After hearing about the #GoOpen movement for a year, this event was actually my first time talking with it about people face to face! OpenEd.com’s VP of Marketing Ron Drabkin and I flew to San Diego from San Francisco early in the morning and then took a nice Uber drive up to Vista. I could tell it’d been a while since being around Educator-only events because I had to laugh a bit as I saw the diversity of attendees. Teachers in their school polo shirts, ed tech business people in their suits, me in jeans and a Creative Commons t-shirt to talk about the Great Minds/Eureka Math mess.
I went to a session first from Collaboration in Common because 1) My friend Adam Ebrahim was presenting 2) I’m interested to see what they had in mind for a professional development platform. The politics get a little murky, but CinC is funded/partner of the California Dedicated to Education Foundation (CDE Foundation), not to be confused with the CDE (California Department of Education). The platform CinC will use for this collaboration platform is called Declara, which is just up the freeway from OpenEd in Palo Alto. It was an interesting conversation and some questions that I had were brought up by others as well which was good to hear. Things like no, this isn’t really for student-facing resources, but for teachers to share with one another things they were learning and wanting to do in their classrooms. The standards-based search would be nice if it was able to do other identifiable tags (is there a standard taxonomy of pedagogy-related tags? ) So, cool to get a tutorial for the declara platform and hear more about CinC’s vision to connect public school teachers in more permanent ways that Twitter etc can’t.
The next presentation was one I was very interested in from CUE’s CEO Mike Lawrence. I’d heard of Leading Edge Certification before as a teacher but hadn’t realized (because there was no need then!) that there are actually four Leading Edge certifications – Digital Teacher, Blended Learning, Professional Development and Administrator. If I were to pursue one, it would be for Professional Development as that is something I do as part of my job at OpenEd… but after getting (and paying) for my Admin credential in the 2014-2015 school year and then jumping ship into the private sector, I’m in no hurry to go back to school until I finish paying off my Masters and a car.
I left a bit early to catch my colleague Ron Drabkin present about the dangers of keeping information in Silos and how OpenEd attempts to rectify that by having an open API to let resources be displayed pretty much anywhere you’d want them. Was able to snap a few pictures. Then I met some amazing ladies from Oceanside and showed them all about OpenEd, talked about formative assessment, mathematics resources and more. One of them was a Boston Native as well so gave me tips in preparation for my Boston trip the following day.
The final presentation of the day was from Larry Singer, CEO of OpenUp Resources which just re-launched itself from K-12 OER Collaborative in the past few weeks. He was talking about how his curriculum for grades 6-8 were developed, the open nature of it and also their business plan, which seemed to make sense. Not only would OpenEd love to be a partner to help provide student-facing resources, I was excited to hear that mathematics investigation tools such as Geogebra and Desmos are integrated as well.
Overall there was a lot of positive energy at this conference around Open Educational Resources. It was great to see people putting up their presentations with Creative Commons logos as the education community at large becomes more aware of the implications of what licensing means and the beauty of being able to share your work with others inside a protected ecosystem. Well worth the trip to San Diego to connect with Educators, get their perspective and talk about OpenEd.com and witness firsthand the GoOpen movement on the ground!