Returning from #OER19: Quilting together a short story on the power of being open

I’m on the plane ride home from an amazing experience at #OER19. In thinking of what I could write to recap – I thought I would share a story I’ve been sitting on for a few weeks. Inspired by Kate Bowles’ use of the powerful metaphor of a quilt in her incredible keynote and, the discussions I had with several colleagues around open teaching practices – I’ll begin laying out the patchwork.

On July 11, 2016, I was in class with Debbie. I think it was the end of the third week of our intensive 4 week Master’s in Educational Technology program. Over the week the students had to create an “i-Infographic” for an audience. In our program we always encouraged and supported our students to publish and share their important work with the world.

I clearly remember Debbie coming up to me and having me read her (awesome) blog post – she was filled with a sense of worry and trepidation about putting her work out there in the open. I reassured her – and ultimately she courageously hit “publish.” And that’s where the story of the Twitter 4 Teachers infographic begins.

Debbie’s infographic has been continually “going viral” since 2016. If you do a quick google image search for “Twitter 4 Teachers” (the title of the infographic) you’ll see hits from around the world – teachers/educators/administrators who have used her (Creatively Commons licensed) graphic . Over the years she would share tweets with me or messages from other educators who had found her infographic and shared out they were using it in their context.

Things hit a new level a few weeks ago. My twitter notifications were uncharacteristically blinking (which made me worry at first.) And then, I realized I was looped into this amazing exchange:

It turns out Marc (in Germany) had found Debbie’s infographic, and remixed it into German.

Not only that – but he went on to share:

So now, Debbie, Marc, and educators across Germany are all connected – because Debbie took a risk to be open, because our pedagogy & curriculum supported and encouraged open, and because Marc is an open practitioner and embodies the ethos of remix/reuse/share. Since all the layers of this experience were open, the story above is rich with hyperlinks of evidence – digital trails, timestamps and artifacts that can be stitched together – into this new quilt.

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