickly I learned because I had to I learned because I was
hungry so American copyright law, okay no problem. Expertise on Creative Commons
licensing? I was kind of familiar with that I would I would do a lot of reading
and then there was a lot of pressure to do projects so I applied for and
received a national grant for work on OER development for psychology I even
went to Capitol Hill with SPARC. This is me at senator Tim Scott of South
Carolina’s office to advocate for open education and open access about a week
after the 2016 US presidential elections which was a very interesting vibe on
Capitol Hill. I think I reached like this sort of peak kind of empowerment at that
November I was basically working in this super heavily resourced silo and every
time I poked my head out to be like, hi I’m here people were like great have
some more resources. Just an amazing problem to have but I was also working
60 hours a week I was completely burnt out and I had
little critique or constructive feedback I started to become really separated
from the impact of that work and I frankly
I wasn’t sure why I was doing what I was doing why it was important to me or why
it should be important to anyone else and I was thinking a lot about the happy
accidents that had led me to that point and I would say things to my partner
like well I never would have gone to the information session on this fellowship
if they weren’t giving out pizza so basically I only have this job because I
love pizza or I would go even further back I never would have gone to library
school if I hadn’t worked at the library and I only liked working at the library
because I really didn’t want to talk to anyone so it’s only because I don’t like
people and then even further back I never would have worked in the library
if my roommate hadn’t gotten that job and said you’re wasting so much time at
this telephone I’m gonna put in a good word for you they never would have seen
my resume it started to feel like maybe this was not something I was passionate
about but I was failing up on the path of least resistance so I decided I
should try something else and I went to another library Western
libraries and I took a job as a liaison librarian with subject a subject
responsibilities for management studies just something I had no experience in
and I was really excited I was like I’m gonna just be a librarian like the
typical kind of librarian it’s gonna be awesome
but everything that I had felt failing up at North Carolina
I felt it tenfold as the liaison because I didn’t have anything familiar to me I
was looking for something open education or otherwise that I could sort of sink
my teeth into and look I could not find it the culture shock left me feeling
paralyzed and I knew I wanted to do something else and be somewhere else but
I didn’t know where or when and it made me feel like I didn’t know who I was at
all so that’s my origin story and every good like keynote needs an origin story
but two for one today I’m gonna give you a second origin story and going above
and beyond I’m gonna tell you a story about rose
so I recently learned that Gertrude Stein wrote one children’s book which is
interesting it was published in 1939 and it was called the world is round and
it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from a children’s book written by
Gertrude Stein and if you can’t expect anything you’ll find
the world is round as the story of a nine almost ten year old little girl
named Rose who is of course as nine almost ten year olds are dealing with a
lot of existential angst and she’s having a ton of anxiety and dread
because she doesn’t know if she would be Rose if her name were not Rose and she
cries and she sings to herself this little song of questions she asks why am
i a little girl and when my a little girl and where am i a little girl and
which little girl am I so simply Rose’s having a little identity crisis and when
I learned about this book I felt this instant connection to this little girl
she reminded me of this like emptiness and gnawing detachment that I had felt
in my first couple of jobs after that newness and shine and excitement had
worn off her questions and her dream to answer them felt really strangely
parallel to my own journey to tease apart these giant concepts of open
education open access librarianship and to understand who I was and who I wanted
to be but it’s not just me that can learn from Gertrude Stein’s Rose there’s
something we can all learn from these questions as open education starts to
take off in places like Brock and Ontario and Canada and North America we
see these large chunks of work being done by educators and scholars and
students being sort of dragged under this umbrella that we’re calling the
open education movement or as some people like to call it the movement and
it’s a big bucket of stuff and there’s something really awesome in these
formative years of growing something about being able to point and say hey
that thing that I’m doing that I don’t know what it’s called that’s called open
education work or did you know that you are doing open pedagogy r OE R this is
the movement and to get that traction we have to feel inspired we have to feel
like we are a part of something we have to feel like that something is doing
good but slowly we have started to use the word open as synonymous with good
what would happen to open education if all of a sudden its greatest advocates
could not use the word open to describe themselves I taught them this course
this summer and on the second to last day of the class myself
my fellow instructors asked the class to name the values that open makes possible
in other words why are you an open education advocate there was of course a
lot of overlap a lot of sharing and access and affordability but there were
also some words that came out of this exercise that I never in a million years
would have listed as a reason I support open education for example someone wrote
sustainability and there are also things that were really important to me that
didn’t make an appearance the way that I thought they would like agency and
equity when open means everything to everyone we start to lose touch with the
heart of it and it begins to mean nothing at all so over the past few
years working in open education I’ve been to a ton of events like this talks
workshops and most of these events have the same kind of rhetoric open education
is gonna change the world and we are going to make education about everyone
everywhere having access to better education and all that we the
participants need to do to create a better and more open and equitable and
amazing education system it’s just mastering this like 30-second elevator
pitch and we have to be just prepared to rebut any criticism and we need to
memorize all of these facts like 39% is the average rate of food insecurity for
post-secondary students according to a study of five major Canadian
universities or 65% of students in a multi institution survey said that they
had elected to not buy a textbook or open hat is great because 93% of
students using oer perform as well or better open education is the solution to
our problem which is our system of education and there is nothing wrong
with that sales pitch and there is definitely nothing wrong with that
research and those facts but that pitch is strengthened by a personal connection
by knowing how and why and for whom do you support Oh er and how will this
influence your practice and the final product of this course was a statement
of personal values for oer work much like a teaching philosophy this
statement served as a touchstone when starting projects or when advocating for
open or when feeling lost in the middle you all have different reasons for
coming here today different connections to open education whether or
not you fully grasp that connection yet but wherever you are wherever you’re
coming from I want you to take a few moments to think about the things that
you hope that open will allow you to accomplish as an educator and as a
learner and why those things are important to you maybe you can name like
hundreds of things or maybe there’s just one thing that brought you here today
maybe you’re just curious but keep that in the back of your mind as we take a
deeper dive into open education and start to unpack those principles that
are at the basis of open ed technology the power of the internet technology and
the power of the Internet are deeply baked into sparks definition of open
education open education works because of the internet so who has access to the
Internet who has access to technology now I’m
sure you have all heard the term digital native it was first coined in 2001 by
Marc Prensky who is a self-described practical visionary which is interesting
according to Marx website his background includes teaching at all levels
elementary through college and he’s also been a professional musician and a
Broadway actor so he’s basically the ultimate Renaissance man and in 2001
Marc wrote this phrase in an article that coined this term today’s students K
through college represents the first generations to grow up with new
technology they spent their entire life surrounded by and using computers and
video games digital music players video cams interesting cell phones and all the
other toys and tools of the digital age the most useful designation I have found
for them is digital natives our students today are all native speakers of the
digital language of computers video games and the internet with a capital X
it’s 2001 this term has been heavily criticized so within a few years critics
of Marc’s term and the people who accepted the digital native digital
immigrant binary were out in full force in fact in 2007 urban dictionary officer
song poet succinctly defined digital nativism as the mistaken belief that
young folks who were born immersed in things digital are somehow in a state of
grace and older folks are cursed by their age
and lack of digital conditioning an arrogant and insulting division of
generations in two different camps first proposed by Marc Prensky but unfounded
on any survey data but Marc’s not just creating this false binary between
generations of students when it comes to technology he’s also making huge
assumptions about the experience of growing up in a world where home
computing and home internet simply exist what mark is doing by creating this
false homogeneity of a generation is failing to recognize the difference
between their experience and their lived experience the term lived experience has
evolved from an emphasis on taking into account not only the visible or
categorical characteristics of someone but also the invisible factors that
influence their daily life so for example a student’s experience might be
represented as I’m taking an introductory psychology course and I’m
not performing well but their lived experience is probably more complex like
I’m taking an introductory psychology course but the latest edition of the
book was too expensive so I bought an old addition and also the professor
assigned a lot of videos but I only have one computer at home and my sister needs
it to do her homework too so sometimes I can’t watch them before class and my
marks are suffering dr. Donna loincloths who is an anthropologist at UNC
Charlotte Libraries writes that experience is a neat thing that we can
think we know the meaning of but as soon as you start talking about lived
experience things get messy and Donna and her research tries to make sense of
the messiness of lived experience because only by beginning to understand
this real world can you begin to design a better student experience so this is a
cognitive map that was drawn by a postgraduate student at University
College London who is a participant in one of dr. Len class’s research studies
and this student is mapping all of the places where she learns this technique
is a large component of dr. Len Kostas research she asks students to change the
colors of their pen every two minutes and they draw for six minutes so blue is
the sort of first round of drawing green as the second and red is the last minute
add-ons and then the student explains the map to their researcher
and in this body of maps that she’s collected she has gotten maps that cross
state lines sometimes even oceans learning spaces include institutional
residential commercial and public spaces this students map is particularly
interesting to me because it includes public transportation which was a
recurring theme for students in urban environments and the fact that your
students are studying and coffee shops are on the bus is not alarming in and of
itself each of you probably walks around downtown st. Catharines or campus and
you see students on laptops or huddle around textbooks it’s not a surprise
that our students are part of a larger world and it’s not a surprise that they
use the space in that world to do their academic work but what happens when we
bring that to the forefront of our consciousness and how can you choose for
example course materials that are not just open but that are accessible in any
learning space and can open education even accomplish that big questions now
let’s zoom in on the devices that the students are using there’s a great study
published by Morris Mail in Mariana Regalado
in 2014 that’s a qualitative study of undergraduates at colleges in the City
University of New York CUNY system and it’s trying to unpack how where and when
students accomplish academic work and how access to technology or lack of
access to technology impacts that while most of the subjects of the studies have
some kind of access to internet enabled technology outside of school and the
overwhelming number of students would be probably considered by Marc Prensky to
be these digital natives access to technology was still an enormous source
of frustration for students having access to an off campus computing device
did not mean that they had unrestricted access to that off campus computing
device in addition to sharing devices with parents roommates and siblings
students mentioned having limited data limited bandwidth or limited battery
life they talked about struggling to get access to a computer or even an outlet
to charge their own device on campus and others with personal laptops we’re
either concerned about the security of that laptop or just the weight of the
laptop and a bag full of books and they elected to
not bring personal devices to campus in addition the average commute for a
student was between 45 and 60 minutes each way and a lot of students relied on
cell phones to do schoolwork during their commute more than one student in
the study mentioned using their cell phone like this kind of a cell phone to
type out essays yeah I can’t even text without a typo so I don’t know how you
could write like a two thousand word essay but a lot of professors confirm
that they received a lot of sent from my blackberry sent from my iphone essays
from students because necessity is the mother of invention and these students
were really determined to find a way to succeed in their education so ultimately
the study finds that for the most part students are using personal devices for
academic purposes but that there’s the sort of strategic and interesting way
that students are using these devices and for many students economic
constraints still have a huge impact on their ability to do their academic work
on and off campus for students who experience real struggles because of
financial constraints replacing a heavy and expensive textbook with a free and
open digital resource may alleviate some of the stress but sometimes it
disproportionately benefits students who don’t have the same economic burdens the
student who can afford on-campus housing a new laptop unlimited data high-speed
internet that student is more poised to take advantage of a high quality high
tech digital resource then the student with not without so returning to our
definition how can we say that open education maximizes the power of the
internet to make education more affordable and accessible when access to
the Internet is not a given or a constant and when there are different
levels of internet access and privilege now of course if we’re gonna take into
account lived experience of students we have to take into account lived
experience of the people that have to implement this open education work the
instructors so consider the flip side of that student experience for an
instructor their experience might be represented as I teach an introductory
psychology course but the lived experience that that student was
struggling with that text so much might look something like I
teach an introductory psychology of course I was hired on a contract a few
weeks before the semester started and I used the old text which was by the way
authored by my department head and I also use the syllabus so I wanted to
show a little initiative and I tried to give the class my own personal touch by
assigning some of my favorite YouTube videos to explain the lectures and
supplement the text there are serious constraints on anyone’s ability to
implement open educational resources or pedagogy’s in their classroom and I want
to say you are all incredibly lucky here at Brock you have some amazing supports
you’ve got Jennifer and Lori and Julia and later today you’ll get to hear from
instructors that have already been working with open educational resources
or open or open pedagogy who are models for what it looks like to engage in this
kind of open work at Brock but that’s exactly what it is it is work and I
think when you hear all of your peers speak later today you’ll probably see
bits and pieces of what you all are doing or information that you’re already
really familiar with maybe you’ve been doing OER work all along and you just
haven’t had a word for it but if you’re not there yet it can be difficult to
make space to fit oh we are in first of all each have a unique works or
distribution of effort service work research teaching it’s all distributed
differently and all of that plays into your evaluation especially if you’re a
pre tenure or contract role and so I’ve been to a lot of open education events
and I’ve been very well trained to argue that oer work is teaching open education
is teaching and it’s pedagogical innovation because we are allows you to
remix and revise resources and it gives you this newfound pedagogical
flexibility that you’ve never had with a traditional textbook so if you take all
those permissions to the next level you actually engage students and creation of
resources and creating an oer and reworking a syllabus around open
textbooks should be evaluated as teaching but at the same time all of
that extra behind-the-scenes work takes a lot of time maybe it would even
require course release maybe taking an instructor out of the classroom is not
in the game plan or the budget from the department this year so you can’t argue
that it’s teaching so no problem we can argue that it’s research try it
research or scholarship creating something new new information and new
published work that’s a new textbook I knew while we are but textbooks don’t
have that same kind of like peer review journal impact factor shine that maybe
it was valued by a tenure committee and it’s really hard to write a textbook
it’s a lot longer than a typical research article and if you don’t have
time to do both then your pre-tenure you might have to focus on that journal
publication and you could probably argue that oer work is service to the field
because it takes public it makes public and free accessible information in your
domain and maybe you’re even like creating the seminal text for your
discipline that would be really cool you’re replacing that really expensive
book with a new seminal free open book that is rarer though and you have an AR
committee here at Brock but maybe you won’t end up on anyway our committee and
there are lots of committees that you could serve on that would maybe be a
good use of your service time and if you’re not a subject matter expert your
librarian or your instructional designer you’re in a really great Oh a our
support rule there’s a huge place for you in OVR work if you’re an
instructional designer if you’re a librarian I can talk to you about all
the ways you can pitch oh we are as part of your job but is there a space for oer
in your workload open education work is happening off the side of the desks of
super keen and super excited educators who have the luxury of the spare time
and the support now i think many of you here are uniquely positioned to be
successful as open educators and open advocates as Mark mentioned earlier we
are at an institution that has incredible support for new and
interesting pedagogy and has devoted time to this open education day two
years in a row um you have people in this room who have depth of
understanding about open education that many institutions just don’t have and
you have a provincial institution in Campus Ontario that has been funding
this work so compared to most places at this macro level you are really poised
to be successful but you each also operate within your own microcosm if you
were discipline your faculty your department your institution
organizational culture and a kadhi Mia is layered and complex and often in
conflict with itself often conventions and policies that may be frustrating and
confusing to one person or a comfort to others and roadblocks can pop up in
unexpected places and rerouting can be tricky expectations could be
communicated and consistently or not formally recorded at all
in my last librarian job for example there were all of these unwritten rules
about space we had these walls on our offices that went all the way to a foot
below the ceiling and then they stopped so you could hear basically everything
happening in other offices but you couldn’t see anyone and then there was
this communal staff lounge that no one had the key code for and no one used so
no one what’s there so there was also a large communal shared table and I never
saw anyone sitting at that and then in our offices we each had at least one if
not two extra chairs and we had phones so I thought okay I can take a meeting
or a phone call and the office or if it’s too many people I can do it at that
large communal table and this was for sure not the case it turned out that the
offices and lack of soundproofing had been a controversial issue in the
department dating back nearly a decade and if you took a phone call or you had
a chat with someone inevitably another person would like knock on your door
like 10 minutes later and say you know I’m really trying to work it’s really
distracting to have meetings in your office and this lack of understanding of
these unwritten and unspoken rules about space position to me poorly to create
relationships with my colleagues and that’s all because of a wall that was
just like one foot too short and that’s just a little insignificant piece of
organizational context so just as you know your personal values better than
anyone else you probably have the best understanding
of your unique position within your ecosystem and you probably also have the
best understanding of the boundaries of what you know and what you do not know
and that deep understanding that’s your superpower to start open at work so
let’s return to Rose in her search for clarity she decides to
climb a mountain Rose was super ahead of her time she’s basically the poster
child for millennial self-discovery thanks rose and by putting herself in a
brand new territory it forced to face these things that were unknown
to her new smells and sounds and creatures she learns that even though
mountain looks blue from far away it’s actually really green up close so that’s
interesting she makes it through the night and then she stalks herself out of
being scared of a spider that may or may not be there and she even has a
confrontation with an otter which she learns is a very vicious creature and
she emerges not quite at the summit of the mountain but she has this greater
understanding of why and when and where she is a little girl and which little
girl she is but she also emerges with a new sense of comfort in not knowing she
can now ask herself these questions and she’s not crying so step up and she
knows that she’s gonna be exploring these questions for a really long time
she feels confident in her identity as ROS while she feels confident continuing
to explore that identity and so ROS who is a 9 almost 10 year old girl lets me
forget whips out a penknife okay and carves into a tree this is all not
recommended in 2019 rose is a rose is in Rose in July of 2018 I had pulled myself
out of my last library job and I had just started this position and each
campus Ontario where I started as a program coordinator and I left behind a
tenure-track librarian job I felt so lucky when I had that librarian position
because it was stable and it was something that like people really want
when they’re in library school and I felt so guilty to not have loved it and
to have wanted to leave so desperately and also there was a new government in
Ontario and they had new priorities and everyone was saying we don’t know what’s
gonna happen and I was so scared but I was also
really excited and I was venturing into this new territory and to ground myself
I thought about all of the reasons that I was interested in open education and
why I had taken this job and I wrote the following statement of personal values
about why I do open education work I facilitate equitable access to knowledge
inside and outside of the Academy I value all people as consumers and
creators of knowledge regardless of age gender ethnicity education ability or
status and I support open education work as a way to lower the technical and
financial barriers to post-secondary education I strive to create opportunity
for my community to get engaged with oh we are and open practices and to claim
their rights to be lifelong participants in the information ecosystem now I did
not write anything of this sort in 2014 when I first kind of stumbled into this
world but I imagine it would have been really different something like I
advocate for free and digital educational resources to reduce the cost
of education for students to make education better for everyone because
five years ago I had no knowledge of open pedagogy the people I look up to
people who are my role models in open education they weren’t even on my radar
never heard of them through this work I have met so many colleagues and they
have become my closest friends they challenged me and they teach me things
and they make me think about the way that our world works in a totally
different way my world has grown and has changed it’s expanded in so many ways
that I since I discovered open education and it’s going to continue to grow and
change in ways I can’t even imagine the unknown that used to be so frightening
is now really exciting so today I’m the digital access in oay our lead at
eCampus Ontario my context changed again there was a gap in our organization and
I sort of threw my name and I said I want to try doing this and I moved into
this role working on our systems that facilitate creation of oer and access to
all we are across post-secondary education in the province i now work on
an IT team that’s new I get to be around three people every day with really
different perspectives really different skill sets than I’ve ever worked with
before I’ve different resources at my disposal
more responsibility for change and more liability for failure and I’m constantly
confronted with things that I don’t know so I try to bring as much as that value
statement as I can I try to consider it when I’m reviewing what the systems we
use should be when I make decisions about licensing and accessibility
requirements or when I try to just find a better way to facilitate access to one
of our tools but the deeper I get into this position and it’s only been like
three months the more I think it’s time for me to revise that statement because
new things are popping up every day so two weeks ago I traveled to Ottawa to do
bilingual testing of our new open library and while I was booking my
flight I started to have like a little bit of a panic
because our library exists in French but it doesn’t really work in French we only
have six French textbooks and I had just added one of them that day that’s 2% of
the resources in our library and those six resources they all have English
descriptive information English keywords and English subjects they have French
titles and some of them have French abstracts but essentially you weren’t
going to be able to find them so how could we possibly test this library with
our french-speaking users now I had a conceptual understanding before this
about the language bias and open education there’s an awesome analysis of
our repositories that I read published in 2017 and I’m very prone to citing 89%
of our repositories are hosted in Europe or North America in fact um most open
education conferences or events are held in English I’d seen calls for proposals
for English speaking we are conferences in Slovenia South Africa the Netherlands
Italy Germany Portugal of France and in my travels I have met people from all
over the world and I’ve basically exclusively communicated with them in
English English is the dominant language for open communication open scholarly
communication but I could get on a plane and I can be at a classroom at La CJ
which is one of our institutions and it’s a French institution and I can be
surrounded by francophones who are not comfortable in English and I can do that
in under two hours and my statement of values that I’ve been using as a
touchstone it does not take into account the lived experience of these
franco-ontarians they had never been a part of my context
so I’m pretty sure it’s time for me to ask again why am i an open advocate when
am i an open advocate where am i an open CAD picot and which type of open
advocate am i I am 26 almost 27 years old and I have been working in open
education for nearly five years I have almost 40 years of a career left
I work at he campus Ontario we’ve only been advocating for open
education for less than five years and our initial mandate was just to create a
home for Ontarians to find courses that they could take online so we’re at the
beginning of our oer climb we have no idea what the rest of our
mountain looks like now I have some modest goals in the next couple of
months I really want to work on our barriers to accessing tools to author
oer by making it really easy for anyone to sign up for pressbooks using their
institutional ID great this summer I want to have an Ontario community of
practice that’s connected with creating customizing and using oer and i’m in the
middle of writing proposals and budgets and looking for venues to sort of
kickstart this initiative this year I hope that we cross 100 reported
adoptions of oer in ontario increasing from our 84 adoptions currently I know
that more people are using a are and I want to find them and I want to see that
number climb in five years I hope to have built out that fully French library
which has many resources as we have in our English library and I want it to be
backed by a strong community of franco-ontarian power users and creators
I want to unlock resources from our learning management systems and I want
to make people feel like it’s okay and it’s not scary to share what they make
and so yes I guess I am guilty of that open education movement rhetoric because
frankly I do think we’re here to disrupt a system I do think we are here to
change the world and this is the beginning of my journey and I’m barely
looking beyond the immediate horizon so whatever point you are at in your oer
journey please remind yourself of roses questions answer what you can let the
others be unanswered embrace the unknown and the messiness of your own lived
experience and of the lived experience of people around you and practice for
your context and you can make open work for you thank you so much for having me
I’m so excited to be here as an early career speaker and I am so excited to
see what happens at Brock in the future and in Ontario you

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