Meet the Open Texas Committee Members: Beatrice Canales (Program)
Name: Beatrice Canales
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Where do you work?
San Antonio College
What do you do there?
As an academic unit assistant, I work with students, staff and faculty on breaking the barriers to college. I bring a desire to work with students, from a community college perspective, for the purpose of assisting them to become content contributors to the open community.
Where did you go to school?
Master's degree in Library Science (Texas Woman's University), Creative Commons certification, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Open Education Leadership Fellow (2021-2022)
Where is your hometown?
San Antonio, Texas
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I reviewed nearly 2,000 books for two years as part of the ALA Notable Children's Books committee.
How did you get involved with the Open Texas Conference?
Last year, I attended the Texas Digital Library conference and participated as a program committee member for the Open Education Conference. I wanted to give my experience to the Open Texas conference and helped my state be able to be a premier reservoir for the open community.
What was your first impression of Open Texas?
I was excited to see leaders from all over the state of Texas come together to feature the works of many individuals from the open community.
What has surprised you most about working with Open Texas?
Open Texas supports practitioners through innovative and streamlined programming.
What do you find most challenging about coordinating the Open Texas Conference?
The challenge of coordinating the Open Texas Conference has sometimes a feel of uncertainty in the programing of the conference but that feeling does not stay long.
What do you wish other people knew about the Open Texas Conference?
I wish and hope that participants see the Open Texas Conference as a source and supporter of educators in in open education, science, data, access and resources.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on Open Texas?
One of the best reasons to be part of the open community is how often you meet people you were inspired as a conference participant and then meet again as a committee member. This happened to me with Dr. Judith Sebesta from Digitex. She inspired and gave me encouragement to keep working in this field.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about open education practices?
Some of my strongest beliefs in open education work is collaboration. Collaboration offers a glimpse into different ways to see foundations of work and finding new, divergent areas to help human kind solve problems. These divergent ideas then become foundations to more ideas.
The interest in open education seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?
In 2014 I was introduced to MIT's Open courseware as a way for me to tailor a teen summer program. I did not recognize what open courseware was until 2020. Now, I see openly licensed materials being developed in more countries and fighting injustices such as honoring Indigenous knowledge writers in colleges and universities and digital learning areas asking the world to participate in translating openly educational resources.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about presenting or attending Open Texas?
I will encourage anyone with unique ideas based on open experience and/or theories to present. As for attending the conference, I am not a traditional practitioner in the open community. I am not a librarian, instructional designer, student, or director. I am someone who believes that the open community can help the world solve problems by embracing anyone who is open to those ideas.
What do you think will change about open education in five years?
I predict that open education will have creative ways to emphasize peer reviews processes and breaking down the barriers of social justice through open practices in science, data and access.
What are your professional goals for the next five years?
Within five years, I plan to create more opportunities for open educational research with student authors in multilingual formats.
What is your personal philosophy on open education?
Open education is over twenty years old but the ideas of openly licensing through copyright laws in different countries work like water rapids. The rapids are fast and careen down waterfalls, but they bring hope and strength through the knowledge and skills from open practitioners around the world.