Last week I was invited to speak at the International Open Science Conference in Berlin which this year had a special focus on OER. My talk featured a case study of the University of Edinburgh’s Geosicence Outreach and Engagement Course so I’d like to thank Colin Graham and all those involved in the course for allowing me to present their inspirational work.
This talk focuses on the interface between OER, open data and open science and our experience at the University of Edinburgh of promoting open education through the School of GeoSciences Outreach and Engagement course.
The title of this paper, “Crossing the field boundaries”, comes not from the domain of GeoScicences though, but from Maryam Mirzakhani, professor of mathematics at Stanford University and the first female winner of the Fields Medal. In a 2014 interview Maryam said
“I like crossing the imaginary boundaries people set up between different fields—it’s very refreshing. There are lots of tools, and you don’t know which one would work. It’s about being optimistic and trying to connect things.”
A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces, Quanta Magazine, August 2014
I am not a mathematician, or a scientist, but I do have some experience of crossing field boundaries, and since open education is all about breaking down boundaries and cutting across fields, this seems like a nice metaphor to hang this talk on. Continue reading