I had the great opportunity to represent the OER UCT project at the recentGeekRetreat held in the beautiful Stanford Valley.  The retreat was an opportunity to network with some of South Africa’s great thinkers and key players in the tech industry.  Venture capitalists, software programmers, entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, and management types all gathered around the weekend’s main theme, How to make South African online education better.

The schedule was quiet informal and participants signed up for skill shares, talking heads, and presentations as the weekend progressed.  I managed to garner some great feedback and curiosity about the OER UCT project through a talking head session.  The developers were able to give me excellent advice around optimizing the discoverability of the site and its associated content.  The social media gurus were able to offer advice on attracting and maintaining users in the system.  The management folks were able to advise me on institutionalizing the creation of OER.  The educators were able to present their concerns and reservations, which is usually the most valuable information I get!  I hope to continue engaging with a number of the participants as we launch next month.

I was particularly interested in the development of the P2P University which is about to launch a new set of courses on their exciting new website which launches February 1st.  P2PU, now referred to as the “social wrapper” for open educational resources, have a unique approach and I am looking forward to the new ‘semester’ and the research surrounding the successes and challenges.  P2PU is open to people moderating courses, so if you have an interest in online education and social learning via the internet you shouldmake contact with them.

Without a doubt there were some excellent conversations started over the weekend which have the potential to lead to remarkable interdisciplinary projects.  What shone most brightly was the enthusiasm shared amongst the group in pushing the boundaries of traditional education.

Thanks to the event organizers and sponsers specifically Old Mutual, Yola,Seacom, IS, Skyrove, Orca, econsultancy, Jackie Scala, White Wall Web, and the Birkenhead Brewery for the great tour!

Stanford Valley Geek Retreat 094

OER UCT on Retreat

CC BY 4.0 OER UCT on Retreat by Michael Paskevicius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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