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The Global Heart of GO-GN Deb Baff and Kathy Essmiller

The Global Heart of GO_GN

Abstract

Authors : Deb Baff and Kathy Essmiller

‘GO-GN the Global OER Graduate Network, is a network of PhD Candidates around the world whose research projects include a focus on open education. Over two hundred experts, supervisors, mentors and interested parties connect to form a community of practice.’ (Go-GN 2019).

Funded through the OER programme of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and administered by the Open Education Research Hub from the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University, UK, GO-GN has placed values of trust, empathy, responsibility and sharing at the heart of its community.

Tuko Pamoja - We are Together

GO-GN intentionally creates spaces through which community members reflexively engage the “experiential wisdom” of their colleagues (Motta & Bennett, 2018, p. 636).

We are Together

Centered in the shared conviction that ‘We are Together’, community members are attentive to an “ethos of care” as they integrate caring relationships into their study of open education, care-fully participating in its innovative “possible becomings” (Bellacasa, 2011, p. 100).

‘Tuko Pamoja’ denotes a shared sense of purpose and motivation like for us PhD students at GO-GN. It strengthens values like trust, empathy, responsibility, accountability, self acceptance, sharing, unity and wholeness, among others. In a nutshell, it implies an ’empathetic understanding among the members of a group’. This is indeed very typical of us as GO-GNers. ~ Judith Pete

An ethos of care

GO-GN intentionally creates spaces through which community members reflexively engage the “experiential wisdom” of their colleagues (Motta & Bennett, 2018, p. 636). Centered in the shared conviction that ‘We are Together’, community members are attentive to an “ethos of care” as they integrate caring relationships into their study of open education, care-fully participating in its innovative “possible becomings” (Bellacasa, 2011, p. 100).

This presentation will share how involvement with GO-GN Global OER Graduate Network has facilitated a community of care through which development of a friendship network beyond the local system has created an innovative, sustainable open education community.

Diffusions of Innovations Theory states that 'innovators have friendship networks that extend outside of their local system' (Rogers, 2003, p. 67) and play a crucial role in the interpersonal communication that aids diffusion of innovations. These extended friendship networks form “social learning systems” (Rogers, 2003, p. 67) in which those experienced with the innovation can share information with others exploring the information, thus aiding adoption and diffusion of the innovation by communicating knowledge and reducing uncertainty which may impede implementation of novel technologies or ideas (Rogers, 2003). Additionally, interaction with a network beyond the local system provides opportunity to become acquainted with the values and practices of other communities, a comparative experience which can increase understanding of the values and practices of the local system (Crossley & Broadfoot, 1992). Increased understanding of the values of the local system improves 'transfer and contextualization' (Rogers 2003, p. 64) of the innovation, facilitating a re-invention of the innovation through which the innovation is more likely to be sustained.

This session will share how current members perceive coming together in the GO-GN community seeds 'careful recognition of the realities, experiences, histories, and knowledges' of scholars beyond their local system (Motta & Bennett, 2018, p. 635). Examples from GO-GN graduates will demonstrate the sustainability of the community, as community members continue in collaboration beyond the time of their formal membership (Rogers, 2003). Participants in this session will screen a creative digital story highlighting a selection of the experiences of GO-GN community members and discuss key themes which emerge. Pre- and post- session opportunities to engage as a community via FlipGrid and/or a slow Tweet-Chat will also be made available.

Collaborative output published following the session (with the option of participation by conference delegates after the conference) will include the digital story, publication of the FlipGrid contributions (from those who give permission), and a Wakelet collecting the results of the slow Twitter chat.

Resources and References

Resources

A Flipgrid and Wakelet will be made available by way of resource for participants to access along with a Digital Story Video summarising the main themes drawn out from the research.

References

Crossley, M., & Broadfoot, P. (1992). ‘Comparative and international research in education: Scope, problems and potential’, British Educational Research Journal, 18(2), pp. 99-112

de la Bellacasa, M. P. (2011) ‘Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things’, Social Studies of Science, 41(1), pp. 85–106. doi: 10.1177/0306312710380301.

Motta, S.C. and Bennett, A., 2018. Pedagogies of care, care-full epistemological practice and ‘other’caring subjectivities in enabling education. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(5), pp.631-646. DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1465911

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations, Fifth edition. New York: Free Press.

Acknowledgements and Credits

The Global OER Graduate Network (Go_Gn)

Artwork : CC-BY-ND by @bryanMMathers

About the Authors
Debbie Baff (@debbaff) and Kathy Essmiller (@kathyEssmiller) Debbie and Kathy are both proud members of the GO_GN Network. Kathy is studying for a PhD in Educational Technology and Debbie is studying for a PhD in E Research and Technology Enhanced Learning.
Created By
Debbie Baff
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