For information about the conference, including Registration information, please visit http://openedconference.org/2013/
Thursday, November 7 • 3:30pm - 3:55pm
A More Open Minnesota - Open Governance, Open Policies, and Affordable Education

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This presentation highlights how by promoting openness in diverse ways from OER, to OA, to MOOCs, to OSS, to Open Governance and Open Innovation, students in universities through their student government organizations can more effectively address their concerns and help improve the functioning of the university. By promoting open policies and greater collaboration we are able to harness students? cognitive surplus and find the common ground needed to address paradoxes.

It is with the collective effort of students, staff members, and administrators that we can help transform education. Without activism however, openness may take longer in reaching a tipping point and fail to maximize the benefits it can bring to society. The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) at the University of Minnesota has emphasized the need for a more Open Minnesota by supporting and advocating for OA, OER and Open Textbooks at the university senate and at the state legislation. Together with other student organizations, GAPSA has also encouraged the use of the open textbook catalog (open.umn.edu) and increased awareness for openness statewide. GAPSA also partnered with the libraries and hosted events during both open education week and open access week, and it hopes to implement more pro-openness policies the upcoming academic year.

Openness is more than the reduction of costs, or the 4Rs (Revise, Remix, Redistribute and Reuse) as openness as a philosophy also encourages cultural changes. As illustrated by Beth Novek and the Obama Administration, and Gavin Newsom in his book Citizenville greater openness can help us to more effectively meet the challenges of the 21st century. In this presentation, we hope to share various ways in which openness can be promoted at a university-level by student groups as well as learn from attendees? feedback.

This year, GAPSA has promoted open governance in multiple ways, from hosting a policy sprint for the drafting a new constitution and bylaws, to developing partnerships with pro-openness organizations such as TEDx and promoting the use of social media to better engage and gauge student concerns, as well as partnering with like-minded student organizations. GAPSA has also worked to provide students with opportunities to increasingly share, discuss, explain their ideas to a wider audience by harnessing the potential of open technologies and crowd-accelerated innovation. GAPSA is also in the process of developing workshops where students can learn how to present their ideas concisely via a video presentations. We believe it is important for students to have the opportunity to share their ideas through the use of emerging technologies and in innovative ways.

This past year, GAPSA also focused in applying civic engagement techniques to address complex challenges. Through its partnership with the Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL) it hosted Finding Common Ground forums, World Cafe, and Open Space Technology (OST) events along with other open governance and integrative leadership events to promote integrative and cooperative decision-making. GAPSA held an OST conversation on E-learning with the Provost and a World Cafe conversation with UMN?s President. GAPSA has also been involved in the evaluation of MOOCs and set aside funds for teaching students how to create MOOCs, as well as encouraging the development of problem-solving MOOCs to develop innovative solutions to problems and harness the potential of crowd-accelerated innovation.

avatar for Alfonso Sintjago

Alfonso Sintjago

IT Fellow - PhD Student, University of Minnesota
My interests include global education, open education, openness, information communication technologies, mobile learning, Latin America and service learning.

Thursday November 7, 2013 3:30pm - 3:55pm

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