Growth through OER19

It’s been a week since OER19 concluded and I’m a little late to the reflection game as I’m the last Reclaimer to post, but nonetheless, I’m writing! Jim, Lauren and I discussed all of our thoughts and reflections about our time at the conference as participants and a ‘vendor’ (said loosely) on Reclaim Today Episode 014: OER19 Therapy, but I thought I’d formalize my thoughts into a blog post as well. Stay tuned for the podcast link down at the bottom!

First, I just want to say a huge thanks to the wonderful folks at ALT, Maren Deepwell and Martin Hawksey, Catherine Cronin, and Laura Czerniewicz for organizing an engaging and thought-provoking conference! Just like OER18, I left the conference feeling excited to see what others were working on and to keep the conversations alive. I’m already getting pumped for OER20.

Also, Galway is a beautiful city! I loved walking through the city center, coffees from our fave coffee spot Urban Grind, dinner at Tribeton, and pizza from the Dough Bros. If I ever moved abroad, Galway is definitely on the list. Quick Pause for some photos 😀

Ok now on to the meat of the post, the reflection! I attended so many great presentations! I’m going to go down the line here:

openETC— Holy cow (chicken) this was so cool to see! Brian Lamb, Grant Potter, and Tannis Morgan all discussed what it looks like to create a collaborative cooperative, all in open infrastructure based in BC Canada. What really struck me in this presentation is their use of Sandstorm and Mattermost and how different the presentation style was. They used a website to explain the project and at the end, there was an interactive piece where we exchanged feedback as a group instead of a traditional Q&A.

Ama-zine Workshop– Bryan Mathers and Amy Burvall designed a creative workshop where the attendees were tasked with creating their own short 8 page Zine. They gave us some creative “restrictions,” where we could do whatever wanted with some guidance from the resources provided by Amy and Bryan. Talk about a creative outlet in the midst of presentations! Each attendee each had their own ideas! Browse all the submissions on twitter! Here’s mine:

#femedtech— Wow! I’m so inspired by this group of women curating a network centered around incorporating equality, diversity, and inclusion. The work Lorna Campell and Frances Bell are doing is incredible. Their values became a reoccurring theme throughout the conference and made for some great conversations! Anyone can submit a piece of writing to their website where it’s moderated by a rotating group of curators.

Serfs of Open– This was a knockout! A completely anonymous presentation without any sounds that became really thought provoking. It started out with a call to action, where the “presenter” asked us to put our devices down for the duration of the presentation. It really made you think while watching the presentation.

There were so many great moments outside of what I talk about that Jim and Lauren touched on so I highly recommend you all go check out their posts to get the full view.

Next, it’s time to chat about our Reclaim Hosting room! This all came together so well and we got to see all the iterations of Reclaim Hosting come together. First, we had the newly printed VHS t-shirts and stickers, but we also wanted to bring in an interactive piece to help tell the Reclaim story (like Lauren did in her presentation). Take a look:

Sick, right? We rented some monitors and brought Raspberry Pis with us and used the same video looper software used in Reclaim Video to loop three art pieces. From right to left in the video above:

  • OER19 Ad– This is the animated version of the ad we published in the conference program.
  • VaporWave– Created by the one and only Ryan Seslow as part of his domains19 artwork.
  • VHS Covers: This was a video Tim found. It’s on rotation in Reclaim Video and definitely on point for what we wanted to show on our booth.

These three videos came together so well, even in though it was unplanned. I couldn’t for the life of me get our original video to play on the landscape screen so, we had to improvise with the VaporWave. While getting the room set up I learned a few things about the internet:

  1. Google’s public DNS does not allow you to authenticate with public WiFi networks that require an additional login. I generally use Google’s DNS when working because I’ve found they load sites faster and the cache is shorter. But I learned the trade-off on the fly while trying to connect to the venue’s WiFi unsuccessfully.
  2. Raspberry Pi’s cannot authenticate with public WiFi networks with an additional login (just like Google’s DNS). There’s an additional configuration step needed to be able to authenticate, but I couldn’t quite figure that out. Thank goodness for Jimmy’s iPhone hotspot that we could use to FTP into the Raspberry Pis.

But with all of that said, our room looked fantastic. Each element came together in their own way, the stickers matched the t-shirts, which matched the ad, and the ad matched the other videos.

Ok, last section of the post, I know it’s a long one, but I’m going to talk about my personal reflections. For me, this conference was a statement of growth. At OER18, I was fresh out of my undergrad and super nervous for my presentation (still kicking myself that I didn’t blog about that). I was still so new into the Ed Tech community I found myself sitting on the sidelines, trying to process what was going on in the presentations. I was trying to remember names, affiliations, and job positions.

OER19 was a different story. I was invested in the presentations I went to. I understood what the speakers spoke about. I recognized participants, from OER18 or through Twitter. I contributed to more conversations. I was able to show my technical experience. I found myself stepping outside of my socially anxious, introverted self, and began to find where I fit into the Ed Tech community.

Overall, OER19 was incredibly successfully, not only personally but with Reclaim as a whole. I’ll stop rambling and let our discussion speak for itself! Check out the podcast down below. Here’s to OER20 and beyond!

5 thoughts on “Growth through OER19

  1. Thanks for sharing this Meredith and glad I got the opportunity to chat with you, even if only briefly. We were talking about Reclaim support back in the office last week and my colleague (who runs the team that support all our internal edtech) commented on how good she thought you were. Thanks for all your efforts and words. If you liked the #femedtech sessions maybe you’d consider signing up to curate the Twitter feed for a couple of weeks? It’s a lot of fun and very thought-provoking. Plus you get to feel the full force of love and inclusion from the community 😉

    1. Thanks, Anne-Marie! It was so wonderful to meet you in person as well! I would love to be a curator for #femedtech and see how amazing the community is!

  2. So glad for you to get such a full on conference experience; Reclaim Hosting is hard to consider under the “Vendor” banner.

    FWIW I had simular WiFi issues with connecting to local Starbucks network, something about their router blocks the Google DNS and you never get to the connection screen (connects fine if the is removed). I’ve been told if you go to the numerical address assigned from the router it kicks open the login/connect link.

    1. That’s a great tip! I defintiely want to keep using Google’s DNS if I can, I’ve had great luck with it over the last several months and only ran into trouble while on the trip. I’ll remember these for next time!

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