The Open Education Conference’s 20th year is aimed for November 2023 under a theme of “Innovation and Praxis: Building on 20 Years of Community.”

Thus it feels time and fitting to bring this collection of stories of openness back to where it started in 2009, where Amazing Stories of Openness was presented at the Open Education Conference in Vancouver, then in its 6th year.

This session was a pre-recorded presentation for OpenEd 2023.

Still Amazing 14 Years Later, True Stories of Open Sharing
Presented originally at OpenEd 2009, True Stories of Open Sharing returns fourteen years later. This presentation shares “amazing” personal stories of unexpected serendipity enabled by open licensed materials and personal networks.

We start out in our educational careers (~kindergarten) understanding intrinsically the value of sharing. Somewhere between there and graduate school, we lose track of this simple concept, worrying about intellectual property rights or doubting the value of our own work.

In this session we celebrate True (and positive) Stories that happen after open sharing on the web making use of a metaphor of old comic book titles. In various media forms, these stories of something surprising, valuable, powerful, or just plain inspiring happen when that piece of media, that document, that video, that blog post, became valuable to someone they did not know previously. Be amazed, inspired, and then add your own story to an online collection.

The Presentation

It was presented….

A younger version of me was on stage at OpenEd09 in Vancouver (the conference theme was “Crossing the Chasm”), pulling in video stories I had collected displayed on a dynamic 3D wall of media powered by the now dead CoolIris Flash plugin.

OpenEd09 flickr photo by courosa shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

What I thought was a clever fair use of the original magazine cover got me into a little trouble. “Amazing Stories of Openness” got rebranded as True Stories of Open Sharing, but the concept remained the same.

The session description from 2009 still feels timely in 2023 (hence it has not changed much):

While the Open Education movement focuses on institutional issues, a large ocean exists of powerful individual accomplishments simply from tapping into content that is open for sharing and re-use. As colorful as old covers of “Amazing Stories” magazine, this presentation shares moving, personal stories that would not have been previously possible, enabled by open licensed materials and personal networks. Beyond my own tales, others have been culled from the net, and you can share your own.

Amazing Stories of Openness

The original 32 videos remain on the hand coded HTML site. In the years since I moved the site into this SPLOT that allows anyone to add new stories, in various media formats, directly to the collection which includes 128 stories collected through various interventions since 2009.

One More Call

How about adding some more for 2023? Do amazing things still happen as a result of openness in the most general sense? I think so, especially facing the machine powered generative content era that has landed on us.

What’s an Amazing /True Story? There are no rules, and I’d like to think the examples speak for themself. The amazing aspect is not a size measure, it’s the surprise factor that counts. Do you need inspiration? Here are five random ones, look at ones selected by the humble editor, or just browse the entire collection)

Okay, you are ready? Maybe? Just click the button, and share your story.

I’d really like to see any of my original contributors reflect or respond to their original stories, available also as a single video of all stories.