Free Range Edtech

Category: What’s New?

Hey, what’s happening around the OpenETC? We will let you know.

Welcome to Alan Levine, OpenETC Community Coordinator

In the past three years, the OpenETC community of users has grown considerably, as more faculty and staff in BC higher education are exploring teaching practices using WordPress and Mattermost.  This growth signalled the importance of future planning, and led the OpenETC administrative team to create a high-level, three year roadmap. In 2020, BCcampus provided a pilot funding commitment to support the roadmap.

As part of the roadmap, one of the pre-COVID goals was to develop the OpenETC community by providing more resources and fostering a growing culture of mutual support and contributions.  As many of you know, the OpenETC model is a little bit unusual… there is no 24/7 helpdesk, there is no IT department or vendor behind the scenes.  OpenETC runs on community contributions, not unlike a take one, leave one box at your local charity shop.

However, it is important to do this right, and we felt that we needed someone with some dedicated time to model and nurture the community in this direction.  We are thrilled that Alan Levine (@cogdog), SPLOT creator extraordinaire, has come on board to lead the community building over the next few months.  Alan has long been part of the ETUG community, and you may have also come across his work with BCcampus in helping with the BCcampus H5P Kitchen project.  In addition to having fantastic technical and photography skills, Alan is a well-known online community builder and we will be drawing on all of his expertise to help us with this next step.

So what exactly can you expect in the next few months?  As the OpenETC Community Coordinator, Alan will help us ensure a sustainable community is built around the OpenETC in keeping with the OpenETC model that is founded on co-operative principles.

Some of things that Alan will be doing are:

  • Running sessions for educators to introduce the OpenETC and how the model works
  • Running sessions to demo various aspects of the OpenETC toolkit and its application to teaching and learning
  • Monitoring and responding to Mattermost chat channels (Town Square, WordPress, etc), supporting community members to solve their own problems
  • Communicating planned changes to the OpenETC toolkit
  • Soliciting feedback via focus groups, polls, running pilots etc on aspects of the OpenETC toolkit
  • Gathering and coordinating contributions back to OpenETC
  • Showcasing exemplary open education practices
  • Identifying and developing (and helping the community to develop) various self-help resources as required.

 

This is an ambitious list, but our goal is to make the OpenETC as efficient, sustainable, and collaborative as possible.  There is no OpenETC without the BC post-secondary community who share, contribute, and support each other and together we can build an alternative for open ed tech supported teaching and learning in BC.

Do you have any feedback on this list?  How do you see the priorities of this role?  Feel free to leave your comments.

Code of Conduct and Terms of Use

A few weeks ago we posted a draft Code of Conduct for users of the OpenETC. We asked for your feedback on the draft code and received a number of excellent suggestions on the draft. We gathered your responses as annotations via Hypothesis and as comments posted to our draft Etherpad document.

From your comments, we have made the following changes;

  • Split the Code of Conduct into 2 separate documents; a Code of Conduct and Terms of Use document to better reflect the intent of the content.
  • Added contact forms to each of the documents to enable people to contact someone on the OpenETC administrative team with questions or comments.
  • Clarified the Terms of Use language to remove the word “blasphemous” from the Limitations on Content section of the Terms of Use guidelines.
  • Explicitly noted what OpenETC applications and services the code and terms apply to.

We have posted a revised Code of Conduct and a new Terms of Use document that applies to the three main services offered by the OpenETC, WordPress, Mattermost, and Sandstorm.

We will continue to revise these documents as required and make you aware of changes as the services of the OpenETC evolve.

Thank you for your feedback and being active members of the OpenETC community.

Thank you for your feedback on the proposed Code of Conduct

Thank you to everyone who commented on the proposed OpenETC Code of Conduct. We are reviewing the suggestions and are revising based on your feedback, which included the suggestion to break the Code of Conduct into a Code of Conduct document and a Terms of Use document.

A number of you also suggested some existing Codes of Conduct that we could look to build on which is an excellent suggestion. We are currently reviewing a number of other Codes of Conduct for online communities and hope to incorporate some of those into our second draft Code of Conduct.

For the time being, we have removed the draft Code of Conduct from the site while we revise it.

Thanks again for providing input.

Looking for community feedback on Code of Conduct

Two goals the OpenETC stewardship team are working towards in 2020 is to begin formalizing some processes and guidelines for educators and students interested in using the services of the OpenETC community, and to provide more pathways of engagement with the openETC for community members. High on our to-do list for this year are the development of governance documents, like privacy policies and a code of conduct.

In that spirit, the OpenETC stewardship group is looking for community feedback on a proposed Code of Conduct. When completed, this Code of Conduct will apply to users of any of the platforms or tools supplied by the OpenETC. We have posted a draft Code of Conduct that we would like your feedback on.

To enable your feedback, we have activated Hypothesis on the page, which will give you the ability to highlight and annotate specific sections of the code you may have questions or comments about.

A draft privacy policy is in the works and will be released in the coming weeks for your input.

While these types of governance documents can be dry reading, they are important in helping to define what kind of community we want to work towards developing.

Thanks, in advance, for your comments and feedback, and for working with us to make the OpenETC a valuable and respectful educational community.

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