Sharing emerging ideas with the community – Reflections, new idea spaces and pictures from the OEI2 day

Sep 22, 2015
Anne Tannhäuser

From 4 to 7 September a series of events took place at ESCP Europe in Berlin (see the previous blog post) in partnership with the German EduCamp association. Our OEI2 initiative (read here what it is about) dedicated an entire day to the exchange of ideas on burning topics around open education. A few days later it is a good moment for us to reflect upon what we learned.

Henri Pirkkalainen, coordinator of the OEI2 project, shares his thoughts below:

First and foremost, the entire event, including the EduCamp conference days, had an extremely open and encouraging atmosphere as the event brought together like-minded people on a mission to innovate the open education landscape. The discussions were extremely engaging and interesting, something that we knew to expect. But did the OEI2 day help us to understand  idea sharing practices and to boost the exchange of ideas within the community? For both, I would say YES. Here’s why.

Exchange of ideas incubates new ideas

One common thing seemed to happen to many participants during the few days in Berlin, coming in with rather fixed objectives and goals and going home with adjusted, enriched or completely new views to pursue. This happened to myself as well. I went to the event with a clear thought to stick to discussions around emotional ownership towards collaborative creation of OERs. While this focus is still very close to my heart, I ended up getting extremely passionate about a variety of topics I want to pursue further. Topics that we discussed in the workshops of the OEI2 day including practices to open up education around Europe, open education related badges, Open Education policies and introducing OER awards throughout Europe as well as some completely new ones that took off when the discussions lead to unexpected places such as to discuss how Open Education could support the integration of refugees. Such topics that touch us all and where common interest is present without much of an introduction.

Exchanging ideas is “easy”, finding common objectives and commitment requires a bit more

Results of the sessions were all kinds of fascinating and even realistic ideas that could be turned into real solutions, services, practices or policies. However, time is limited. We only have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which sets some restrictions to what we can do. It is clear that some ideas remain ideas and we have to prioritize and pursue those aspects that are closest to our heart and ambition. However, this is where the beauty of open educational ideas lies. The ideas that we don’t pursue further could be extremely interesting and realistic for others to address. An approach that is even practiced by many companies when applying the open innovation strategies in to Research and Development. Why shouldn’t we in the Open Education domain really facilitate this type of thinking and make it a common practice?

We can start by pursuing what really matters to us most but also, let the networks around us hear about all the other cool stuff we came across but don’t have time to address right now. If they can put the ideas to practice, isn’t this something that really benefits us all?

A key issue to successful idea sharing is to engage with all relevant stakeholders that the ideas touch upon. Let’s make sure not only the OER enthusiasts are a part of this but go to the people wherever they are. Collect the perspectives and contributions online and offline. Just make sure to consolidate it and share the progress with the ones who really want to participate throughout your journey from idea to practice.

So all in all, the OEI2 day and the EduCamp conference was a great experience that will help us develop the idea space further and to think how we can promote the emerging ideas.

Let us jump to the discussions and create shared objectives to shape the open education landscape. Let us start with these:

  • Computer Course, first grade The goal is to create an innovative course on computer basics for kids in the first grade. You can support by sharing experiences, good practices, examples etc.
  • Launching European OER awards – A question of quality This idea space serves to connect individuals who are interested in valorising and recognizing successful work on open educational resources.
  • A picture dictionary to support refugees – The goal is to compose an OER dictionary including openly licensed icons that helps refugees to communicate on pressing matters without any prior knowledge of the target language. Please note: The idea space is in German.
  • OER and integration of refugees – Thematically linked to the previous idea space, but setting a wider focus of reflection here contributions are gathered on OER contribute to improve the situation of refugees in Europe. How can we create access even in chaotic situations? Which topics and concrete OER can help refugees to directly improve their situation and support integration?
  • Educamp ideas go global – This is a drafty collection of ideas gathered during an EduCamp session. All is still evolving and maybe you know the right person or approach to make things happen.

Interested? Join the idea spaces and help emerging ideas with comments, materials, potentially interested contacts and your sharp mind.

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Last but not least, here are some photographic impressions of the event. Many thanks for attending! We hope that many of you will keep on sharing ideas freely to open up education step-by-step, inspire others, co-create OER and maybe find new collaborators at http://idea-space.eu.

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