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Thursday, November 20 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
The State of Open in Virginia

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OpenVA held its first conference in Oct 2013. This conference was the result of a working group of representatives from Virginia's public colleges and universities charged by Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and Secretary of Education Laura Fornash to start exploring the possibilities of open education. The initial goal of this group was to bring together educators who were experimenting with the idea of 'open' at their institutions. Through various exhibits and presentations we began to see the scope of experimentation happening around the state. Open textbooks, flipped classrooms, collaborative oases, open source online learning environments, and augmented reality were just a few of the concepts being deployed.

We discovered that many innovative and creative projects were taking place in Virginia providing valuable and accessible learning opportunities for students through various media. Social learning and student knowledge building was a key theme. There were presentations of digital storytelling, student authored open textbooks, student blogging platforms, and curation through the use of social media such as Pinterest and Twitter. Not surprisingly, gamification as a motivational and collaborative tool were also a topic of interest in the context of social learning.

A common refrain, at the conclusion of our first OpenVA conference, was that the diverse range of initiatives was both inspirational and a little overwhelming. We had created a successful showcase to highlight the best open innovations in the state. We began to think that a subsequent event would need to have a sharper focus and, at its conclusion, some form of 'call to action' in terms of infrastructure and policy.

By the time OpenEd 2014 commences, Virginia will have concluded the OpenVA Summit which is scheduled for October 18, 2014. Our second annual conference will be structured quite differently from the first, featuring three of the most ambitious initiatives, including the "Z" degree at Tidewater Community College (open resources), A Domain of Ones Own at UMW (open infrastructure), and ds106 (open pedagogy). Each presentation will be followed by a panel discussion. Each panel addressing the same question: "How can we scale these model programs so that all Virginia institutions can have the guidance, support, and collaborative environment necessary to successfully deploy these initiatives across the state and beyond?"

What's more, in addition to faculty, technologists, and support staff, this conference will be inviting targeted state legislators, policy makers, and university administrators in order to start realizing how we build a cyberinfrastructure to promote and support open education in the state of Virginia.

In this panel presentation we provide some insights gleaned after two iterations of OpenVA, offering some insights on the policies and strategies necessary to move from the small and impactful innovations currently taking place to a broader, more far reaching approach to bring 'open' throughout the state.

avatar for Beverly Covington

Beverly Covington

Policy Analyst, State Council of Higher Education for VA
I have coordinated the planning of Open VA, an event that has brought together faculty and administrators of public institutions in Virginia to share their experiences with open resource initiatives. As a policy analyst for Virginia's coordinating board for public higher education... Read More →

Diane Ryan

Dean, Tidewater Community College
avatar for Richard Sebastian

Richard Sebastian

Director, Open and Digital Learning, Achieving the Dream
As Achieving the Dream’s Director of Open and Digital Learning, Dr. Sebastian helps ATD’s Network colleges advance open and digital teaching and learning practices to support equitable outcomes for students and facilitate whole college transformation. Dr. Sebastian is a national... Read More →

Thursday November 20, 2014 2:30pm - 3:00pm EST

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