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#ReclaimOpen Learning Symposium

September 26, 2013

"Open" by Jessica Duensing (CC-BY-SA)

Free streaming of the Reclaim Open Learning Symposium begins at 5:00PM on Saturday 26 Sept. Pacific time (that’s 12:00 noon on Friday 27 Sept. in New Zealand) at UC Irvine, with a conversation with John Seely Brown and Amin Saberi, moderated by Anya Kamenetz. The event (and stream) continues the next day (Sat. 5:00AM-12:00PM NZ time) with Howard Rheingold and the winners of the Reclaim Open Learning Innovation Challenge, who are

transforming higher education toward connected and creative learning, open in content and access, participatory, and building on a growing range of experiments and innovations in networked learning.

These are innovative project worth hearing about from dedicated, creative people who are worth following. Speakers include Jim Groom, Martha Buris and Alan Levine, from the University of Mary Washington (USA). They are behind ds106, an online community as much as a course, that focuses on Digital Storytelling and online identity. Jonathan Worth, Matt Johnston, Shaun Hides and Jonathan Shaw (from Coventry University, UK) won for #Phonar (Photography and Narrative), which they teach to a place-based class linked via blogs, websites and social media to the world. Susanna Ferrell and Jade Ulrich (Scripps College, United States) have put together a DOCC (Distributed Open Collaborative Course), “DOCC 2013: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology“, which looks very promising. I am less familiar with the other winning projects, but I’m sure they are all worthy of our time and attention.

These initiatives challenge the dominant MOOC narrative, which has been captured by large (mostly private, for-profit) internet startups and elite universities, and they demonstrate how we can all innovate now, where we are, in our current institutions of higher education. Check out the winners’ websites and follow the symposium on Twitter (#ReclaimOpen, @DMLResearchHub). I assume the talks will be archived after the streaming of the presentations, so check the symposium website following the event.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jonathanworth permalink
    September 27, 2013 12:27 am

    Real shame you’re not here Mark, I quoted you in an interview with Fred Ritchin for Phonar this week: “if you want to change the world then you have to start by describing it differently”. Thanks for the support sir.

    • Mark McGuire permalink
      October 1, 2013 6:37 pm

      I’m sure I stole that from somebody. Listening to your #ReclaimOpen live presentation made me think of another thought that I stole (this one from Stephen Downes): “The product of learning is not knowledge; the product of learning is a transformed learner”. I try hang out wish fish of like mind. See you in the pool!

  2. October 1, 2013 5:37 pm

    Thanks so much for introducing me to #phonar. What a terrific, interesting site and concept. Our university is hosting an Open Educational Resources University meeting next month so it will be interesting how the topics and approaches that come up might intersect with the findings/activities from this symposium.

    • Mark McGuire permalink
      October 1, 2013 6:32 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Christine. I’ve been enjoying your Instagrams, and was interested to read that your research interests include mobile technology, photography and place, plus critical tourism and critical geography ( What a terrific mix! This is a wonderful time to be involved in, and to be researching, photographic practices and tools in this increasingly mobile world.

      Regarding Open Educational Resources, there are some movers and shakers down here in Dunedin who are involved in the OER Foundation ( and the OER University ( I gave a seminar about OER last June, when the University of Otago had a series of events around open strategies ( Speaking of critical approaches, here are two articles that I came across recently that got me thinking:
      “Corporate open source: Intellectual property and the struggle over value” by Christopher Newfield @cnewf ( and “Commercial enclosure: Whatever happened to open access?” by John Holmwood (

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