January 4, 2015

#OpenTeachingOU hashtag ... high hopes for 2015

Connected Courses was an experience that really helped me to re-commit to open: open courses, open teaching, open learning materials... open everything! In the spirit of open, I'm going to start using an #OpenTeachingOU hashtag at Twitter in the hopes that I can connect with other people who are also interested in sharing their teaching knowledge and experience with others. Will that maybe take off...? I'm thinking that would be pretty cool!


It seems like this would be something easy to promote via OU CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence) and maybe the Academic Technology blog, too. It could also be something to bring people together in online course program in my college (since open teaching is of special importance to online instructors, making things up as we go along, pioneers in a new world), along with people in other online course programs at OU, like Liberal Studies. It could even be of interest to the OU Writing Center (those of us who really work on the teaching of writing can help each other in so many ways), and of course it connects with the great work that is happening in the OER initiative through OU Libraries.

In all the years I have been at OU, there really has not been much conversation about teaching that has happened in the open; instead, those conversations about teaching happen in departmental spaces, person to person, and also in face-to-face workshops which are the only kind of faculty development that I've seen at OU over the years. Face-to-face has its advantages to be sure, but it also has some serious limitations also. If we want to promote long-lasting, wide-ranging conversations about teaching, especially conversations that reach across departments and colleges at OU, and which can also involve our colleagues at other schools, well, we really need some online conversation, too!

So, I'll be using that hashtag at Twitter, and thanks to the magic of the "Classic Retweet" extension, I'll try to remember to retweet with that tag when I find posts from OU folks that are about open teaching. I'm doing my best to keep up a list of OU faculty at Twitter. Who am I missing? Let me know! I also have a list of OU programs, departments, etc. at Twitter: again, please let me know what I'm missing here!

In addition, I'll try to maintain a steady #OpenTeachingOU outgoing feed with the magic of Inoreader; you can see the HTML clippings view, and you can also subscribe with RSS (Inoreader: it's magic!). With Inoreader-Twitter integration, that means I can pick up the Twitter items there too by creating a rule for that. In fact, I'll go grab some open teaching tweets and blog posts from OU folks and tag them in Inoreader! (pause) Success: it was fun grabbing items in Inoreader to add to that feed!

I really enjoy all the conversations I get to have about teaching in virtual spaces with colleagues at other schools, but it sure would be nice to have more OU conversations too. Twitter has been a great way to connect with OU people, and I hope I can make good use of #OpenTeachingOU as a hashtag to help us connect and share even more in the new year to come. We all have so much stuff to share! Open the doors, everybody!