Way back in mid-March, we closed our office as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19, and since then I have been planning (and planning and planning) to write about Pressbooks and the ways open digital technologies, open content, and open practices can be part of a resilience strategy in the face of upheavals like
We’re adding yet another perk to PressbooksEDU networks: a discussion space in our Pressbooks Community specifically for network managers of EDU hosted networks. All current and future PressbooksEDU network managers will be invited to connect, interact, and share ideas with others in similar roles in this forum.
Our decision to create this new community space for network managers is a direct result of the ongoing listening tour that our new Educational Client Manager, Steel Wagstaff, has been conducting with PressbooksEDU clients since joining us six months ago. Over that time, he’s spoken with colleagues at dozens of universities to better understand how Pressbooks fits in with their publishing and OER production programs and how we can best serve our clients’ needs. Many of the librarians, instructional designers, support staff, and faculty who are leading grass-roots OER initiatives or more formal publishing programs said that they would benefit from more opportunities to share their experiences and connect with peers engaged in similar work.
Pressbooks has for years hosted a public forum for our open source community and we will continue to do so. We are not envisioning any changes to this public forum, which functions as a place for open source Pressbooks users to ask questions (usually related to code or other explicitly technical concerns) of each other.
This new closed group for EDU network managers is a space for network managers to discuss issues related to their Pressbooks-related needs and duties, with regular input and participation from Pressbooks support staff. We expect these conversations to be more focused on the types of human, training, support, or administrative questions that come with using Pressbooks to power a publishing or OER production program.
The EDU clients group will continue to be governed by the same community guidelines as the larger forum, and we very much look forward to building a vibrant, inclusive, and supportive space for network managers from a variety of institutions around the globe.
Here are some benefits to taking part in this newly formed community:
Shared knowledge. Though evolving quickly, open education is a young movement. Chances are, if one person has a question or is running into a problem, someone else from another institution is dealing with or has also recently dealt with similar issues. We expect that this new community forum will be a place where previous experiences are shared, new approaches are developed, finished projects and training materials are shared and promoted, and hard-won wisdom is spread.
Transparency. Get a better idea of what’s going on behind the code at Pressbooks. Steel and Taylor will be active participants in the conversation, and will be on hand to chime in and help out whenever we can.
Permanence. Unlike an email listserv or slack group, the forum can be used as an archivable resource. Conversations can be referred to in the future whenever needed and answers to one member of the community will be visible to all.
Are you a PressbooksEDU network manager? Check your inbox. You’ll be getting an invite to the new forum soon!