Viv talks about open education at the Queen’s visit to De Montfort University.

I was delighted to be able to bag a spot to talk about OPEN EDUCATION as part of De Montfort University’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit! This was on Thursday 8th of March and it was quite a challenge being usually accustomed for talking for at least 50 minutes to have to cram everything into just 3 minutes!

open education lecture

Image: Viv giving it some on speaker’s corner for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit! Creative Commons BY SA.


Speed was of the essence but I successfully talked about OPEN EDUCATION and how it started, and how it is now spreading around the globe, as academic institutions are opening their doors and sharing their learning materials. I said that the key to opening the doors was the Creative Commons open licence, and explained to the audience of students, staff and visitors, to look out for the CC LOGO on the internet.

I spoke about our THREE OPEN EDUCATION PROJECTS – VAL (Virtual Analytical Laboratory) which started way back in 2008. SCOOTER – this current website – which started in 2009 to support sickle cell education, and this year, our new project HALS OER (Health and Life Science Open Educational Resources) which is releasing all sorts of life science learning materials from biomedical science, to forensic science to midwifery.

In my talk I mentioned my favourite email ever received – from a trash collector in the USA who had visited VAL and looked at our microscope videos and animations. He said he always wanted to know how a microscope worked, and thanked us for the resources. I finished my talk with perhaps our greatest open educational resource of all time – Frank Livingstone’s book on the genetics of haemoglobinopathies. I am so grateful for his daughter Amy to have given us permission to release this book – it is a great endorsement of the OPEN EDUCATION movement and what it represents.

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