OpenCon 2019 K-12 Athabasca

A Virtual, Free K-12 Open Educational Resources Teacher PD Offering


au-largeDate: January 25, 2019
Hashtag for satellite conference: #K12OpenCon
OpenCon URL: OpenConK12Athabasca

OpenCon2017slogan On January 25, 2019, the Centre for Distance Education will host a virtual Open Conference promoting the development and integration of open educational resources (OER) in K-12 learning environments. As a satellite offering of, and centered around the theme, Stories of Change: Curriculum, Teaching & Open Educational Resources, OpenCon 2019 K-12 Athabasca brings educators together from Alberta and around the world. Conference presentations covered a wide range of topics including understanding Open Educational Resources in K-12 under the new Alberta Curriculum, Teacher & Librarian Instructional Partnerships using OER, as well as panel discussions about OER knowledge and curriculum creation. Many thanks to Athabasca University, Dr. Connie Blomgren, Dan Wilton, Serena Henderson, Connie Levina Yuen, presenters, panel members and attendees.

OpenCon Schedule

10:00 – 10:25 MST   What ARE Open Educational Resources? An Overview

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording


Dr. Connie BlomgrenAssistant Professor
Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Athabasca University

10:30 – 10:55  OER in K-12: Successes, Challenges, Lessons Learned (and Learning…) 

In 2012, Washington state passed legislation directing the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to create a library of openly licensed courseware and promote OER awareness and adoption. Over the past six years, the K-12 OER Project has evolved in response to stakeholder needs. Learn about some of the successful strategies we have used and challenges we’ve experienced along the way.

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording


Barbara Soots, Instructional Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) Program Manager
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Washington State 

11:00 – 11:25  Tribes, Tradition, Technology: Harnessing OERs for Historical Inquiry (Spokane Grantee) 

Tap into the vast frontier of OER to create powerful inquiry for students. Participants will gain content knowledge using primary sources, build historical empathy, and practice innovative historical pedagogy. Participants will also gain understanding of the lessons learned during our four-year journey as open educational resource social studies curriculum writers, cultural liaisons with local tribes, and trainers of Washington State’s “Since Time Immemorial” curriculum.

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording


Leslie Heffernan, Curriculum Coordinator
Central Valley School District, Greenacres, Washington  

11:30 -11:55   University of Lethbridge Curriculum Lab K-12 OER resources & the new AB curriculum 

Work with pre-service teachers has demonstrated the value of being able to quickly and efficiently isolate quality resources specific to a particular grade, outcome and subject. Any teaching resource (including OER) is only valuable when it is easily accessible at the time of need. This presentation will share strategies used in our pre-service teacher curriculum materials center to try and address this challenge. Specifically, the following questions will provide the focus: What tools do we provide for connecting resources to curriculum? How are we preparing for the shift to new provincial curriculum? What are the opportunities for growth and collaboration?

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording

Beth Cormier Photo

Beth Cormier, Curriculum Librarian
Faculty of Education Curriculum Lab, University of Lethbridge  

12:00 – 12:25  Teacher & Librarian Instructional Partnerships Using OER

Learn about the cohorts of collaborating teachers and school librarians who have been working on the forefront of curating and creating STEM OER in their schools. Drawing from established open education principles and learnings from the project, School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning, this session will engage participants in strategies and approaches central to Open Educational Practice (OEP) and explore exemplary OER units created by school librarians and STEM teachers to build inquiry and literacy skills in their classrooms in K-12 districts in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording

Amee Godwin, VP, Research & Development
ISKME – Half Moon Bay, California



Cynthia Jimes, Director of  Research & Learning
ISKME – Half Moon Bay, California

12: 30 – 12:55  Open Experiences as an Elementary Teacher Librarian 

Click to access:
Presentation Slides | Adobe Connect Recording

sarah h

Sarah Hammershaimb, Ed Doctorate student
Athabasca University

1:00 – 2:00   Toronto ReMix – Panel

(See section below for panel materials)

Click to access:
Presentation Slides (Soots) | Presentation Slides (Hammershaimb)Presentation Slides (MacIsaac) | Adobe Connect Recording

Panel Facilitated by Dr. Connie Blomgren (Assistant Professor, Athabasca University)


Soots_pic1. Barbara Soots (Instructional Materials and OER Program Manager, Washington State)

sarah h2. Sarah Hammershaimb (Teacher and Doctoral Student in Denver, Colorado)

peggylynn3.  Peggy Lynn MacIsaac (Reference Services Librarian & Doctoral Student, Athabasca University)

Beth Cormier Photo4. Beth Cormier (Curriculum Librarian, University of Lethbridge)  


2:00 – 2:15  Building the K-12 OER Teacher Network – Next steps?  Delft_selfie

Dr. Connie Blomgren (Assistant Professor, Athabasca University)

Register Now!

To register for this free, open virtual conference, go to  or use this online form:

Toronto Remix – Panel

For the OpenCon 2019 K-12 Athabasca offering, we have asked four open advocates to remix topics discussed at Toronto’s OpenCon2018. To prepare for our Toronto ReMix Panel, the panelists have viewed the following 2 videos and also looked to our theme (Stories of Change – Curriculum, Teaching, & Open Educational Resources).

Stacy Allison-Cassin (@stacymallison; Associate Librarian, Digital Pedagogy, York University).  Associate Librarian at York University. She has held a variety of roles, including digital pedagogy, digital humanities, and cataloguing librarian for music. She held the W.P. Scott Chair in E-Librarianship from 2015-2017.

OpenCon 2018 LIVE – November 2, 2018

(Watch from 58:18 to 59:04)

Peter Musser (@the_musser; ). Graduate Student University of British Columbia, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. He presented at OpenCon 2018 Toronto about using an online video platform for Open education. Check out his YouTube channel, Stacks & Facts (a channel about library and information science). In the video, Peter discusses the DIKW pyramid (data, information, knowledge, wisdom Information Science pyramid).

What is Information?

Although OpenCon primarily serves a higher education audience, many of the topics discussed resonate with K-12 educators. From their viewpoints as librarians or members of the K-12 community, the four panelists – using the two videos as a springboard – will remix the OpenCon topics and provide their commentary and ideas as part of furthering OER stories of change.

Guiding questions include:
(1) How do we support the development and use of open vocabularies with and for Indigenous communities?
(2) What do distributed, community-owned digital infrastructure and workflows look like?
(3) How does the Open Community support Indigenous sovereignty within the context of digital infrastructure?
(4) How does the DIKW pyramid relate to K-12 curriculum building for teachers, librarians and others who support open educational resources?

OpenCon 2019 Resources

Following the OpenCon event on January 25, 2019, a list of Adobe Connect recordings and resources will become available on this page. Please find relevant resources for each session in the OpenCon Schedule table above.