Opportunities to virtually connect at #opened15

We’re just a few days away from the kickoff to the 2015 Open Education conference in Vancouver, Nov 18-20. The plans have all been planned and all that is left is the doing.

If you are not coming to Vancouver next week, we still have opportunities for you to participate.

First, the conference Twitter hashtag #opened15 is where I suspect most of the virtual action will happen.

We will be livestreaming the two conference keynotes. Michael Feldstein & Phil Hill will take to the stage at 8:30am PST on Wednesday, November 18th. Their talk is on Openness and the Future of Post-Secondary Education.

Then, Friday at 8:30am PST, current BCcampus Executive Director (and my boss) Mary Burgess and former BCcampus Executive Director David Porter will be talking about the BC Open Textbook Project and a bit of the history of open in higher education in British Columbia.

The livestreams will be accessible from the OpenEd site. We’ll also archive the keynotes post conference. And in keeping with the spirit of accessibility, we are planning on live transcribing and caption the keynotes.

The BCOER Librarians will be on site doing some impromptu Periscope sessions with session presenters. These will be short (5-10 minute) post-presentation interviews with presenters asking them to talk about the content of their presentation. These are not scheduled and will happen ad hoc at the conference.  Watch the conference hashtag for these Periscope interviews to pop up. And, being that it is Periscope, these will not be archived and will only be available for 24 hours.

I’m really excited about having the Virtual Connecting volunteers on site for the conference and giving people who cannot attend the ability to contribute and participate beyond the conference hashtag and Twitter backchannel. Maha Bali and the Virtual Connecting crew (led onsite by Alan Levine) will be doing some Google Hangouts from the conference. This is a chance for those of you who are not at the conference to be able to interact with conference presenters, keynote speakers and participants. Schedule of OpenEd VConnecting sessions.


This will likely be my final post before OpenEd next week, and I just want to take a sec to publicly acknowledge and thank some of the people who have been working hard for the past year to make OpenEd happen next week.

We, of course, have been working closely with David Wiley and the Lumen Learning crew, particularly Shannon Coates and Julie Curtis, for the better part of a year since OpenEd 2014 in Washington ended. Personally, it still blows me away that I have had this opportunity to work so closely on a project with David after following his groundbreaking work in Open Education for so many years. Thank you, David.

There are countless volunteers who were part of the program evaluation committee, and who you will see at the registration and information desks,  convening sessions and greeting people at the social event. People have  contributed to locally crowdsourced list of personally recommend Vancouver activities & restaurants, and are handling umpteen tasks, from setting up booths and tables, to hauling equipment, and coordinating the virtual participation (including the fantastic Leva Lee and the BCOER librarians). A preemptive thank you to all for your contributions to OpenEd15.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the BCcampus people who have been working so hard on this event with me for the past year. Erin Beatie will be handling social media and watching the hashtag during the conference, Tracy Kelly and Jason Toal will be doing the graphic recording of the keynotes (with Jason is doing double duty as Dr. Jones at the OpenEd15 social on Wednesday as well), and our extremely talented graphic designer and communications manager Barb Murphy who did all the wonderful visual design for the conference.

To Lauri Aesoph and Amanda Coolidge. Lauri has been the lead planner of the social event on Wednesday, while Amanda has pulled together all the session conveners and has coordinated the special accessibility area, all while planning her own presentations and juggling the demand of coordinating countless meeting requests from people to talk about the BC Open Textbook Project. Both Amanda and Lauri never cease to amaze me with their work effort and willingness to throw themselves fully into a project. I am truly blessed to have them as colleagues.

And then there is Christy Foote. I really don’t know how OpenEd would happen without the efforts of Christy. OpenEd is the last (and biggest) of 3 back to back conferences that BCcampus has organized this month, all of them with the support of Christy Foote. I can’t quite express how in awe I am of Christy and the work she has done, from sourcing venues, negotiating contracts (Christy is someone you want to come with you to the bank when you go to renew your mortgage) to coordinating payments, building menus, ordering shirts and umbrellas……you name it, Christy has taken care of it. Saying thank you somehow seems inadequate for the amount of effort she has put into making OpenEd happen. But, thank you.

Ok, that’s it for now, and likely from me until after OpenEd.  For those of you coming, may the rains hold off, may the conversations be stimulating, the connections plentiful…and the WiFi be strong.


Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out https://edtechfactotum.com/.