Appendix 7: Open Technology
Open education is not limited to just open educational resources. It also draws upon open technologies that facilitate collaborative, flexible learning and the open sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues.
—Cape Town Open Education Declaration, 2007
There are a number of supports and open technologies that you may wish to explore to help administer your open working group, implement at your institution, or share with faculty, staff, and students.
BCcampus Open Education
For B.C. institutions, BCcampus can support the adoption of this Working Group Guide by creating a cloned copy in Pressbooks. BCcampus also provides support and access to technologies such as Pressbooks for B.C. faculty that may help with your collaboration efforts.
The OpenETC is a community of educators, technologists, and designers sharing their expertise to foster and support open infrastructure for the B.C. post-secondary sector. No contracts or agreements are required to join them, just a willingness and ability to actively participate in their collective endeavour to:
- Encourage technological autonomy and provide ways for students, faculty, and institutions to own and control their own data;
- Lower the barrier to participation on the open web for B.C. faculty and students;
- Provide a more sustainable ed-tech infrastructure to B.C. post-secondary education that gives institutions more control over their tools. Institutions are currently at the mercy of vendor pricing, upgrade cycles, and exit strategies. This puts institutions at a certain degree of risk when there are changes to any of the variables beyond their control. Open-source approaches reduce the risk to institutions in this regard; and
- assist B.C. faculty in evaluating and making informed pedagogical decisions around open-source teaching and learning applications.
The OpenETC has a number of software platforms:
- WordPress. OpenETC offers WordPress-powered sites with a curated collection of plugins, widgets, and themes and also allows you to create a new site from WordPress templates.
- Mattermost. An open-source, self-hosted Slack-alternative. As an alternative to proprietary messaging platforms, Mattermost brings team communication into one place, making it easily searchable and accessible from any device.
- Sandstorm. Students and educators deserve access to the best open-source web apps. With a few clicks, students and educators can enjoy 70+ open-source web apps, all pre-approved, security audited, and hosted within British Columbia on the OpenETC Sandstorm server.