OpenCon 2018 K-12 Athabasca

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


Date: January 25, 2018
Hashtag for satellite conference: #K12OC2018


On January 25, 2018, the Centre for Distance Education hosted a virtual Open Conference promoting the development and integration of open educational resources (OER) in K-12 learning environments. As a satellite offering of OpenCon 2017, and centered around the theme, Building the K-12 OER Teacher Network, OpenCon 2018 K-12 Athabasca was a resounding success with insightful discussions from educators in Alberta and around the world.

Conference presentations covered a wide range of topics including understanding the Commons & copyright law, open pedagogy, sharing and curating OER resources, 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.


Below is a list of Adobe Connect recordings and resources from the Open Conference:

Open Conference Session Resources

To access the Adobe Connect recording, ensure you have enabled the Adobe Connect Plug-in on your browser, then click on the session name.

Welcome and Understanding the Commons for K-12 | Serena Henderson

Copyright law in Canada has undergone many revisions, and many educators continue to struggle with misunderstandings of the intention of the law, and particularly the fair dealing clause.  This misunderstanding has led to self-restrictive practices in education, many of which are unnecessary.  Following the 2012 Supreme Court of Canada appeal  a nonrestrictive and liberal interpretation of the fair dealing clause was deemed “fair.”  As well, Creative Commons (CC) licensing has further provided an avenue to promote the legal sharing of educational materials as part of the open movement.

Go Open: From the Ground Up | Kristina Ishmael and Heather Callihan

In the USA, over 100 PreK-12  districts have committed to use Open Educational Resources (OER) to increase equity, keep content relevant, empower teachers, and save money. Together the­­y form a network sharing insights, strategies, and content. This session highlights how this movement started and provides insight from a district in their process of going open, from the ground up.

Supporting Documents:
U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen site:
Office of Educational Technology #GoOpen Story Engine:
#GoOpen District Launch Packet:

Curation Made Simple | Stephanie Slaton

Curating OER is messy! Building courses and lesson plans brings a wealth of open browser tabs, and piles of post-it notes. Have you ever found the perfect resource and had nowhere to use it, or needed a resource you remember seeing, but couldn’t remember where you saw it?

You can save your sanity, and your time with free, easy to use, online tools. In this overview you will see ways to adapt online pin boards, web clippers, and pivot tables to collect, organize, collaborate, and share. You will take home links to online resources you can replicate and adapt the to meet your needs.

Teachers and librarians can benefit from having a central repository of OER resources that can be used across disciplines. This can be achieved at no cost, built collaboratively, and easily shared. Clean up the mess of research with simple curation!

Opening Up 1-12 Education | Frank McCallum and Lise Pethybridge

The Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC) has developed courses for many years, building a large collection of videos, interactives and other digital materials. This past year, ADLC started disaggregating courses to produce a collection of these instructional materials and has developed a repository that teachers, students and parents will be able to access. This Adobe Connect session introduces ADLC’s open repository.

  • Adobe Connect Recording (24:21)  *currently unavailable
  • Slides_McCallum-Pethybridge  *currently unavailable

Multiply K-12 OER Media Project | Connie Blomgren

In this presentation, a brief introduction will be given to the Multiply K-12 OER Project.  Due to participatory technologies, K-12 educators are already engaging with OER without being fully aware that they are involved to some degree in OER and a philosophy of openness. To bridge this gap, 17 podcasts and 3 videos were created and added to the Blended and Online Learning and Teaching (BOLT) blog. The podcasts explore the following OER topics: a history of OER; the current landscape; benefits to K-12 learning; acceptance of OER; learning with OER; teaching with OER; openness and the open mindset in learning; 8 attributes of Open Pedagogy; the Open Pedagogy model; creating OER policy in Canada; and Canadian copyright and user rights, including K-12 scenarios. The 3 videos cover: the Attributes of Open Community; Attributes of Open Practice; and Albertan Perspectives on OER in K-12 Learning.  Funded by the Alberta Open Educational Resources (ABOER) Initiative, the project was made possible through an investment from the Alberta government.

Supporting Documents:
Multiply K-12 OER (

Sharing K-12 Resources Across Canada | Randy LaBonte

The need to share resources to support K-12 online and blended learning programs, individual school and teacher practice, and expanding learning opportunities for students is given.  With education in Canada a provincial responsibility, numerous content sharing initiatives have sprung up across the country, but are they open?  Or are they silos of walled gardens supporting only some educators and programs?  How can these initiatives shift from a ‘members-only’ approach to a truly open and pan-Canadian sharing model?  How can K-12 learn from and model the open textbook initiatives of Canada’s post-secondary sector?  This session will explore current sharing initiatives, successes, challenges, and future direction.

Supporting Sites:

Berlin Remix  Panel and Wrap Up | Frank McCallum, Verena Roberts, Heather Callihan, Dirk Meyer, and Connie Blomgren

Panel members addressed the video from OpenCon 2017 Berlin by remixing 2 questions of OER curriculum creation. Educators are asked to consider OER Curriculum Creation and questions such as: Who is missing? and Whose knowledge is reliable?