Mashing Up the Open Education Conference

This is the fourth consecutive year I have headed to Utah, attending an event that has evolved into the Open Education Conference, a wonderful mix of open source developers, open content evangelists, and social software enthusiasts — all dedicated to the concept of open education in its many forms. The past couple years have been among the most rewarding events I’ve ever attended, and longtime readers of this blog will recall previous raves and deranged huzzahs. Judging by this year’s program, I once again expect to learn a lot and enjoy some big time fun.

Just as an aside, the schwag for this event are a t-shirt and a reusable water bottle — and no tote bag! So the organization of the conference is as much in line with my values as the topics are. Well, yoga sessions would be nice, and we’ll see if I can go three days without a run-in with the conference chicken

In addition to seeing a bunch of good friends, and relishing the talented and idealistic crowd that this event attracts, what I enjoy about coming here is the opportunity — nay, the expectation — to deliver a talk that goes off the rails as wildly as I dare. This year, my working title is “DIY Educators Gone Wild: Where are the Educational Mashups?” And I’ll be talking… about… uhhh…

When I mentioned I would be speaking on this topic to D’Arcy in an IM session some time back, acknowledging my shameful lack of expertise, he responded — with that characteristic blend of understanding and mockery he often tosses my way — “well, I guess we’ll see a cry for help blog post and an empty wiki page soon.” But I’ve gone down that road as often as I can reasonably expect. Instead, I’m going to try and reuse the model (and some of the content) of a keynote I did with Alan last May. Essentially, the idea is to stock a del.icio.us account with relevant items, and then improvise the actual discussion/presentation off of the tagcloud that results.

I have three major themes relating to mashups: mashed-up works (like songs, videos, texts, etc..); mashed-up applications and APIs; and mashed-up narratives — which strictly speaking are not usually thought of as mashups, but I want an excuse to talk about alternate reality games and other models that explore disaggregated and iterative content structures… I’ll do my best to feature educational examples, and generate discussion on how this approach might fare in higher education. And of course I’ll be looking out for an excuse to flog the new version of aggRSSive.

If you have resources, articles, blog posts, or favorite mashups feel free to pass them on. If you use del.icio.us, try out the for:tag — my username for this event is DIYGoneWild… or simply add some links in the comments field below, or post something on your blog with a link back to this post.

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About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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