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OER23 Reflections (Vidminas Vizgirda)

Last month we were thrilled to bring together more than 15 GO-GN members and alumni for a workshop prior to the OER23 conference hosted by University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, Scotland.

We’ll be reflecting more on our workshop and the conference over the coming weeks. To get us started, we’re delighted to share this post by GO-GN’er Vidminas Vizgirda. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Vid!

“Between 3 and 7 April we gathered at the University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness for the GO-GN workshop and Open Educational Resources 23 conference. As it was my second time joining OER with GO-GN, lots of comparisons come to mind.

Some things haven’t changed: penguin mascots are still all around making everyone smile 🐧

Other things have: although there were some familiar friendly faces from last year, most people were new or “old new” (joining the conference again in-person for the first time since lockdown). There were lots of opportunities to network and learn from different people.

The first time I joined OER, it was my first academic conference. Going into the venue felt like diving into a deep pool without being able to see the bottom. A new and exciting but also slightly scary and overwhelming environment. It was good that we made friends at the GO-GN social and workshop events just before the conference – we could rely on each other to have our backs throughout.

Coming back for a second time felt very different. Although OER23 was in a completely different space and with mostly different people, I felt much more confident to explore, start conversations with strangers, join talks on topics I knew nothing about, and present a talk by myself. The GO-GN group was still a great community for exchanging feedback in a low-stakes environment and building more meaningful relationships because we had opportunities to meet many times over several days. However, this year I was already thinking more about how I could contribute to the GO-GN group rather than what I could get out of it.

Learning new things and finding ideas that might be useful for PhD research were both great. Yet I think the most important takeaways from the conference were the people we met, and the way new experiences turned us into new people, ever so slightly different from before.”

Blog photo credits: Vidminas Vizgirda

Featured image for post by GO-GN and licensed CC BY 4.0.

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