Open Apereo 21 Plenaries - The Complete Guide

Open Apereo 21 is more than “just another online conference”. We’re setting out to provide as much additional value as possible for participants. To that end, key conference sessions have associated resources to help prepare participants and stimulate conversations. We hope they help you get the most out of the event.

Open Apereo 21 features five exciting plenary sessions on issues facing technology in higher education. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Longsight, Learning Experiences, Entornos de Formación S.L and Blindside Networks, we’re making these plenaries available openly on the web as they happen at

Monday 7th June 1100 - 1140 US Eastern
Open Education on a Post-Pandemic Planet
Melissa Highton - Assistant Principal for Online Learning at The University of Edinburgh

As we try to predict what the future may hold there are a few things we still know to be true. Open educational resources, open source software and open access digital tools offer our last, best hope for equity and inclusion. Education must not be dependent on digital platforms controlled by private companies and large educational institutions must show their support  for open sharing, collaboration and assurance of accessibility for all our audiences. As well as  deep reflection on our purchasing decisions and the skills in our edtech teams we must ensure ‘open literacy’ within the curriculum and within pedagogical training. As we struggle against the denial of scientific knowledge, actively fight misinformation, attempt to decolonise and care for our planet, there is much to be done. Melissa will bring stories from Scotland on how universities are rising to these challenges and bringing their own leadership to the table.

Monday June 7th 1230 - 1300 US Eastern
A Higher Education Innovation and Sustainability Journey in Times of Pandemic. Apereo Incubation - Where We’ve Been, and Where We Have to Go
Benito Gonzalez, Unicon, Dede Hourican, Marist College, Sam Lee Pan, University of Cape Town, Ian Dolphin, Apereo 

Have a software innovation you would like to take to a sustainable level? Considering open source? Higher Education has been driven to innovate in response to the pandemic. That innovation has taken many forms, including software innovation. How can that innovation be sustained? The Apereo incubation process has graduated eight open source software communities over the last six years. Come and learn more about how the process helps develop open source software sustainability. Participants will include Apereo incubation mentors and the communities that have graduated incubation. Above all, come and participate in the conversation about where we go from here.

Tuesday June 8th 1100 - 1140 US Eastern, 1600 UK, 1700 ZA
ALT & Apereo Screenside Chat. Ethics & Learning Technology. Perspectives from the Pandemic
Bella Abrams, ALT Ethics Working Group, Director of Information Technology, University of Sheffield, UK, Paul Prinsloo, UNISA, ZA, Dr Charles Severance, University of Michigan, US 

The urgent need to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown issues surrounding the ethical use of learning technology into sharp relief. Have institutions made trade-offs between rapid response and privacy concerns? Does what often appears to be surveillance technology compromise the trust of students? Can we reach for an overarching ethical framework to help inform decision-making? This flipped panel will highlight issues - and responses - across higher education in the last year, including work on learner privacy, and the Association of Learning Technology’s work on an ethical framework for the use of Learning Technology.

Wednesday June 9th 1000 - 1030 US Eastern
Open Source Program Offices in Higher Education: The Johns Hopkins Story
Sayeed Choudhury, Johns Hopkins University 

Johns Hopkins University has launched the first university-based open source programs office (OSPO) in the US. The OSPO is adapting practices from the corporate sector and the associated TODO group to the university context with the goal of treating open source software as a primary research object. Working with other units throughout the university, the OSPO is working toward an inventory of open source software, the development of practices and policies, and implementing a Free and Open Source (FOSS) Contributor Fund. The OSPO provides support for an Institute for Applied Open Source that is extending open source software into educational areas through semesters of code and broader community engagement and new forms of translation.

Wednesday June 9th, 1100 -1140 US Eastern
Screenside Chat: Pandemic, Inclusion and Open Source in Education: Assessing the Impact, Charting a Course
Deb Bryant, Red Hat, Anne-Marie Scott, Apereo, Lucy Appert, NYU 

Open source software and open approaches have been a key element of pandemic response for many educational institutions, yet some still focus on commercial-proprietary solutions. How should open source communities respond? How do we amplify the lessons of open source and other practice in education? What are the emerging lessons of open practice for what's being called the 'next normal'?