From March 28th–31st, 2023, industry leaders in the field of EdTech gathered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the annual Open edX conference. This year’s conference focused on “Shaping the Future of Education Together” and provided a platform for global experts to exchange experiences and ideas on the latest advancements in instructional design and the use of the Open edX platform.
More than 300 online education professionals and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe came together to exchange insights, discuss success stories, and share best practices. The event served as a dynamic forum for the Open edX community to learn from one another, drive innovation, and collectively enhance the platform’s capabilities.
Raccoon Gang specialists are recognized by the Open edX community as EdTech experts. Therefore, 6 of our representatives were present as speakers at the conference this year. Throughout the conference, participants had the opportunity to learn about innovative uses of the Open edX platform, explore a variety of business and higher education use cases, and discover the latest advancements in course constellation and methods for operating and extending the platform.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, served as the perfect venue for the Open edX conference. Known for its cutting-edge research and contributions to technological advancements, MIT has a long-standing history of fostering innovation in education. The campus features state-of-the-art facilities that are specifically designed to support the advancement of online learning platforms like Open edX. With its rich academic and technological legacy, MIT provided a unique backdrop for the conference, inspiring attendees to think boldly and creatively about the future of e-learning.
At the Open edX Conference 2023, attendees had the privilege of hearing from a range of exceptional keynote speakers, including Anant Agarwal, Founder of edX and Chief Platform Officer at 2U.
Anant Agarwal, a visionary leader in the online education space, served as the CEO of edX before taking on his current role as Chief Platform Officer at 2U. Agarwal’s passion for increasing access to high-quality education for all is evident in his work at 2U, where he guides the company in creating the world’s most comprehensive free-to-degree online learning marketplace. As the first educator to teach an edX course, Agarwal’s expertise in building powerful online learning platforms is unmatched. Today, he remains a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, furthering his mission of advancing education through technology.
During the conference, Anant Agarwal demonstrated his commitment to educational equity by giving his attention to the ЗНO project in Ukraine. This project was implemented during the war in Ukraine with the involvement of Raccoon Gang specialists as consultants. Anant joined a call with Dmytro Zavhorodny, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, to show his support and participation. This demonstrates the impact of Open edX as a global project with national-level significance.
Raccoon Gang’s Speaking Engagements
Our presentations always carry deep research and are based on the experience we gain while working on projects in the online learning industry.
Volodymyr Chekyrta (Mobile Department Team Lead at Raccoon Gang) delivered a tutorial session on “Hands-on Modern Mobile Dev for the Open edX Platform.” In his presentation, “Create your own Open edX app in 1 hour using the new codebase,” Volodymyr explained how to customize and add new features to the Open edX mobile app with the latest tools and technologies.
Anastasiia Abyzova (Account Manager at Raccoon Gang) gave a lightning talk about the potential and scale of Open edX platform customizations for GMAT-like online testing, a project that Raccoon Gang had delivered for the Ukrainian government during the war.
“This success story with the Online Transformation of the Ukrainian School-Graduate Assessment system showed us again that Open edX is an outstanding tool that allows you to develop serious products and resolve national-level tasks under huge stress and the pressure of time. Without Open edX it wouldn’t have been possible. And last but not least, we were reminded once again of how important it is to unite, especially in hard times.”
Iana Loviagina (Head of Support at Raccoon Gang) shared her experience with Open edX platform support in her report, “Open edX Platform Support: Top 10 Issues Which Make Users Cry.” Drawing on her extensive experience working, Iana identified the top ten complaints that users have and provided solutions to these issues.
Raccoon Gang’s commitment to addressing these challenges has been recognized by the Open edX community, and we are proud to say that some of the problems raised in the presentation will be resolved in the upcoming release.
Natalia Vynohradenko (Head of BizDev at Raccoon Gang) and Stefania Trabucchi, CEO of Abstract-Technology in Germany, delivered a session for Open edX providers. In their presentation, they considered the main challenges faced by clients. The report helped listeners understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Open edX platform and the market’s current state.
Based on the insights shared, the marketing and product working groups will work towards improving the platform and addressing the challenges highlighted during the session.
Alexandra Nabokina (Client Partner at Raccoon Gang) and Kateryna Panasenko (Account Manager at Raccoon Gang) shared their experience engaging Gen Z and A in the learning process. Their presentation, “We’re losing them! How to engage Gen Z and A to a learning process,” aimed to help listeners adapt their approach to online learning to make content more captivating and increase learners’ motivation and engagement. Their report emphasized the importance of creating a seamless learning experience for recent generations of learners.
Overall, the Raccoon Gang’s presentations provided valuable insights into the Open edX platform and demonstrated the company’s expertise.
Main Ideas and Insights at Open edX Conference
During the conference, it was announced that Stephanie Khurana has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Axim Collaborative, a new non-profit organization founded by Harvard and MIT. Axim Collaborative, previously known as the Center for Reimagining Learning, aims to bring together leading innovators and thinkers in the online education industry to advance knowledge and collaboration.
Axim Collaborative was established by Harvard and MIT using the proceeds from the sale of edX, a platform that aimed to expand access to quality education for everyone. Since its inception in 2012, edX has offered 3,600 courses to 42 million learners worldwide. Axim Collaborative shares edX’s mission to broaden access to education and enhance teaching and learning through research, and has an added aspiration to address persistent gaps in educational attainment and career success.
The main focus of the expert reports delivered at the conference, including those by RG representatives and other providers, centered around the cutting-edge applications and advancements in educational design for the Open edX platform. This emphasis on innovation is crucial in an ever-evolving world of education. Additionally, the future of online learning solutions based on artificial intelligence and the use of ChatGPT was actively discussed, with many participants noting the significant potential for these technologies to revolutionize the field of education.
It’s worth mentioning that Raccoon Gang has been making valuable contributions to Open edX-based LMS for quite some time now. Among successful integrations are the RG Analytics and RG Gamification extensions, which enhance LMS platforms’ functionalities. Extensions include high-quality Mobile app services for deep customization and deployment on mobile devices.
About Open edX Conference
The Open edX conference is an annual event that gathers experts, researchers, educators, and online learning enthusiasts worldwide. It is a platform where attendees share their experiences, exchange ideas, and showcase their latest innovations in online education. The conference covers various topics, including instructional design, e-learning technologies, learning analytics, and more. In order not to miss future events, follow the updates.
Contribution and Community
Open edX is not just a platform, it is a vibrant community of professionals and enthusiasts who constantly exchange experiences and successful cases. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, Open edX is able to continually improve and offer a top-tier product with endless possibilities. The Open edX conference is a prime example of this community-driven approach to online education.
About Raccoon Gang
Raccoon Gang is the Preferred Open edX Provider and an Open edX Partner. Our team has a deep understanding of the eLearning business and a solid technical background, which allows us to deliver innovative learning solutions to foster online education. Our mission is to help organizations leverage technology to enhance their learning initiatives and achieve their business goals.
Discover the power of Raccoon Gang’s innovative learning solutions by exploring our extensive portfolio of successful case studies. Visit our portfolio page to see how we can help you revolutionize your online education strategy.