In just over a week’s time I will be boarding a plane to Uruguay in South America to teach for a week in the Department of Information and Communication at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo. I have planned a week of teaching which focuses on open practices, copyright literacy and broader issues related to online learning and digital literacies. I’m excited and nervous as it’s my first time in South America. I’m pretty well travelled around Europe, the US, New Zealand and spent a week teaching in Singapore and Malaysia a couple of years ago for the University of London, so I know what it’s like to be jet lagged and committed to teaching! However, as all my students will speak Spanish, I’m hoping that the workshops and classes go well and I at least come back knowing the Spanish for copyright literacy! I’m also very excited as there are plans to translate several of my educational resources including Copyright the Card Game and the Publishing Trap into Spanish! Here’s some information (in Spanish) posted recently by the Department about my visit.
I met Professor Virginia Rodes who will be my host for my stay, last year at the OER17 conference in London. I was presenting about the research I had undertaken with Chris Morrison from the University of Kent on lecture recording, copyright and IP policies in UK universities. I attended Virginia’s presentation about open education and copyright reform that was being undertaken in Uruguay to introduce educational exceptions into their law. I spoke to her at the end of the session and I clearly remember her saying to me ‘you must come to Uruguay’ – well little did I know! Apparently in Uruguay they don’t have copyright exceptions for education and libraries at the moment, and IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations) have been doing work to lobby for this for some time.
I should be pretty busy during my time in Uruguay as I’m also scheduled to give a keynote at a conference being held at the university, on the topic of ‘Copyright, E-learning and Digital Literacy’. I hope to meet lots of people while I am there, including lecturers, students, librarians, copyright reform activists and others. I’ve notice I am in good company, a few weeks after my trip Martin Dougiamas the creator of Moodle, will be visiting the university as well. I also hope to see something of the country – Virginia is offering to take me to a few places and I hope I have some time for sightseeing between the lectures and conference! It looks like a fabulous country and I have been reading up on fascinating facts about Uruguay ahead of my trip. So this traveling academic will be off to South America! Wish me luck!