I have just come across the June 15th post on the Open Education Conference 2009 site and realized that I am one day late for the travel scholarship offered for the event. Although the deadline was yesterday, June 30th, I am writing this post in the hope the date will be postponed and that this application will be valid.
The title of the OpenEd conference 2009: Crossing the Chasm is very appropriate. First, because as an enthusiastic early adopter of innovation, my work with new technologies and Open Education has been mostly on the fringes of the secondary school system I work for, without any institutional, logistic or financial support to pursue my work /projects in this field. But then, I suppose that in secondary schools, the established idea is that teachers are not supposed to care about this because others will for them. Secondly, because as I have almost come to the end of my tether, I have not written a single post since April. The prospect of seeing some light at the end of the tunnel (thank you, Leigh) has somehow energized me and made me cross at least the blogging chasm…one step at a time.
I have been working openly and sharing my resources on the web over these past 12 years. I have joined several communities of open-minded people and various networks both locally and internationally, with whom I have collaborated and cooperated in participatory projects presentially and online – voluntarily in my free time. Among these, I can highlight:
1. co-creation and co-management of dekita.org, a project which advocates participatory uses of Web applications in EFL/ESL teaching, favoring open approaches to language learning in which students get to engage the public Web instead of being locked into narrowly circumscribed online spaces;
2. co-development and co-moderation of three 6-week online workshops for teacher professional development in participatory media:
- Using Weblogs in ESL/EFL Classes: New Developments, Uses, and Challenges
- Webpublishing in Open and Participatory Environments
- Social Media in ELT
5. participation in open projects to divulge the open culture in Portuguese;
- Para Entender a Internet (collective book)
- Adote um Parágrafo (collective translation from English to Portuguese)
6. participation in the FLNW unconferences, the Unesco and Brazilian OER list and growing involvement with different local actors , events and educational networks so as to establish OER and CC awareness among educators to foster an open culture in education in Brazil.
So to the questions:
What you would “bring” to the conference? What can you contribute, be it a willingness to volunteer to moderate a session, some special expertise or project, an already accepted proposal…
At the OpenEd conference, I’m willing to contribute with what I know, talk with participants and organizers about possible projects/partnerships involving the networks I belong to (inside and outside formal educational institutions) and help divulge the conference and its themes– before, during and after through my personal learning spaces and networks.
What you see as the most critical issue facing you in your efforts around Open Education, and how you think the conference can help you address it?
The fact that the Brazilian government officially embraced the open source movement and that our country’s culture is very much based on mix and remix does not mean the majority of educators and population understand how Open Ed can be used and the benefits it can bring to them and the population as a whole.
The most pressing and critical issue for me around Open Education is to establish logistic, technical and financial support to start sustainable projects with actors who are willing to make them work. Why is it so difficult to make this happen? I believe this conference will help me understand and learn how to cross the chasm.