Homecoming #OER23

There’s lots to say about the substance of #OER23 and hopefully I’ll manage that in some blog posts soon, but this post is just going to be a self-indulgent opportunity to prolong some good vibes, special energies, and warm feelings.

#OER23 wasn’t my first post-pandemic conference but it feels like a home coming in so many ways. Back into my open education community, back amongst friends old and new, and back up north in Inverness for the first time in a long time. I went hoping to reconnect with people, ideas, and place and boy did it deliver in spades. The social energy was different from other OER conferences too – everyone’s social batteries were dialled down a bit, but the warmth and genuine openness to connection was dialled right up. My heart and soul are full.

I saw people I’ve been writing with across oceans during the pandemic (Lou Mycroft, Frances Bell, Lorna Campbell), I saw people who’ve been a big part of sustaining me through the worst of the last few years (Catherine Cronin, Bonnie Stewart I’m looking at you). I got to hug my dear friend and #ds106radio co-host after Too Long (Maren 🥰). I got to see so many friends and colleagues I haven’t seen in too long, and some that I had never had the chance to meet before in person. And I can’t mention #ds106 without mentioning Jim Groom (if I don’t, he will); I hope some further fun might happen.

I don’t really want to try dissect further why it was so good and why I feel more whole for it. I’m content to just enjoy these feelings for a while longer.

And if anyone is wondering, yeah, I did have all my hair cut off. That is another story…

5 white women all smiling big smiles
A Polaroid photo of all the #OER23 Gasta speakers (mags, eamon, Tom, Lou, Jim)
Hasta la Gasta
3 people grinning maniacally into the camera in the Black Isle Brewery bar.
Black Isle blethers
A Canadian man messing with my pint of beer
Canadian malarkey
A sign that says “You can be a mess today. It’s okay” with a picture of an otter.
4 people sitting on a bench outside a bar and two of them had definitely not been smoking cigarettes.
Bumming lights and bad influences
A picture of my feet with some silver and blue brogues on them.
A white man playing air guitar mid way through singing AC/DC at karaoke.
It’s a long way to the top…
A slide from a keynote presentation that says “As a response, we need possible frameworks for imagining and manifesting more preferable future higher education institutions, formats or practices through materialising what Ronald Barnett calls 'feasible utopias'”
Grimdark / hopepunk
A candle and a knitting figure with pink hair. The candle has a Seamus Heaney quote: “Hope is not optimism, which
expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in
the conviction that there is good worth looking for.”
Heaney hope words

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *