This event took place in December 2019. You can view video recordings, notes and slides from the sessions here.

David Porter

Charting a Course Towards Open Innovation:
Open resources, open practices, communities of innovation

Dr. David Porter is the CEO of eCampusOntario, the primary face of the Ontario Online Learning Consortium (OOLC), a not-for-profit corporation whose membership is composed of all 45 publicly funded colleges and universities in Ontario, Canada.

David is a long-time advocate for the benefits of adapting new technology to deliver educational opportunities, and has been involved in open and distance learning since the 1990s, at both the K-12 and higher education levels.

David was formerly Associate VP Educational Support and Innovation at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Prior to that appointment, David was the Executive Director of BCcampus. During his term at BCcampus, David and his team engineered Canada’s first government funded open textbook program, a leading-edge development in higher education in 2012.

David has also worked as a project leader and consultant for international open and distance learning initiatives, including projects in Mongolia, Vietnam, and India. In 2018, he was awarded the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Leadership Award. On October 9, 2019, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British
Columbia, Canada.


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Cheryl Brown

Open textbooks:
What’s stopping us and why we need them.

Dr. Cheryl Brown is an Associate Professor in e-learning in the School of Educational Studies and Leadership at the University of Canterbury and co-Director of the e-learning Lab. She has worked in the higher education sector for the past 20 years in South Africa, Australia, and now New Zealand.

In the past few years, she has explored more closely the role technological devices (for example, cell phones and laptops) play in students’ learning and in the development of students’ digital literacy practices.

She is involved in a global Commonwealth of Learning project on Digital Education Leadership and is passionate about developing a healthy and critical awareness of both the opportunities and challenges of living and learning in a digital world.


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Oonagh McGirr

Social justice education matters:
A reflection on the promise and possibility of inclusive tertiary education

Oonagh McGirr is the Deputy Chief Executive for Learning and Teaching Services at Otago Polytechnic. Oonagh has considerable experience in strategic leadership for international tertiary education. She has worked in international tertiary education for nearly three decades in both public and private sector. She has established and led learning and teaching development, led on education strategy for multi-partner entities, devised, implemented and delivered staff development and upskilling programmes for higher education practice, and led on institutional Teaching and Learning accreditation and recognition.

She has led foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Modern Languages, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, Education and Research in multidisciplinary settings at new and legacy tertiary education institutes in the UK, Europe the Middle East. Her research interests are the investigation of teacher identity in practice in higher education and the development of sustainable CPD frameworks for HE practitioners.


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