The Impact of Open: The 2015 Open Education Conference Recap

And that’s a wrap! After months and months of planning, we are happy (and a little sad) to have the Open Education Conference behind us. From the venue, the presenters, the participants, to the online chatter – everything exceeded our expectations and made us very proud to be members of the Open Education family and part of the BCcampus team!

BoomThe Open Education Community:

Stepping on the hashtag heels of Zoolander 2, #OpenEd15 was trending for all three days of the conference, from Nov 18 – 20, 2015. We hit 7000+ tweets by the third day, and that’s just on Twitter alone! This just goes to show how actively engaged the Open Ed folks are, both in-person and online. But one area that we are absolutely thrilled to see is the rich outpouring of conversation post-conference, with blog posts, positive comments, OER slides and all the other Open goodness.


Although, we do not have videos of the two keynote presentations, David Kernohan has live blogged both presentations (Openness and the Future of Post-Secondary Education – Michael Feldstein & Phil Hill and Supporting the Adoption of Open Textbooks in British Columbia Mary Burgess & David Porter), and we have wonderful graphic representations by Tracy Kelly and Jason Toal.

Keynote1 Keynote2

Presentation slides:

The presentation slides are rolling in and we are adding them to our Slideshare account as quickly as we can, they can be found:

A list of blog posts:

The commentary from the Open Education community since #OpenEd15 still continues to roll in and the always industrious David Wiley has been taking note, compiling the blog posts via Storify. Here’s one that just rolled in this morning.

If there is a post missing from this list that you think should be included, please let us know and we’ll do our best to get it added.


The Special Strand on Accessibility and OER at this year’s conference, sponsored by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation was well received at OpenEd15. Knowledgeable teams at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, CAST, and BCcampus, gathered together to assist conference attendees in making their content, code, and designs more inclusive.

A special thank you to Bruce from Assistive Technologies BC in showcasing many of the assistive technology resources that make learning and working environments usable for people with disabilities throughout British Columbia.


Attendees and presenters alike came from the far reaches of the world to attend the 12th annual Open Education Conference.


There was a wide of array of images, capturing all aspects of the event, from travel to presentations, sightseeing to dancing, and even a few close-ups of the 9-foot-long nacho log! Tom Woodward, from Virginia Commonwealth University and Michelle Lamberson, from UBC Okanagan have posted a collection of beautiful images on Flickr, under a CC license so please feel free to use them with attribution.

There are several other images, tagged with #OpedEd15 on Flickr and Instagram so be sure to check those out too.


From the OpenEd15 Social, here’s the complete CC licensed set of music from DJ Dr. Jones (aka Jason Toal).


Spending three glorious days at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, with the beautiful decor, welcoming staff and superior hospitality – we all left feeling restored, inspired, and better connected.

Notable quotes:

“What has been really gratifying to see is the incredibly rich discussion that is happening online on blogs and social media about the future of open education,” said conference co-organizer Clint Lalonde. “The conversation shows that this community is growing and developing and, vitally, is deeply engaged in defining what it means to be an open educator.”

“With 500 attendees, this was the largest Open Education Conference in it’s 12-year history,” said Clint Lalonde. “It shows just how much interest in open education has exploded in recent years.”

“This truly was the pinnacle of all the BCcampus events that we’ve hosted and I am proud to be a part of the success. – Christy Foote, BCcampus Coordinator, Administration and Events


The conference was co-hosted by Lumen Learning, with financial support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. David Wiley, Chief Learning Office at Lumen and co-organizer of the conference has expressed interest in returning to Vancouver in the future for the fourth time. Previous Open Education Conference’s were held in Vancouver in 2009 and 2012 when the BC Open Textbook Project was announced at the conference. That being said, the location for #OpenEd16 has not been finalized yet, but watch for the announcement.

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