Information for delegates

by scott on October 10, 2012

You should have received this by now by email, but in case your spam filter worked too well…


Information for Open Ed 2012 Delegates

Greetings! We are so pleased you are able to join us in Vancouver in just under 2 weeks for the 9th International Open Education conference. Below are some notes we hope make your time at conference the best it can be.

Before the Conference / What to Bring & Do


Join us for the Remixathon Virtual Kickoff

The Remixathon is an event that we hope you’ll take part in sometime during the conference. A number of projects have submitted content and tools to be remixed, and will be conducting informal hands-on sessions in the “Unconference” room, C215. Prior to the conference though, we are hosting a virtual session on Friday, October 12 at 11am PDT to launch the remixathon with both virtual and f2f conference attendees. Please join us for this at

Bring a memory for the Open Ed Treasure Box

We have a SECOND remix effort we are trying out during the conference too. Alan Levine has built an Open Ed Treasure Box where throughout the conference we hope to gather materials to be remixed in a couple of formats. The Journal of Interactive Media in Education ( is looking to do an innovative report on the conference, and materials from the Treasure Box may play a part. In addition, we’re lucky to have enticed mashup artist/wizard Tony Hirst to join us at the conference and he’ll be on hand to explore potential remixes along with Alan. In preparation, please do consider bringing any media (especially stuff from previous conferences or significant to your open education journey) along with you to place in the Treasure Box.

What’s Old is New Again…

While the theme of this year’s conference is “Beyond Content” we also trying to go “beyond theory” with some of these side events, the least of which is The Great Schwag Re-Gift-Orama of 2012. We figured what better way to celebrate reuse than asking folks to bring some conference schwag (either from another conference or maybe your own institution) to swap. So dig in those closets and drawers, because we know you have something to bring!

Attendees List

If you indicated in your registration that you would like to be on the attendees list, then your name and contct info will so appear on the list that will be circulated at the end of the conference. However, the site we are using for the conference schedule also allows for you to create a profile and personalize your schedule. You can do so at which will help you make conections with other attendees and spot people you want to meet.

Getting Here

From the Airport

The absolute quickest, cheapest way to get from the airport downtown is the new Canada Line skytrain service. The $5 dollar fee (payable using cash, debit or credit card at the Automated Ticket Vending machines at the airport station) will take you to the Vancouver City Centre in about 25 minutes. This stop is within 1 1/2 blocks of all of the conference hotels. Your other options would be a cab which will cost in the vicinity of $40 Canadian to a downtown hotel (and take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on time of day and traffic)

View Open Ed 2012 Hotels & venue in a larger map

Conference Venue

The conference is at UBC Robson Square (same location as in 2009) on the Classrooms level downstairs. All three keynotes will be held in Theatre C300, while all concurrent sessions will be held at C400, C480, C685. Unconference sessions will be facilitated in C215.

During the Conference


Please proceed to the Registration Desk in front of Theatre C300 on the Classroom Level.

Registration Desk hours are as follows:

  • Tuesday, October 16, 7:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
  • Wednesday, October 17, 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
  • Thursday, October 18, 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Please wear your badges at all times. It verifies your registration at the conference.


There will be a mini printed program in your name badge. The full detailed program is available at This URL also provides the mobile app version of the schedule available on most smart phones.

Please note that Opening Remarks start at 9 A.M. everyday in Theatre C300. Try to get to the main theatre before then (especially as seating will be VERY tight).

Internet Access

Wireless Internet Access is available to all delegates within the UBC Robson Square Campus. Please choose the “ubc guest” network, open a web browser, and you will be redirected to a page to enter your email address in order to get access.

Food and Beverages

We will be providing coffee/beverage service and snacks on-site. We will be offering a catered lunch on the first day only (in the hopes of offering additional opportunities for conference newcomers to network early on.) We will NOT be offering catered lunches on Wednesday and Thursday. Our thinking is that people could use the time to get outside for a break, and to choose whatever food they liked. There is a wide array of options for all budgets and tastes near the venue, and we will provide you with a map with some recommendations at the conference. We’ve reduced the registration fees accordingly, and have set aside 90 minutes for the mid-day break.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of us. For more information, you can always visit our website.

We would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who are helping make this conference happen, as well as our incredibly generous sponsors who have both helped keep the conference more affordable as well as sponsor three people to attend who otherwise could not be with us. Thanks very much! So welcome one and all to our beautiful city, we look forward to meeting you and conspiring to create more openness, everywhere.

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It was pointed out to us by an astute conference attendee that if you are using the “Grid” view of the schedule (cf the second session scheduled in the 45 minute time slot does NOT appear properly. The easiest way to deal with this is to simply not use this view when choosing your personalized conference schedule. All of the other views of the program display all of the sessions correctly. Thanks to Robert Schuwer for pointing this out!

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Reuse, Remix, Recycle – Conference Schwag!

by scott on October 2, 2012

While puzzling over what cool give-away we might come up with for Open Ed 2012, I asked folks on twitter what had been their favourite conference gift in the past. Amongst the standard replies of t-shirts and bags, an answer stood out that seemed absolutely brilliant in the context of a conference on reuse, remixing, redistribution:

@ The random regifted moose stuff at NV08.

Awesome! So, if you want to participate, bring along something to give away, and you’ll get something you can bring back with you. It can be a piece of conference schwag from an earlier Open Ed conference, or from another conference altogether. Or maybe something from your home institution, something that shows off where you are from. Doesn’t really matter, it’s all in fun, but don’t spend any money on this – the whole point is to reuse what you already have.

And yes, we will have some giveaways too.

Derek Christensen -
And no, this is not just some sort of clever scheme to save money and pull a Tom Sawyer…

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#opened12 sells out

by scott on September 30, 2012

Sometime on Monday or Tuesday last week (the details are still hazy) we reached (actually surpassed) our current maximum capacity for conference registrations – in other words, we sold out! We are still working in the background to deal with some late reg issues for presenters, but expect the conference to be well attended and to meet lots of friends and collegues both old and new.

Speaking of which, I thought it would be interesting to create a map of where people are coming from to the conference. I’ll write up the process over on my own personal blog, but it was mostly automagic thanks to the folks at Google and the wizardry of Tony Hirst (who we are lucky to have lured over to this year’s conference, and hopefully will be helping out with various remix/mashup activities planned throughout.)

There are still a couple to come, but nice to see all the continents sending at least one attendee ;-)

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September 20 – Accomodation Update

by scott on September 20, 2012

We’re only about 3 weeks out from the conference; the original deadline for the conference rates we negotiated ended September 15, however we went back to the hotels and asked them for extensions on these rates to make sure everyone was able to get a room at the best price possible. So the conference rates are as follows:

Hotel Name Extension Date
LeSoleil Granted until Oct. 5 at $149/night
Rosedale Granted until Oct. 5 at $129/night
Fairmont No rooms left at $189.00, will do Deluxe rooms @ 219.00
Metropolitan Granted until Sept. 28 at $155/night, and will revisit on this day for further extension

Good luck, and look forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

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UPDATE: As of 3:00PM PDT I was informed the registration system is back up. Apologies for any inconvenience, pease do let me know if you experience any other problems. – SWL

As of the evening of Wednesday September 12 we were made aware of an intermittent but ongoing issue with the servers at Simon Fraser University that power the online registration system. We are working to have this fixed as quickly as possible. Please check back here for updates. Scott Leslie

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Some important Deadlines fast Approaching

by scott on September 12, 2012

Just wanted to note that the deadline for early bird reg closes on Saturday the 15th, and the rates we have negotiated with the hotels will also end as of Friday September 14th, so if you haven’t registered you should, and if you have but haven’t booked your accomodation, you also should! See you all next month, Scott

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Open Ed isn’t aligned with any single platform or technology – there are hundreds of ways people are finding to share what they learn and build communities of learners online. However, one platform that does have a special place in some of our “fast, cheap and out of control” hearts is WordPress (even this conference site is built on it!)

So it was with great pleasure that I learned last week that WordCamp Vancouver is being held the weekend before Open Ed, Saturday, October 13, followed the next two days by the first ever BuddyCamp, a wordcamp-style event to explore the use of buddypress to add social dimensions to blog communities and the WordPress platform.

If you are coming to Vancouver for Open Ed, there’s never been a better time to sharpen your WordPress/Buddypress skills!

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The first time we ran Open Ed in Vancouver, in 2009, we tried hard to think of a way to let conference attendees experience some of what makes Vancouver so special with a BBQ on the beach in Stanley Park.

This year, we wanted to go “beyond” (hardy har) so we’re stepping off the beach and onto the water!

On Wednesday night, immediately following the end of the day’s regular proceedings, we’ve arranged for buses to take the first 200 registrants to the Plaza of Nations, where they will board the  140 foot “Queen of Diamonds” for an evening of cruising, fine dining, engaging conversation (and possibly secret musical guests!)

But you read that right – the cruise is limited to a capacity of 200 people, and the only way to make sure you’ll get on board is to register now! There is no extra charge for regular participants to come on board ($35 for a guest ticket if you wish to bring someone else along) but we’re pretty sure we’ll fill up fast and that it will be a blast,

“So join us here [this] week my friends,  You’re sure to get a smile…”

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What the heck is a Remixathon anyways?

by scott on September 4, 2012

Every year at Open Ed we try out some new ideas to tweak the conventional conference format. For instance last year we saw the Open Science Fair offering a chance for folks working on OER in science education to show off their stuff.

This year we’ve actually got two new things we’re trying out, a “Pitch Fest” (more soon) and a “Remixathon.” The Remixathon was born partly out of what seems like an unfulfilled promise of OER – that the open licenses allow for remixing, yet evidence that remixing actually takes places seems scant.

Given that Open Ed represents some of the lead practitioners in the field coming together, we thought it would be a perfect chance to test the theory out in practice. The Call For Action (closing September 15) invites people to submit OER work for the opportunity to be remixed.

Our current plan is to accept pretty much everything that is submitted and allow remixers themselves to chose what is most compelling to them. On October 15th, the day before the conference, we will be hosting an hour-long virtual session on SCOPE where remixathon proponents can pitch their works to both conference attendees and virtual participants. Participants will then have the next three days to produce a remix of any of these works, the winner (as judged by a top secret panel of as yet to be selected judges!) receiving the adoration of the Open Ed community, the accolades of thousands (ok, maybe hundreds) of educators everywhere, and possibly a prize. How can you resist?

There are two weeks left to submit a resource for remixing, and if you are not going to be able to attend Open Ed in person, this represents another of the many opportunities we are trying to provide to still participate at a distance.

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