OpenVA: Open & Digital Learning Resources Conference

I’m crossing my fingers because I don’t want to jinx it, but I have a feeling that this is event is going to be awesome. After nearly a year of discussion and planning, I am pleased to be able to announce the call for proposals for Virginia’s inaugural Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference. This event was initiated by the Office of Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and developed and organized by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Virginia Community College System, along with hard-working representatives from two and four year public institutions from across the state. The conference is going to be held up the road in Fredericksburg at the University of Mary Washington on March 7th, 2013. The deadline for proposals is November 30th, 2012, so get cracking.

With the current hype around rising textbook costs, MOOCs, digital textbooks, and “flipping the classroom”, among other issues, it feels like the right time for this conference, if not only to broaden the conversation but to bring some focus and definition to the broad category of open and digital learning resources. While finding a statewide solution to rising textbook costs was the original focus of this effort,  the planning committee concluded that limiting this conference to such a narrow topic would be a missed opportunity. However, the hope is that an eventual outcome of the conference will be to create or identify statewide mechanisms that can support ODLR in higher ed.

Here is a brief description of the type of event we are imagining:

The Open and Digital Learning Resources Conference will bring together teams of higher education stakeholders from across Virginia to collectively investigate the exciting topic of open and digital learning resources (ODLR) in education. ODLRs are a fairly broad categorization of educational technologies and practices that include the use and integration of in-class and online digital media, hardware, and software, a variety of openly licensed and freely available open educational resources (open textbooks, open courses, open content, etc.), augmented reality, and other tools used to deliver or enhance instruction in postsecondary settings. The conference organizers are particularly interested in examining ways these resources can be created and shared effectively and efficiently among college campuses across the Commonwealth in order to build a shared repository of openly licensed content.

For more information about the conference, or to register or submit a proposal,  go to http://openva.org

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