Meet the CC Summit Presenter: Alissa Bigelow

Ony Anukem

We’re back with another ‘Meet the CC Summit Presenter‘ Q&A. Next up, Alissa Bigelow, a Program Facilitator for the Ontario Extend program. In her role as a Program Facilitator, she creates engaging Communities of Practice about the Ontario Extend program and the “Empowered Educator” micro-credential to connect post-secondary faculty across the province of Ontario. These sessions focus on building community while increasing digital fluency skills, and support faculty with the selection and evaluation of emerging technologies and new pedagogical practices in online and flexible learning environments. She is also an Instructional Design Technologist in the Centre for Teaching & Learning at Georgian College. In her role as an Instructional Design Technologist, she develops, implements and evaluates several software and educational technology pilot initiatives. She is passionate about researching new and emerging technologies that will improve the student learning experience. She has extensive background and experience with the Articulate 360 Suite, H5P and Pressbooks technologies, and a strong foundational knowledge of the principles of Universal Design for Learning & Open Pedagogy.

Based in📍: Barrie, Ontario – Canada

Summit Session: Building digital fluency skills and communities of practices through open access with the Ontario Extend program.

How did you get involved with Creative Commons?

I have been an avid follower of Creative Commons for several years. As someone who is passionate about Open Educational practices and resources, Creative Commons has been an incredible source of information.

What was your favorite CC Global Summit?

Toronto, 2016

Why are you an advocate for Open?

I believe education is a right that should be available and accessible to everyone. My elementary school motto was “Knowledge is Power!” and I feel very strongly that this is true. Everyone should have access to learn and make the world a better place. There are so many injustices in the world, education should not be one of them.

“Everyone should have access to learn and make the world a better place. There are so many injustices in the world, education should not be one of them.”

What is your proudest achievement?

My four incredible children! (17, 16, 13, 12)

What is the best part of what you do? What is the most difficult part of what you do?

The best part of what I do is interact and educate people about Open Education. I find knowledge about OE, OER and OP varies greatly, and there is a need to advocate for growing these initiatives. Working with closed minded folks who are stuck in their ways is definitely a challenge.

What is your favorite GIF?

via GIPHY

What tool/platform/app are you loving right now?

I love MS Teams! This app has enabled me to create community with our remote faculty throughout the pandemic. It’s great for asynchronous and synchronous interaction and group work. The integrations with other Microsoft products is incredible and it is a very powerful tool.

What’s one new trend that you think the CC community should look out for?

Open technologies to facilitate HyFlex delivery. Right now, the technologies we are using for this delivery method are quite expensive and proprietary. It would be great to see some new open source technologies that can facilitate a more broad application worldwide.

What is the biggest setback you have experienced? How did you overcome it?

I was told I’d never get into University to become a teacher with the grades I had in high school (79% average overall). Instead, I pursued a career in Computer Networking & Engineering, which led to software support in education, which led to teaching post-secondary computer networking courses, which led to my current Instructional Design Technologist position. I have not only overcome that set back, I have crushed it!

If you could only leave people with one message from your summit presentation, what would it be?

Find your comfort zone and push the boundaries. Experiment!

What was the best career advice you ever received?

The best career advice I’ve received has been in the form of support from my colleagues. I can’t narrow down one that particularly stuck out for me, but others’ confidence in my skills and abilities has been key to my successes. 

What would you like to say to Creative Commons on our 20th anniversary?

Wow! Congratulations & cheers to 20+ more!

What does ‘Better Sharing, Brighter Future’ mean to you?

Exactly that. Let’s share to make a brighter future for everyone.

Whether you’re an activist, advocate, librarian, educator, lawyer, creator, or technologist, the 2021 CC Global Summit has got you covered. Join us September 20-24 for an unforgettable experience! Register here >>