Tales from the unexpected journey: Open Data as Open Educational Resources

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 13.56.17The process of developing this book titled Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of emerging practice was as brilliantly described by my fellow editor Leo Havemann as an unexpected journey, and as such we named our introduction, so I will explain you why:

Not so long ago, my friend Leo and I decided to start exploring the use of Open Data as teaching as learning resources, or in teaching and learning, but we couldn’t find much evidence on good practices, or examples, so we decided that maybe, we could start asking around, what we did not realised, is that we were opening big, a very big pandora box.

As information was playing hide and, well, hide with us, we thought that maybe, calling educators to share their practices and collect them as case studies could be a good solution, as we were sure that somewhere, someone was making pedagogic use of open data. So what it occurred to us was that, in case we managed to fish some cases out of the water, we could publish them as a book, as an openly licensed book.

We started asking for help (aka pestering some friends) to find / reach those who were using open data in teaching g and learning and, as magic happens sometimes, we were joined in the adventure of finding these practitioners and cases, and in developing the book by a group of colleagues and friends we respect and admire, and who did not called us crazy, but instead, supported us, guided us and encouraged us in our (evident) titanic idea of self publishing a book, without any fundings, and without having a publisher, because, Leo and I, as someone said once, are courageous people (maybe meant nuts, but we took it as a compliment).

First it was Marieke Guy,  who believed in us and in our idea (or maybe she said yes because I wouldn’t stop otherwise, will never know), then it came William Hammonds who joined us and helped us getting organised, and then Paul Bacsich and Elena Stojanovska, who, after joining the coordination of OKFN edu open education, were incredibly supportive and helped us in completing this project. 

Then we got a few supporting hands in helping us in sharing our preliminary findings, gathering more evidence or just provided us with good advice in editorial practices and project management, amongst them were Virginia RodésNelson PiedraAntonio MoneoGeraldine GarciaFabrizio ScrolliniEleni ZazaniElizabeth CharlesManuel Caeiro, Joana BarrosMehmet Izbudak and Lorna Campbell. Lately, some others joined what we called the scientific committee, so Anne-Christin Tannhäuser and Maria Perifanou helped us to select the cases and lately, supported the authors in developing their cases.

As we keep saying, we might be the luckiest people who ever attempted to publish a book independently, because every single one of the selected authors are a joy to work with, and understood that we were learning on the go. We had a nice bunch of international scholars showcasing their practices and projects, from Italy’s A Scuola de OpenCoesione we were joined by Chiara Ciociola and Luigi Reggi, then Tim Coughlan joined us from The Open University, followed by the Canada’s most international team Juan Pablo AlperinKatie Shamash and Alessandra Bordini from Simon Fraser University. Also, we were joined by Professor Alan Dix (Birmingham University) and Geoffrey Ellis (University of Konstanz) and by Virginia Power who is both a Graduate Tutor and PhD Student with the University of the West of England.

When the cases were ready, we were joined (and saved) by the real superhero of this story,  the only and the great Santiago Martín who played the key role of designer, organiser, and manager of the tons of files we never thought we could ever produce, and as the extraordinaire librarian he is, he organised the caos and then, designed what we think is  a very very beautiful book.

Before, during and at the end of this journey, there were some colleagues and friends that were there for us when we needed a bit of encouragement and advice (sometimes in liquid form, others in virtual form, and occasionally in the form of chocolate) in this our first experience as publishers, so many thanks and hugs to Bea de los Arcos, Mira VogelDavid Kernohan,Chrissi Nerantzi, Matt JennerSteve Rowett, Tim NeumannNatasa PerovicJo StroudJosé Raúl CanayCarlos Ruz, Janina Dewitz, Paulina OlivosAdriana FavieriMarita BalbiHassel FallasFlor CoelhoCarla BoninaMoira WrightCristian TimmermannPat Lockley and Yanna Nedelcheva and others that I might have to add later as don’t have much RAM left at the moment…

PS: Any typos, issues, conflicts or problems in this post are the minions’ fault, not mine, so please contact Stuart, Herb or Kevin in case you have a complaint, however for lovely messages you can use the comment box below .

3 thoughts on “Tales from the unexpected journey: Open Data as Open Educational Resources

  1. Pingback: Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Towards Transversal Skills and Global Citizenship | OER Quality Project

  2. Pingback: Putting research into practice: Training academics to use Open Data as OER: An experience from Uruguay | Thoughts on Open Education

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