#digifest14 session on “MOOCs”

I ran, in the loosest possible sense of the word, a session at the Jisc DigiFest on 12th March in Birmingham.

The premise of the session was this – the big, platform-led (x)MOOCs are just one colour on the open education palette, and the other tones and shades may more closely fit an institution, team or individual need. We hoped to demonstrate a range of colours for those who were just beginning to explore the area,  and in that I feel we succeeded.

I am entirely beholden to the patience and talent of my speakers, whom I didn’t even manage to introduce properly – so:

From left: Viv, Antonio, Lou, me, Lorna, George, Jonathan
From left: Viv, Antonio, Lou, me, Lorna, George, Jonathan

Lou McGill

Lou blogs (primarily) at LouMcGill.com and manages to run a gallery alongside her work as a consultant. In open education circles she is known for her work on the UKOER Evaluation and Synthesis Wiki (which more people should be drawing on as it is amazing)and the UKOER Infokit. If it wasn’t for Lou’s early efforts in Jisc , UKOER would not have happened. In this session Lou talked about the long, and powerful, history of “open” in education.

Lou’s blog | Lou on twitter | OER E&S Wiki | UKOER Infokit

Lou McGill slides (ppt) | Lou’s blog post

Jonathan Worth 

Jonathan began teaching photography in 2009 at Coventry University, as a part of a sublimely impressive career in photography. His thoughtful investigation of the problems faced by educators and photographers led to Phonar and the range of projects around Open Media in Coventry. Phonar has seen huge international success, and won a prestigious Reclaim Open prize in 2013.

Jonathan on Twitter | Phonar

Jonathan’s slides (ppt) | That film he showed (Dalia Khamissy “The Missing”)

Antonio Martinez-Arboleda

A former SCORE fellow, Antonio is a part of the team that made the University of Leeds Open Education Resources policy a reality, incorporating OER into student activity and staff development.

Antonio on Twitter | Leeds OER Policy (pdf)| Leeds Jorum Window

Antonio’s slides

Viv Rolfe

Viv led and inspired a variety of projects around health and life sciences during her time at De Montfort University. She’s maintained these despite her move to the University of the West of England, and has recently branched out into researching the MOOC phenomenon.

Viv’z blog | Viv on twitter | Viv’s Open Education Projects

Viv’s slides (ppt)

George Roberts

George has led the Oxford Brookes First Steps In Learning and Teaching programme (FSLT) since 2011. This was initial a Brookes-only course for those new to teaching in HE – George’s open techniques have made the course multi-institution and international.

George’s blog | George on Twitter | FSLT

George’s slides (ppt)

Lorna Campbell

Lorna is one of the Knights of CETIS, the near-legendary education technology centre now based in Bolton, UK. She’s been working in her own time to develop OpenScotland, attempting to bring open education policy to the attention of Scottish policy-makers and to unite and galvanise those interested in open education north of the border.

Lorna’s Blog | Lorna on Twitter | OpenScotland

Lorna’s slide (ppt) | Lorna’s blog post on the session

Audrey Watters 

Audrey is one of a very small number of journalists who understands and can interpret the business of education technology. Long a friend to the open education movement, I would (and do) recommend her weekly summaries of the world of EdTech to anyone.


Audrey’s blog | Audrey on Twitter | Audrey’s 2013 OpenEd keynote

David Wiley

In a near 20-year career in education and technology, David Wiley has been a part of every major movement towards the goal of truly open education… not for nothing is his influential blog entitled “iterating towards openness”. One of the organisers of the annual Open Education conference. he has recently left his post at Brigham Young University to work with his start up Lumen Learning, and to take the opportunities offered by his Shuttleworth Foundation Scholarship.


David’s blog | David on Twitter | Lumen Learning

Jim Groom

“Reverend” Jim “The Bava” Groom, alias “Snake Pliskin” is a charlatan and a fraud, a self-confessed “used car salesman” clawing his way into the glamour of the education technology keynote circuit via the efforts of his oppressed minions at the University of Mary Washington’s DTLT and beyond. The monster behind educational time-sink ds106 and still recovering from his bid for hipster stardom with “Edupunk”, Jim spends his days using his dwindling credibility to sell cheap webhosting to gullible undergraduates and getting banned from YouTube for gross piracy.

(actually Jim’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and I have just written the above to try and get into the testimonial list on the right-hand side of his blog – a long held dream of mine)

Jim’s Blog | Jim on Twitter | ds106 (warning: this link will change your life) | Reclaim Hosting

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