Next Steps for Open Learning Ireland

This post was originally posted at the Open Learning Ireland Google Group on September 19th, 2012.

The most recent OLI event in Exchange Dublin, June 2012.

Some background: OLI is a non-profit education group set up in 2011 to work towards creating a new free (as in beer), open (as in source) education institution in Dublin. An all age space where anyone can come to learn or teach any set of skills, and where members of the public can access the tools, journals, technology and library resources ordinarily available only within academia or subscription based maker workshops / hack labs. You can read about one of our previous events here, or check out the lecture which kicked off the idea on youtube. See our plan below (which also serves as a handy list of folks doing interesting stuff with education in ireland right now).

Andrew Edgar, of Gamepak Collective, at the last OLI event in Exchange Dublin.


Niamh Farren from AONTAS (the Irish adult education charity) was kind enough to meet with me last month, to talk about possibly working together with Open Learning Ireland in the future.

AONTAS have agreed to look into getting access to a NAMA building or similar for running a pop-up Learn Something; Share Something; Do Something week in February next year, to co-incide (or lead up to) AONTAS’s Learning Festival (Feb 25th – 28th).

Basically, we need to figure out the logistics for this: What kind of building or space we’ll need, what equipment we’ll need, what costs are likely to incur. Source folks to lead workshops that will fill a week of time, and get cracking on promoting the event once we have the details nailed down. This is an amazing opportunity to build on what we’ve already done with our three previous pop-up weekend events, and to build interest in the idea of a more permanent open access learning institution in Dublin city.

Ideas for groups to collaborate with:

Sharing Ireland – David Collins – and

Samual Bishop – who organised last years Gluaiseacht Skillshare Festival

Dublin Skill Share
Mutant Space (who run an indie performers festival and performance skill share group)

Transcolonia (who’ve helped source buildings for other projects in the past)

Science Gallery Make Shop – run by Nora O’Murchu
Science Gallery ignite talks – run by Shaun O’Boyle

TOG Dublin Hackerspace

Exchange Dublin’s Language Exchange / Exchange Words (if the new writing group is off the ground by then)

Dublin Intellectual

Chocolate Factory Dublin (especially roof gardening folks)

Near FM (may teach radio workshops, and even lend laptops)

Knowledge Exchange (roster of speakers who might be interested in repeating talks or expanding into workshops)

Hedge School Dublin (who teach kids app development – ran an event at NCAD last year)

Other arts festivals – e.g.: Ranelagh arts festival / Shakefest / Knockanstockan

Innovation Dublin Festival

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Recyclism Hacklab

Saor Ollscoil (Dublin Free University)

Upstart Collective

Gamepak Collective

Thinking big – could we try to find funding to bring over folks from further afield? i.e.: Noisebridge, Bike Kitchen

Ideas for workshops:

Guerilla Knitting
Guerilla Gardening
Digital Music
Photoshop / Final Cut / Audition
Creative Writing
Radio Recording / Editing / Production workshops
Hardware Hacking / Software Design
Comedy / script writing
Journal Access – how to read a science journal article
Making the most of free learning resources – udacity, kahn academy, instructables etc
Fill in yours here!

In closing, I think this is an opportunity for us to open up the Open Learning Ireland idea to a much wider constituency, and work with other groups in a more collaborative and inclusive way (now that we have enough time to plan doing do properly). Lets get to work! Hop on board the discussion either at the OLI Google Group or Facebook Group.

Seb Dooris at the last OLI event in Exchange Dublin in June 2012.


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