INTRODUCTIONS: Please introduce yourself to the OER4Covid community

Welcome to our global OER4Covid support community. Please take a moment to introduce yourself. Consider including:

  • Your reasons for joining the group
  • What you can contribute to our collective efforts.

Hi everyone, my name is Wayne Mackintosh and I’m the Managing Director at the OER Foundation which coordinates the OERu international network. We assemble open online courses based entirely on OER which learners can take for formal academic credit. I’m also New Zealand’s UNESCO / ICDE Chair in OER.

  • I joined the OER4Covid group because I would like to collaborate on shared solutions using OER to help ensure continuity of learning for institutions navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • I hope to share open online courses you can reuse locally and gift time to share experiences and facilitate capacity building workshops.

Look forward to meeting you online!


Kia ora, all!

I’m Dave Lane, the Open Source Technologies at the OER Foundation. My job is setting up all of our technology (it’s all open source!) for educators and learners, including this forum. We’ve just published a description of our time-tested “working from home” toolset (we’ve always “worked from home”, so since long before the current crisis and lockdown).

I’m looking forward to working with this community to find solutions to both our urgent and important longer term problems!

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Hi Wayne,

I, Diarmuid Ó Briain, am a lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Electronics department, Institute of Technology Carlow (ITCarlow), Ireland. I am relatively new to lecturing in some ways, I left industry as a Telecommunications Engineer in 2015, after 30 years, to explore East Africa. While based in Uganda I was the operations manager for the Uganda Internet eXchange Point (UIXP) and I lectured in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Design, Art & Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University (I had previously lectured part-time in the Lifelong Learning department in IT Carlow and was a tutor at the Free Technology Academy (FTA)).

I switched to GNU/Linux in 1998 after the blue screens of death fiasco that was Windows 98 and have never looked back. At a LightningTalk I delivered on a piece of research I had worked on, I mentioned that I couldn’t use Nvivo as they didn’t have a version compiled for an ethical operating system, so instead I used R and RQDA() to analyse my qualitative data. Afterwards I was approached by a fellow lecturer who had attended an OERu meeting in Dublin some time ago. It did feel like he was happy to offload the baton to me somehow, as our institute is a Microsoft house, Office365, Teams, etc…

As to what I can contribute to your collective efforts, I have no idea, keep the small seed of ethical software and opensource smouldering in a Microsoft house perhaps? Any ideas?


Greetings from New Zealand Diarmuid!

We’re just gearing up and getting ready for the global launch of the OER4Covid initiative tomorrow. We’re scurrying in the spirit of releasing “early and frequently” to tidy up a few rough edges on the site - but thanks for reaching out and introducing yourself :-). Wow - that was fast.

We have lots of FOSS goodness planned to support education institutions around the world as they navigate COVID-19.

PS - Re working in a 365 shop - We provide an ethical space to experiment with sustainable alternatives. We’re a low risk, low cost, but high impact innovation space. Welcome aboard!

Watch this space!

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Hello everyone,
I am Sanjaya Mishra, Education Specialist, eLearning at Commonwealth of Learning. I am facilitating the OER4Covid initiative on behalf of the COL in partnership with OERF. We are thankful to IIET, Moscow and ICDE for joining this initiative, as well. We believe that collaboration is the only way forward during this unprecedented times.

I look forward to strong support from the community to keep the “door of learning open” for all.

regards, Sanjaya


Hi @smishra

Sanjaya - I extend warm greetings and welcome from New Zealand!

COL’s leadership and support for the implementation of the OER4Covid initiative will be key to our collective success.

Indeed - working together, we can respond to this crisis more effectively than if we each work alone.

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Hi Wayne
i am tony cairns
i am interested in simulating and modelling COVID 19 here in NZ if only to find out when we can meet face to face with our students again
cheers tony cairns

Hi Tony,

Excellent question - to be honest, this is way out of my area of expertise but we can reach out to our network to see if we can find appropriate experts to cast more light on finding answers.

Hello, Dan McGuire from Minnesota. I will contribute elementary K12 science courses that run in Moodle. The content already exists as Google docs embedded in Moodle courses that are hosted here The content was designed to be printed out and used in Face 2 Face because when we curated the courses most K12 schools wanted to be able to easily print out content or use in Google docs.

I’m working to get the courses revised to use the features of Moodle. Let me know if anyone has time to assist.

Hi Dan,

Thank you for your very generous offer and donation of open content - I’m sure the need will be great in the K12 school area. I visited the Moodle course site and was not able to confirm the copyright license used for these materials. Could you please point me to the copyright page for these resources?

As you know - the OERF and OERu are committed to open source technologies as a matter of principle and it is refreshing to see projects utilising open editable formats for content.

Welcome aboard!

I’m Valerie Taylor. I “teach” (facilitate) online courses for a college 2000 miles from where I live. I have been an OER creator / user for many years. I am particularly interested in K-8 education - using technology to support learning both in the classroom and outside. I followed the Global Learning XPrize and would like to see these initiatives extended beyond those directly participating in the competition.

I never imagined that we would have an opportunity like the present Covid-19 situation to see first hand how OERs and remote learning would be adopted worldwide in just a few short weeks. Educators are having to ramp up their remote support for their learners with little or no preparation or prior experience. We are here to help.

As always, Wayne is at the forefront of addressing opportunities to extend the OER community to meet educational needs worldwide. I’m not sure at this point how we can help. What ever it is, it will be interesting and important. Thanks!

Hiya everyone. I’m Stephen Downes and I’m a senior researcher with the National Research Council of Canada specializing in learning technology and new instructional media. You can find out all about me and access my resources at

I am coordinating our research group’s e-learning response to the Covid pandemic and an focused on this for at least the next two months, so I have organizational support to offer my assistance in this community response. I’ve already posted support material and an activity calendar and been involved in a number of related activities. Follow the link on my website.

I’m pretty good with technology and can help with online services. I have a long history in offering learning online and am available for consultations and webinars. I also have program and project management experience so I can help set priorities and talk to management types. I’m familiar with college and university administration (sat on two boards) and with government policies and procedures.



My name is David Smith. I am an academic librarian for Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. I have been working with faculty for the past few years to increase awareness and use of OER. I just completed the Creative Commons certification course (awaiting final grade). I am hoping to get more faculty to move from adoption to adaption, republishing, and creating OER. I’d also like to pull in more faculty in general.


There’s supposed to be a copyright notice at the bottom of each page or item like this :
Creative Commons LicenseThis page from Science 3 by MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Some resources that have not been modified may retain a CC BY .

There are no doubt pages that have been missed. The courses that I’m making that use Moodle activities rather than Google docs will have a similar notice on the front page of the course.

Hello everyone,
I’m Jennifer Englund, an instructional designer in higher education [in the US]. I’m also working on my PhD which focuses on the role of instructional designers in open education.

I’m versed in course design [anywhere on the open <->closed spectrum, open licensing [through the CC Certification program], and OER/OEP.

Happy to contribute towards the use, reuse, etc of open materials in courses in any way I can, and looking forward to connecting with others.

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Hello my name is Jeanne Williams. I have worked in higher education in the US for 20 plus years in the area of instructional design and curriculum development.

My master’s degree is in Adult Education from Penn State University where I worked on Penn State’s early work that was funded by AT&T called the Innovations in Distance Education (IDE) project from 1995-1998. This project led to Penn State’s development of the World Campus.

I am looking forward to contributing to any course design and curriculum development initiatives and I look forward to meeting others from across the world.

Hi @vtaylor

Great to see you here and welcome. OER provides us with more flexibility for meaningful cooperation during the crisis, which will hopefully continue into the future.

Thanks for joining our support group and its guaranteed to be interesting!

Kia ora @Downes

Welcome to our OER4Covid support group.

Thanks for your very generous offer to provide consultations and webinars. Overnight I received confirmation from a funder to establish a dedicated BigBlueButton web-conferencing server for the OER4Covid initiative. You would be most welcome to use this facility for web consultations. Given that we are aiming to help organisations in the developing world - we did not want to generate dependencies on proprietary services which organisations would not be able to afford when the “free” offers for covid expire.

I’m also thinking that a needs survey may be useful to help us prioritize activities. Your extensive research experience would be invaluable in helping us on this front.

Hi everyone
I am Hennie Esterhuizen, currently senior research analyst at Information Technology, at the North West University in South Africa. I am due for retirement this year. Previously I was with the Unit for Open Distance Learning at NWU.
I would like to lurk around discussions, developing trends and solutions in emerging transitions to open learning amidst the Civid-19 educational responses. Many of our students, and their students have very limited financial and technological resources, and inadequate digital fluency.