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Blog 1 – Initial Fellowship Idea: Exploring the foundations of open education for new and emerging K-12 teachers 

I am delighted to have been selected as one of the 2022 GO-GN fellows alongside my colleagues Catherine and Viviane. Since graduating from my PhD in 2019, I have been seeking ways to continue collaborating and engaging with the GO-GN team and the global network of GO-GN scholars. So, I am very much looking forward to having this experience working with other fellows and sharing back with the network.

Since graduating from my PhD program, I have taken on a new role at the University of Victoria and starting my career as an Assistant Professor in Educational Technology. I teach on the West Coast of Canada in Victoria, on the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples along with the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ people whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. I am a settler on this territory, and I am very grateful to be able to work and live here.

Through my fellowship I am interested in identifying some of the foundations for open educators that we could engage future teachers with. Beyond recognizing and using open content, I would like to explore the types of new pedagogical practices enabled by open education and the foundations required to engage with open education. Many of these have the potential to connect with prominent themes in teacher education programs such as community engagement, supporting inquiry driven learning, multimodality, developing a growth mindset, collaboration, mindfulness, and multiculturalism. I would like to explore these through the lens of open technologies, open content, and open pedagogy. The goal would be to identify some of the values, principles, and/or skills required for getting started in open education that could be shared with new or early career teachers.

My initial idea was to build upon the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) model developed by Koelher and Mishra (2009), as this encompasses technology, pedagogy, and content while also exploring the intersection of each of these together. However, I recognize there is a tension in being too prescriptive about identifying foundations in a space of so much complexity and nuance. This was identified in my OER22 proposal as well as during the Fellows Research Special seminar. I also recognize there has been lots of work done in articulating digital literacies for educators as well as in exploring the notion of open educational practices through frameworks by many in the GO-GN network and beyond. So, I am less wed to the TPACK model, but will keep it in mind as the data emerges, to see if there might be any synergies identified in the findings.

In our last self organized fellows meeting, Catherine shared the following quote from van der Vaart (2013, pg. 52) that resonates in this space:

Open Education… nourishes a participatory culture of learning, creating, sharing and cooperation and it therefore is a vital and natural training ground for current and future researchers and educators, turning them into confident users and designers of open approaches in research and [education].

If we encourage teachers to work with openness in mind, the outcomes of the work they do can be much more available to others and they, as well, will have more creative flexibility with their source materials. Imagine the possibilities when starting with openness, for their own future creations as well as for others.

The main focus of my fellowship will involve conducting a survey into the main principles and/or values of open educational practice that we can engage new teachers with, by inviting open education practitioners around the world to share their thoughts and perspectives. The survey will ask open practitioners to identify the principles and values most important to open education practices in the areas of pedagogy, technology, and content, as well as creating space for principles and values identified outside of these three categories. I will be sharing this survey during OER22 and will be asking GO-GN members to contribute their voice!

Please click here to participate in this survey

I have to acknowledge the shifting nature of this project due to ongoing consultations with fellows and GO-GN network. I will admit my ideas have shifted quite a bit based on feedback and that has been uncomfortable in a project with such a short duration. However, I am confident that the feedback will strengthen the outcomes. This being the nature of open research, where adaptation and reorganisation is possible, and thus the researcher is less likely to put their blinders on and can benefit greatly from iteration.  

I would like to thank all of the participants that attended the first GO-GN fellows session and provided feedback on the initial proposals. Thank you, Caroline, Catherine, Chrissi, Gabi, Glenda, Jess, Verena, and Viviane. Big thanks to Paco as well for facilitating the session!


Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60–70.

van der Vaart, L. (2013). e-InfraNet: “Open” as the default modus operandi for research and higher education. European Network for co-ordination of policies and programmes on e-infrastructures (e-InfraNet Project). https://www.oerknowledgecloud.org/archive/e-InfraNet-Open-as-the-Default-Modus-Operandi-for-Research-and-Higher-Education.pdf

Cover image by Chris Montgomery in unplash https://unsplash.com/photos/smgTvepind4

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