The One Where I Open My Learning

I am forcing myself to write this first post. I have never been a journaler or notetaker and my grand plan of opening my learning and my work is intimidating. I am more of a listener and a dreamer, and I would much prefer to keep my chaotic creative/learning process hidden away and only show the world the well-developed finished product. This is uncomfortable, but I have learned to lean into discomfort. To sit and search for the discomfort for the inevitable lesson embedded. We learn when we are uncomfortable. The more I have lived this belief, the more [incredible] opportunities present themselves. I have known for a long time that by not writing my thoughts down, I’m losing out on some serious growth opportunities.  

I am a full month into a new role as the Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington. This opportunity found me, and it has been the most incredible experience. I have spent this first month diving into the research on open education and OER; to say this is my dream job is an understatement. Obviously, I had enough of an understanding of open practices and OER to land the role, but now that I have had the chance to absolutely devote myself to the work–wow!  

Open Education is the democratization of learning. Open Educational Resources (OER) are any materials freely available (in the public domain or with a Creative Commons license) to all. Equitable access to high-quality education materials and resources is a basic human right and I plan to use my position as an OER Librarian to move the world a bit closer to this reality.  

Open education is not a new idea, but it is new to the general population. We have only just recently developed vocabulary and discourse that allows us to talk about open education practices as we know it today. Not to mention, technology has only made it possible for OER to go global in recent years. My team and I can develop early expertise on all things open, stay current on the research as it is happening, and make a substantial impact on education. 

This blog is the seed, a first step, for a few different projects that I want to bring to my university. To build and support an open learning culture, I must live it. So, I am starting here. I have no idea what this will look like or turn into–which is exciting! I am OPEN to the possibilities and looking forward to continuing to grow as an open practitioner, learner, and librarian. 

It’s going to get a little messy. 

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