As quickly as it started, my fellowship with the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) is coming to a close! It has been an exciting six-month journey and I am so happy to have been a part of the fellowship program. As a result of the fellowship, I have reconnected with many people, connected with entirely new ones, and learned a great deal about how to consider integrating open education in teacher education programs. As well, I have been reflecting on the value of conducting open research and how sharing this project, just as it was getting off the ground, resulted in an even richer journey and outcome.
The fellowship was well designed, and kicked off with an opportunity to share each project with past GO-GN fellows and other members of GO-GN. At the time, my idea was still largely unrefined, and this initial presentation really helped to enhance the proposal among a safe and considerate audience. The feedback provided was thoughtful and kind, yet, rigorous and critical. Several plans changed as a result of this feedback and even my choice of language and terms used were more carefully considered based on the feedback.
We were encouraged to present at OER22 with regard to our projects, and that opportunity, again, provided significant chances for feedback and refinement. I provided a pre-recorded presentation, which you can access here, and participated in the Discord for the conference where feedback and questions were posed. Through these interactions I met several new contacts who shared a passion for increasing awareness about open education in K-12 contexts. I have plans to present alongside at least one of these new contacts about open education in K-12 in the near future.
All of these interactions have shifted the project quite a bit based on feedback along the way. I have to admit that this has been uncomfortable in a project with such a short duration. There is a sense of vulnerability in putting your research ideas out there in the world early on. What if it does not make sense, what if I missed something important, what if my ideas get scooped? The reasons to not share early are many. However, I really fell that I experienced gains in the quality of this project, and certainly in my own experience along the way, through constant iteration and open feedback.
This fellowship has really provided me with an opportunity to carefully consider open education in the context of teacher education. This is where I now have an opportunity to make change and inform my own teaching based on the feedback from the global open education community. I very much believe that if we encourage K-12 teachers to work with openness in mind, and provide them with the tools to source, edit, design, and build meaningful learning experiences in their classrooms, their contributions to teaching materials, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment activities can be more readily available to others, collaboratively created, and the projects they engage learners with can be all the more interesting. I will continue to encourage new teachers to design with ‘openness in mind’ informed by the principles and values shared by the community through the survey I conducted as part of the fellowship.
With regards to the survey, I still have not received as many completed responses as I had hoped for. With that said, the contributions I do have are very rich, and I am very grateful to those that submitted. You can sense a passion for open education in teacher education and professional development throughout the responses. I want to thank everyone who has reached out regarding the fellowship project, provided support, and contributed feedback.
I will be closing off the survey at the end of September. So, if you have not yet participated, I would really appreciate if you could. The survey can be completed by anyone with an interest and/or experience with open education and can help inform how teacher training and professional development related to open education is designed. The survey should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
If you would prefer to chat with me or submit an audio recording responding to the questions, I would gladly accept those submissions as well. Feel free to reach out to me at michael.paskevicius [at] gmail.com
For every survey completed, I will be donating $5 CAD, up to a maximum of $1000 to the aid effort in Ukraine. This donation will be made to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. The donation will be made once I close the survey at the end of September.