OER Conference Impressions

Photo by mlhradio

Photo by mlhradio

I spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week at the Open Educational Resources conference in (truly) beautiful Vancouver, Canada. It was my first time attending this event and I can highly recommend it for any one involved in the OER. A lot of good information and good people to meet. Here are a few of the highlights and takeaways from my perspective:

Sakai at OER Conference

Sakai - Not For Sale

Sakai – Not For Sale,
originally uploaded by Mr_Stein.

I’m in a photo (sort of) from the Open Educational Resources conference. Thanks to the Sakai marketing working group for the button!

Lance Speelmon Joins Sakai Foundation Staff

I’m extremely pleased to announce that Lance Speelmon (see his blog) of Indiana University will be joining the Sakai Foundation staff from now through the end of 2010. Lance will initially focus on leading the community in the development of a Sakai 2 to Sakai 3 migration strategy. He will also have other responsibilities as well that he and I will determine as his work progresses.

Although Lance will remain an employee at Indiana University he will report to me on a day-to-day basis. This creates at least the perception of a conflict with his role as a member of the Sakai Board of Directors and Lance will therefore be stepping down from the Board. I want to salute Lance for his willingness to take this step. While we will miss his contributions there, he believes he can make a greater contribution to the Sakai community in this new capacity. I hope he will consider running again when his time with the Sakai Foundation concludes.

This leaves the Board with one too few members (Clay also stepped down for the same reason).  At the request of the remaining Board members and in accordance with the Sakai Foundation by-laws, Mara Hancock has agreed to serve as a Board member for the remainder of this year when a new slate of Board members will be elected.

This arrangement is made possible by the generous and forward-thinking leadership team at Indiana University which will continue to fund Lance’s salary while the Foundation will fund his travel expenses. I want to thank everyone at IU, especially Barry Walsh and Brad Wheeler. IU has always embraced “enlightened self-interest” and this is certainly an exemplary case of that attitude.

It feels strange for me to welcome Lance to Sakai since Lance was at the very dinner where the idea of Sakai was born, so let me just say that I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work even more closely with him. I know the entire Sakai community will benefit greatly from his efforts.