|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2020
Nicole Allen, [email protected], 202-750-1637
2020 Open Education Conference to Be Held November 9-13 Online
Open education community poised to ‘reimagine’ annual conference
The 2020 Open Education Conference will take place November 9 – 13, 2020 online. Organized as a virtual event for the first time in the conference’s sixteen-year history, this vibrant annual gathering welcomes all who are interested in sharing and learning about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education initiatives.
This year’s conference is organized through a cooperative effort by Rice University’s OpenStax, SPARC, the Colorado Department of Higher Education OER Council and the University System of Maryland’s Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, guided by a steering committee and more than 100 volunteers.
“Attending the Open Education Conference is a chance to connect and learn from others working to make education more accessible, equitable and inclusive for all learners,” said Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for SPARC. “Between this year’s virtual format and enthusiastic community participation in the planning process, 2020 could be the largest and most engaging ‘OpenEd’ to date.”
#OpenEd20 will offer five days of online programming that spans all aspects of open education, designed through a collaborative, community-driven process. Leveraging the expertise of the open education field, this year’s event aims to engage diverse perspectives, facilitate connections that drive effective practice, and inspire participants to strive for a future where education is accessible, affordable, equitable and inclusive for all.
Following last year’s call to ‘revise’ and ‘remix’ the event, the conference is now in the process of redesigning itself from the ground up. The co-hosting partnership will last two years while community members establish a longer-term, independent governance structure.
“The promise of open education is bigger than any individual or single organization and I’m proud to be a partner during the conference’s transition,” said Daniel Williamson, Managing Director for Rice University’s OpenStax. “I hope OpenStax may contribute to the future of the conference by continuing its momentum and providing the space and opportunity for the community to establish the conference as an independent organization with diverse, inclusive leadership and practices.”
While the co-hosting organizations and collaborators originally hoped to host this November’s event in Denver, Colorado, moving fully online creates the opportunity to engage a broader and more diverse audience than ever before. The conference looks forward to welcoming many first-time attendees and broadening participation from PreK-12 and international communities.
“Colorado is leading the nation in advocating for OER through our council and successful grant program, which saved students $3.4 million in textbooks costs in its first year while providing a platform to enrich student learning and improve outcomes. Our enthusiastic and talented community could not be more excited to engage with colleagues across the continent,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
The conference will continue exploring plans to hold the 2021 event in Maryland. In recent years, the conference has drawn more than 800 in-person attendees annually.
“Open education is about more than affordability. It has boundless potential to increase access and achievement for all students. Maryland’s Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T) initiative is dedicated to empowering and rewarding faculty who capitalize on the opportunities afforded by openly licensed materials to optimize student learning through continuous quality improvement. We look forward to sharing our work with the community at future OpenEd conferences,” said MJ Bishop, Ed.D., Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation at the University System of Maryland.
A call for proposals will be released in early August, and registration will open within the next month. Members of the community are also invited to help shape the conference through the open planning process.
About the Open Education Conference
The Open Education Conference (“OpenEd”) is an annual convening for sharing and learning about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education initiatives. This dynamic gathering celebrates the core values of open education that strive to realize education ecosystems that are accessible, affordable, equitable and inclusive to everyone, regardless of their background. Building on a sixteen-year history, the conference is in the process of redesigning itself through a community-driven planning process. The 2020 conference will take place November 9-13, 2020 as a virtual event. www.openeducationconference.org
SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC’s work empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. https://sparcopen.org
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. As an ed tech initiative that is part of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn. For more information, visit http://OpenStax.org.
About the Colorado Department of Higher Education
Working with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, we advocate, develop policies and support students to maximize higher education opportunities for all. The Department believes every Coloradan should have an education beyond high school to pursue their dreams and improve our communities. Read the CDHE master plan Colorado Rises.
The Colorado OER Council is a dynamic 15-member delegation designated by the executive director of CDHE. Members include experts from various disciplines such as faculty, instructional designers, digital experts, institutional administrators, state staffers and a student representative.
About the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative
The Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative began in August 2013 as a collaboration between the University System of Maryland Student Council and the Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation to provide a statewide opportunity for faculty to explore the promise of OERs to reduce students’ cost of attendance while maintaining, or perhaps even improving, learning outcomes. Since its beginning five years ago, the M.O.S.T. initiative has supported the replacement of traditional textbooks with OER in 159 different courses at 24 public higher education institutions across the state, resulting in over $10.6 million in cumulative cost savings. http://www.oer-maryland.org/