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Northern Relations Connecting Open/Technology, Education, Society, and Scholarship

Congress 2021 Theme: 

Northern Relations: Connecting Open/Technology, Education, Society, and Scholarship 

As part of Congress 2021, OTESSA encourages researchers and practitioners to share their scholarship on the complexities that technology and open educational practice raise for education, society, and scholarship, as well as come together to build connections, collaborations, and critical conversations at this year’s conference. Scholars, practitioners, graduate and undergraduate students, librarians, designers, makers, educators from K12 or post-secondary, administrators, and policy-makers are all welcome! Whatever your current role and wherever you are located in the world, we invite you to join us and contribute your experience, expertise and insights to timely discussions about openness and technology in education, society and scholarship.  

The Northern Relations theme speaks to the diverse possibilities that can open up with new connections between peoples, communities, cultures, and ways of knowing. The Congress theme encourages delegates to examine the most pressing global matters of relation in the North (to the land, to each other, to new ideas), such as climate change, governance, social justice, reconciliation, reciprocity, education, and more.

The OTESSA Association invites a particular focus on the complexities that technology and open education practice raise for education, society, and scholarship and matters of relation. 

This year’s three key subthemes for inviting submissions and discussions are:

  • Online learning and teaching
    What can we learn from our rich history of distance and open education as we navigate our way forward in the context of the pandemic? In what ways can we build and extend upon existing research and education with technology to increase ethical, inclusive and diverse policies and practices?
  • Inclusive networks and ethical spaces
    Who is advantaged or disadvantaged by the human and technological infrastructures and processes we design? In what ways do we confront issues such as surveillance, privacy and security? What innovations and changes in assessment, OER, participatory pedagogies, collective and co-design of knowledge, inform, serve to enhance or limit the democratization of knowledge?
  • Knowledge Engagement and Relationality
    In what ways do we represent and provide access to diverse ways of knowing, different forms of expression, and broad concepts of authorship, credibility, and trustworthiness in our research and practice? In what ways do we create the conditions for meaningful, authentic and respectful learning relationships and engagements with technology?
  • Wildcard
    OTESSA also offers a wildcard category for innovative and inventive ideas that go beyond the three broad subthemes, as long as a relevant connection is made to Open/Technology. 


  • January 11. 2021

    Submission Deadline

  • January-February 2021


  • February 2021

    Program Published

  • April 2021

    Asynchronous Content Deadline

  • May 31 - June 3, 2021


  • July 1, 2021

    (Optional) Short & Full Paper Deadline

Thank you for the work you all do to advance Open/Technology education, scholarship and practice. We are excited to gather with you to recognize your contributions to the field: please join us for OTESSA at Congress at the University of Alberta in Canada.  

Fondly, from the OTESSA community, as we open and grow!