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OCW Consortium Global Meeting 2011: Excitement and Inspiration

The three days of OCWC Global 2011 held in Cambridge, Massachusetts were filled with great diversity, excitement and inspiration. The conference was built around the theme of the past, present and future of OCW in celebration of 10 years of OCW.

Pre-conference workshops drew much interest to important issues in OCW. Workshops were held on the topics of Google Analytics, Intellectual property, Connexions, Accessibility, and OERpoly. Workshops led to the creation of groups in the Consortium’s Communities of Interest site , so you can find out more about what went on during the workshops at http://communities.ocwconsortium.org.

The first day opened with an inspiring talk by Susan Hockfield, president of MIT, about the past and future of OCW. And the keynote that everyone was waiting for – Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media talked about what’s in store for OCW in the participatory age while reflecting on the idea of “open”. Then there was a panel comprised of the original MIT OCW task force team and decision makers, including Charles Vest, then president of MIT. The panel gave us a detailed account of just how this great idea came about. An Early Adoptors panel followed. Representatives from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health,the University of Notre Dame, Tufts University, CORE, Universia and J-OCW discussed what it was like to be in the forefront of the OCW movement. The talks throughout the day were awe-inspiring for many who were getting to hear about the “past” of OCW for the first time.

The second day started with a panel from FGV Online (Brazil), APTIKOM (Indonesia), and the African Virtual University. The session clearly demonstrated that OCW is now a worldwide movement that has been adapted, localized, and even improved upon. Stavros Xanthopoylos from FGV showed some amazing figures on visitors and certificates issued on their OER site. Richardus Eko Indrajit from APTIKOM showed how powerful the NEXSUS project was when it partnered with the Ministry of Education for localization and modification of OCW materials to provide equity in educational opportunities. The African Virtual University showed us the key to success in a collaboration of institutions from three different languages and eight different countries.

Presentations addressed the themes of the Impact of OCW, Producing OCW, and Next Generation Open Learning. The poster session was a showcase for many great projects. Heated debates and engaged conversations were going on in all four rooms for breakout sessions, and there were also people in the foyer, connecting with one another and discussing ways to collaborate.

It would be impossible to pick out highlights of the breakout sessions, for all the presentations were given by champions of projects that are making a difference in the world. I know you all just can’t wait to see all that went on during the conference, so the full conference program can be viewed here. Presentation slides will be uploaded on www.slideshare.net/ocwconsortium, and some of the videos will be uploaded on www.vimeo.com/ocwconsortium. Pictures will be uploaded on flickr.com/ocwconsortium. If you would like to see the tweets from the conference, search for hashtag #ocwcglobal. Summaries of individual projects will follow. Please stay posted via Facebook/ocwconsortium and Twitter @ocwnews for updates.