My journey in open education unexpectedly started with open-source software. As an English language instructor in a small private language school, I wanted to help my students who didn’t always have access to certain technology. I worked with the school to source some inexpensive USB thumb drives on which I had the students install relevant open-source software that could be run directly from the USB drive. I also used those drives to copy multimedia files for students who couldn’t attend class on certain days. Later, I was introduced to open textbooks and OER, which made it easier for my students and me to gain access to the materials without needing to pay out of pocket.
Fast-forward to today where I am learning once again, this time in the first cohort of students taking the Professional Program in Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). This week, we were asked to write out our own definition of open education. Before I started taking the program, I would have said that open education is all about things being freely available and adaptable. As we have been reading about and discussing these past two weeks, I realize how much more it is than that. It is hard to pin down precisely what is open education. As stated by Peter and Deimann (2013):