My 5th OER conference is in the books! I’m just getting back to my desk after taking the weekend to reflect and think through the experience of OER24 this year and I’m so grateful for the entire trip. From coffee shops, trips to see the Titanic’s final port of call, seeing family, catching up with colleagues, and most of all experiencing all the goodness that OER brings to the EdTech world each year.

Preparing for the Conference

Surprisingly enough I found out I was heading to Cork back in November. In fact it was the day after my wedding! I remember chuckling to my husband over brunch that a conference proposal was submitted while we were dancing the night away.

Jim, Maren, and I planned to create a presentation about our EdTech offerings, and professional development, and talk through some of our new product offerings! We ultimately decided to record a full version of the presentation as we all wouldn’t be able to make it in person. This honestly turned out great! There wasn’t an option to watch any of the individual presentations virtually so we were able to share this along with the slides as a way to incorporate a virtual option.

Pre-conference Festivities

After meeting my parents in Dublin (they just so happened to be in Europe at the same time attending a travel agency conference!) we were off to explore the city! It was a short and sweet visit as we were off to see family the next day, but it was the perfect chance to fight some jetlag. We walked the river into the Temple Bar area and explored the streets. And of course, a pint of Guinness was for lunch.

Next, we went to see some family in Clara (in County Offaly). My dad’s mother’s family immigrated to the US and it is always so special to see where they came from. The last time I saw them was in 2016 so I don’t entirely remember so much about the trip and the visit with them in general.

After the stop in Clara, we were off to Cork! We spent the next 2 days walking through the city center and exploring Cobh (pronounced Cove), indulging in some coffee, whiskey, shopping, and even some nautical history! Cobh (or Queenstown for the Brits) was the final port of call for the Titanic on April 11, 1912, before meeting its inevitable iceberg on April 15, 1912. We took in the sights at the riverfront in Cork and the striking cathedral in Cobh that overlooks the beautiful waterside and colorful houses. Then I found a Whiskey tasting at a local bar, where the host holds the Guinness World Record for making the most Irish Coffees in three minutes. We definitely decided to bring some Whiskey back with us!

As folks were arriving for the conference, I spent the day before catching up with Maren and Anne-Marie over sushi and artwork!

OER24 Events

Day 1

Day 1 was off to a great success. Dr Rajiv Jhangiani‘s keynote was fantastic, creating a base for the themes surrounding OER at a crossroads.

Then, Maren and I were up next! We started things off in the very first session of the individual presentations on the Innovative Pedagogies And Creative Education track. And we had a blast! It was my first presentation with Maren and I think we make a good team 🙂

I was glad to have the presentation finished as that meant we could really focus on the other presentations happening with the other attendees. I caught up on podcasting with Maren and Martin, creating conversation starters and stepping away from the screen through audio formats. There’s A school creating a practical MOOC through a cooking class, too! It’s taught in a virtual format using Atem Minis and H5P for production.

With Gasta sessions ending the day I left the first day inspired and excited to see what was next. Tom Farrelly facilitates 5-minute presentations in such a charismatic manner that you can’t help but stay engaged.

Day 2

Day 2 arrived too quickly! We started the day with an amazingly thought-provoking keynote with Dr Catherine Cronin and Professor Laura Czerniewicz. They spoke on their recent book Higher Education For Good: Teaching and Learning Futures which sparked a lot of awareness around key issues we’re facing in our community as a whole over the last few years from 2015 to now. Their slide picture below brings up a lot of ideas and things I’ve been thinking about over the last few months too.

Then Martin Weller spoke on his 30 years of Ed Tech experience and where he’s heading as he’s preparing for retirement. I had the pleasure of spending some time with him over the conference and I’ve been inspired by his work over my short career as well. “Blogging is the way…”

Lunch rolled around and Maren and I found ourselves having our own hallway chat in the form of a stream! Jim was able to join us virtually for just a bit along with many members attending the conference to share some of the ideas that stuck out to us the most over the conference itself. We got talking and realized we’d completely missed lunch! The stream really captures our thoughts in the moment and it’s worth a watch (my blog post doesn’t cover it enough).

We ended up finding a quiet place in the main arena space to keep chatting. We sat with Alan Levine talking through radio streaming and Bryan Mathers about upside-down presentation formats.

And we wrapped up the conference with the Day 2 Gasta sessions once again and celebrated the accomplishments of Martin.


If you’ve taken the time to read this far, I’ve got some reflections! OER24 was by far one of the most inspiring conferences where I’ve been a delegate, to date. I am always inspired by the community projects, classes, and research everyone is working through, some mentioned in the conference program above.

I was facing a bit of burnout throughout the winter, feeling knee-deep in my to-do list really focusing on what needed to happen to keep going, and haven’t had a chance to really step back to set new goals and projects for my professional career.

While I’m feeling a little bit of burnout, I’m also feeling rooted in my position at Reclaim. I’ve been with the company for 7 years, on to my 8th year and I’ve seen how much the company’s grown and changed over the years. We’ve really focused on building the capacity as a team to scale to new growth through ReclaimPress and ReclaimEDU with Cloud Infrastructure. We’ve grown from a 4-person team to 11 people and we’re not slowing down! We even built a Slack back channel to share our experiences on the ground for OER24 to allow the team to follow along. It also served as a great way to take notes throughout the conference.

OER24 was just what I needed to remember why I work at Reclaim. To help members of the Open Education community create their projects in an open format, in an affordable way, all while teaching to build capacity. To encourage folks to share their stories and even find ways to bring that into Reclaim. I have a list of folks to follow up with to bring into our live streams, or even Reclaim Case Studies.

So I’m back in the US, with a lot of gratitude, inspiration, and excitement to see where we go in 2024! Gasta!

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.