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Jim Groom to speak at OER16

If you needed an incentive to submit a proposal for OER16 how about the chance to see Jim Groom. Jim will be presenting as one of the conference keynotes and invited talks on the topic ‘Can we imagine tech Infrastructure as an Open Educational Resource? Or, Clouds, Containers, and APIs, Oh My!‘. If you are unfamiliar with Jim’s work his full bio is below.  Jim isn’t the only keynote and invited talk we’ve secured for OER16 … in fact all these have been confirmed and we’ll be revealing who is joining Jim over the next couple of weeks.

Jim Groom


Jim Groom is the co-founder of Reclaim Hosting, an independent web hosting company focused on the higher education community. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

He has been working for over twenty years in higher education with a consistent focus on the development of teaching and learning in higher education. In addition to extensive experience teaching at the college level, for the past ten years her has worked primarily in the field of instructional technology (see work experience).

His experience as an instructor coupled with extensive collaborations with faculty and students with a specific focus on curricula, pedagogical and technologically enhanced projects has informed much of the innovative work he’s been a part of in the field of instructional technology over the last decade.

He has been part of a number of exciting projects at the University of Mary Washington. In 2006 he started the web-based educational publishing platform ELS Blogs for the English Linguistics and Speech department at UMW. This pilot project led to the development of UMW Blogs in 2007 which has since become an enterprise level academic publishing platform. In 2008 the madness that was EDUPUNK was attributed to a series of posts he wrote on his personal blog.

In 2010 he re-imagined the Computer Science 106 course on Digital Storytelling at UMW as an open, online community referred to as ds106—an experiment in teaching and learning on the web that is still going strong and has been celebrated internationally as a compelling community-based approach to online learning. Additionally, he also helped spearhead an initiative at the University of Mary Washington called A Domain of One’s Own that, starting in Fall 2013, provided all incoming Freshman their own domain and web hosting account.

Finally, I write regularly about my work as an instructional technologist–in addition to several other interests of mine such as film, literature, and media of all kinds–on my home away from home:


Can we imagine tech Infrastructure as an Open Educational Resource? Or, Clouds, Containers, and APIs, Oh My!

We often frame OERs, open, shareable educational resources, in relationship to content, but rarely in relationship to shared technical infrastructure. How would our conception of OERs expand if we could easily and efficiently create and share applications across institutions? What if we focused more on small, focused, re-usable software as reflective of specific cultures rather than large, institutional repositories as monolithic solutions? What if we worked towards a collaborative infrastructure for open educational resources that was always framed and scaled at the level of the individual, not unlike the web. With the shift in web infrastructure to the cloud, and the advent of APIs and containers, we may be entering a moment wherein the open culture of networks, rather than pre-defined educational content, is representative of the future of OER culture. How might the agile contours of a burgeoning network of distributed and collaborative edtech be the key to sustainable future for open educational resources? Well, come to this talk and find out….maybe.

[Image credit: CC-BY-SA-NC mikhailgershovich]

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