This one’s filed under “ideas we wish we’d had.” The world OER community has grown a lot in the 10 years (to the extent one can measure these things) of its existence. But who are we? Where are we? Who have we yet to meet, to partner with?

Enter Alberta’s Athabasca University, which is hosting a discussion on how to build a map — a true and accurate visualization — of world OER initiatives. They’ve sent out an open invitation to participate in the talks, to take place over the latter half of November via that most dependable medium, email.

All are welcome; to sign up, send an email to [email protected] with subscribe in the subject line. Questions to [email protected] (Susan D’Antoni)

The full announcement from Athabasca U. is reproduced below:

A world map of Open Educational Resources initiatives:
Can the global OER community design and build it together?

First, an International discussion
12 – 30 November 2012

* Next, local discussions – organized locally

An international online conversation – The objective is to explore whether the OER
community worldwide could work together to design and build an OER world map – starting
with institutional initiatives and basic information.

A definition – Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that
reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that
permits their free use and re-purposing by others. They may be full courses or course materials,
modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or
techniques used to support access to knowledge (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).

Now a decade of development – a global movement with more and more OER initiatives, in
more and more countries. The vision of increasing access to the world’s knowledge through
making resources open and accessible is beginning to be realized.

But we still have a problem – we do not have a comprehensive overview of OER projects in
the world – how do I know what is going on in my own country? And how do I find contacts in
other countries, or contacts working in my own language?

An OER world map – A map would give us the big picture of the global OER movement.
It would help us communicate the story of OER. Furthermore, it could be enhanced with
information such as OER initiatives by language, and with links to other maps. And it would help
us connect.

Community collaboration – Working together the OER community could design and build the
map, and then regularly update it. With time, energy and collaboration, the map could become
a door to the OER world, helping us communicate with stakeholders and connect with each

Outline of the international discussion

Week 1: What could an OER world map look like?
12- 16 November

Why map the OER landscape
Essential information and visual presentation

Week 2: Could a world map be built collaboratively?
19-23 November

Organizational approach for collaboration
Ensuring the quality of the information

Week 3: Reflection and next steps
26-30 November

Design of an “OER World Map”
Resources available/needed
Next steps

Join the international conversation

Send an email to [email protected] and type subscribe in the subject line

Share this announcement with your colleagues and networks

* Plan a parallel or follow up discussion in your own language and network and give your
feedback for the final report of all the discussions

Susan D’Antoni at [email protected]