OpenSail Education

Hello OEGlobal Community!

We are excited to post a brief introduction to a new technology platform that we are working on. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be posting questions and working to encourage dialogue to understand how technology can support the creation and adoption of OER content.

Although our focus will be on the workflow and needs of educators, administrators, bookstores and libraries, we are also happy to answer any technology questions that you may have!

What is OpenSail Education?

OpenSail Education is our vision for supporting OER content creation in a way that respects and recognizes the immense work and knowledge provided by each contributor. Incorporating Impact Factor usage metrics on content will help faculty understand how and where their OER content is gaining traction, influencing students and contributing to the academic discourse. Administrators will appreciate the clear path for ensuring compliance and governance with workflows that ease the burden of tracking, managing and aligning disparate content licenses.

When can we try OpenSail Education?

The OpenSail Education platform is still in conceptual design. To bring this product to market, we are seeking feedback from the OER creator, educator and administrator communities.

Who are we?

OpenSail Education is being designed and developed within the context of the small technology firm Interactive Event Technologies Inc. ( Based partially on the co-founders research titled “Building Communities of Practice”, OpenSail Education seeks to build not only a community, but a viable knowledge brokerage platform for content creators to thrive professionally by supporting access to content from diverse communities and providing an avenue to grow their influence and reputation.


Shawn Berney is a digital native who is currently a contractor working in the IT Infrastructure Architecture space. Shawn writes code, builds and designs platforms, and leads project teams. In 2008, his academic work was published as a book chapter on implementing technology within a collaborative book project published by the Commonwealth of Learning and BCCampus titled “Education for a Digital World: Advice, Guidelines, and Effective Practices from Around the Globe” (2008). In 2019, Shawn obtained his MBA from Thompson Rivers University where his research was focused on how distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) could revolutionize the exchange of services and intellectual property through digital contracts. Shawn is the CEO of OpenSail Education.

Iwona Sokalska obtained her Masters in Data Science from Ryerson University in 2018 and is currently in the 2nd year of her PhD studies with a focus on AI and Natural Language Processing. Iwona volunteers her time to serve as the Director of Operations on the Graduate of Computer Science student council. Prior to Ryerson, Iwona worked as a solution architect and software engineer in fields of healthcare, telecom and public service. Iwona is the CTO of OpenSail Education.

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Just wanted to share some of the ideas regarding how current open source technology (Corda) can provide substantial value in the distribution of OER content.

I’m actually not a big fan of Blockchain technologies generally. I feel that the fully distributed ledger model - made famous by Bitcoin and Ethereum - is fundamentally flawed in the areas of scalability and security. Corda, however, is a bit of a different beast. Most of the problems regarding blockchain technologies relate to the need to accommodate anonymous users. Corda requires that every user be a legal and recognized entity - this solves many of the fundamental problems associated with other solutions such as Ethereum.

When we remove the need to accommodate anonymous users, we can think more clearly about how distributed ledger technologies can provide provenance and solve difficult challenges. For OER, these challenges revolve around content sharing / exchange and may include topics such as content version history and provenance (related to the Immutable nature of the blockchain).

Of course, building a technology platform is often the easiest part. I’ve always felt that technology doesn’t have any value per se. Technology is all about creating value at the community and individual level.

So, I’m here to learn how you would like to share knowledge. What are your workflows and constraints, what is working and what is not.

Ask me anything!