5 Highlights From Open edX Con 2017 - Appsembler

5 Highlights From Open edX Con 2017

A few weeks ago, more than 300 attendees converged in Madrid, Spain, for the annual Open edX Conference, the world’s largest gathering of the Open edX community. This was a multi-day affair filled with lightning talks, technical tutorials, breakout sessions, and case studies.

Open edX Con ‘17 was not only a celebration of the open source platform itself, but also a showcase of its many innovations to date — and a sneak peek into the exciting possibilities not too far beyond the horizon.

Previously, we shared the 10 reasons why we’re so excited about the conference, and this year’s big event did not disappoint. We were absolutely thrilled to be a sponsor, to learn from some of the brightest thought leaders in the industry, to contribute back to the vibrant community, and to sit down and roll up our sleeves with our customers.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from this year’s big show:

#1 Anant Agarwal’s keynote

As the CEO and Founder of edX, Anant is one of the world’s leading voices in reimagining education. In his keynote, Anant outlined his strategic outlook for online learning in the coming years, how the Open edX continues to enable unprecedented innovation, and how new education models — including programs (Micromasters, Professional Certificates) — are driving flexible online credentialing options.

Anant also spoke to the tremendous growth of edX. As of this post, the platform is being used across the world in 350 sites to host nearly 5,000 courses and reach more than 11 million learners (not counting edX.org enrollments). Interestingly, the Open edX number of enrollments now equals edX, resulting in 22 million learners worldwide. To watch Anant’s keynote, click below.

#2 Lightning Talks – Video Track

Because they are chock-full of insights and actionable takeaways, the lightning talks sessions are usually some of the most popular sessions. This year was no exception and our favorite was the Video Tracks lightning talks. Here, Peter Koblyakov of Raccoon Gang and Appsembler’s CEO, Nate Aune, unveiled the new Open edX Video XBlock which their teams had developed together in partnership with their feature sponsors.

Other fantastic talks featured Michael Amigot of IBL Education, who shared how his team produces state-of-the-art videos using the latest educational techniques, and Régis Behmo who spoke about how to self-host video content with Videofront. It’s incredible to imagine just the innovation and amount of work involved on the video side of Open edX. To watch the talks, check out the streams here.

#3 Launch of Appsembler’s new SaaS platform

During the conference, we were excited to announce and showcase the launch of Tahoe, our new all-in-one platform that lets you build a fully branded Open edX site in minutes. Tahoe breaks down barriers and makes the Open edX platform more accessible than ever to a mainstream audience. The response was incredibly positive and for us, there was no better way to announce such an important milestone for our company than at the conference.

#4 Learning how Open edX can transform higher education

One of the biggest challenges of the conference is that there were so many inspiring sessions to attend, but not enough time. In some cases, the sessions you wanted to go to were at conflicting time slots, leaving one torn on which to attend. However, the session “Open edX out of context: The Open University approach,” featuring the team from Open University was one that we were glad to have not missed. In this session, Open University shared how they used Open edX to develop and deliver substantial, fully online courses to students on degree programs, rather than MOOCs – and in turn how they completely transformed their students’ online learning experience. Click the link below to watch the video.

#5 Tapas and Team Bonding

As we mentioned in our previous post, Open edX con in Madrid also served as a mini-reunion for the Appsembler team since we are fully distributed around the world. So naturally, some tapas and team bonding were in order – and bond we did. Our team had a blast learning together, meeting our customers and the Open edX community, and supporting J’aime in her talk about how we build and deliver mobile apps, and Maxi in his tutorial about SSO and Third-Party Authentication in Open edX.

Missed the conference?

Missed the conference but want more content from the talks and presentations? Well, you’re in luck! In addition to the videos included in this post, you can view the slides and recordings of the live video streams here: Open edX 2017 Presentations.

That’s a wrap! We hope to see you at next year’s conference. Have questions about Open edX or Appsembler? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!