Saturday, October 21, 2017

OER Evangelism

This week we were charged with engaging in OER Evangelism on my campus. Well, I am not a very social person and generally keep to myself and my students. This week I went out of my way to be social! 😊 I made appointments with a number of Senior Lecturers and Management, including our Chief Executive, Gus Gilmore. It was an interesting experience. I interviewed really good people who truly believe in Open Education.

I must admit to a panic attack every time I was on my way to interview a member of the Executive! I felt my heart beat through my ears as I rounded the corner of C Block! But, our Chief Executive, Gus Gilmore, and the Director of External Relations, Stuart Middleton, were charming, helpful, and generous of their time and expertise. Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, our new Deputy Chief Executive Pasifika and former cabinet minister, made the trip to the offices of the Tertiary Teaching Unit, where I work! He was the epitome of kindness.

I even felt nervous interviewing people I know and love dearly! Our Kaiārahi Ako, Luana Te Hire, was no exception. But, what a wonderful and knowledgeable woman, with a huge heart of gold. Dr Clive Cornford, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Consumer Services and Melanie Wong, the Research Coordinator for our faculty, were welcoming and pleasant. We actually chatted far longer than I anticipated! I cannot miss mentioning Jo and Alby, my two workmates, and exceptional people in every way.

I must admit to leaving one interview in a rather emotional state. I was so touched by the things I heard from Stuart Middleton, our Director of External Relations. I wish I could have included the whole interview, but the video would have doubled in length. I had no idea what a pioneer he has been in New Zealand in Open Education. Winning a NZ Media Award, way back in 2002, speaks to the impact he has made on education and in our local community.

Well, I hope someone takes the time to go through my video. It is far from professional, but it comes from the heart. It allows you an insight into the beliefs and practices of a small institution in South Auckland, New Zealand, an area renowned for its mixed ethnic population and low socio-economic status. Needless to say, given the environment in which we live and work, Open Education is seen to be of vital importance.

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