Sakai Podcasts from Educause

At the 2007 Educause Conference in Seattle, several Sakai community members were interviewed as part of the Educause Podcast Series. Educause recently released a few more of these and they are worth checking out. I was interviewed and was quite impressed with the questions they had prepared. They even pronounced my name correctly.

In any case, here are the links for the podcasts that are tagged with “Sakai”:

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Notes from Educause (Part II, Sakai community)

This is part 2 of a summary experiences at Educause last week. This one focuses primarily on individual connections I had with members of the Sakai community. These included:

Pierre et Marie Curie Université (Paris 6) — Yves Epelboin and I had dinner on Monday night. I’m always intimidated taking a Parisian to dinner, but Yves is an amiable and gracious companion and the restaurant did a fine job with some Pacific Northwest specialties. We are exploring the possibility of the Summer 2008 conference in Paris, perhaps partially held at UPMC. They’ve gone into production with Sakai and are Jean-François Leveque seems to be on his way to becoming an active contributor, especially in the area of internationalization.

Georgia Tech — I spent some good time with Clay Fenlason from Georgia Tech. As you may know, Georgia Tech is undertaking a very rapid migration from WebCT to Sakai. This was their first term in production and they were working on some performance tuning of their Sakai installation. I think one of the most exciting things going on is the Conditional Release project, which will allow instructors to create rules for when content should be made available to individual learners. That’s the CMS view of the world, of course, and right now that’s the focus of their effort. One can imagine many uses cases in project sites as well (e.g. allow access to the research data only once a non-disclosure agreement is signed).

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Notes from Educause 2007 (part 1)

I spent last week at Educause in Seattle. With lots of warm sunshine and only one day of rain, Seattle delivered uncharacteristically beautiful October weather. Still, I spent most of the week inside. I’ve already written about the Sakai Board Meeting that took place on Monday the 22nd. Here are some highlights from the first half of the week:

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Educause: Sakai Board Meeting

I thought I’d get a quick note out to everyone before Educause starts in earnest. Warning…this has no content related to teaching, learning or collaboration.

On Monday we held a Sakai Board meeting. There were no new Board resolutions coming out of this meeting, so there is little of real consequence to report. Mainly, I gave a report on finances, which I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately. The Board has fiduciary responsibility for Foundation funds, of course, and as Executive Director I need to make sure they have the information they need to feel confident that they are attending to this responsibility correctly. I’m also working on a 2008 budget and I felt that it was critical to get a fairly deep understanding of what we’ve been spending money on. So I’ve poured over approximately 1,000 line items in the various Sakai accounts for 2007. While many of these could be easily categorized by the description of the I coded many of them by hand, which took awhile, but really was an effective way for me to understand what was there and to establish a scheme to use going forward. Boring, but necessary. This will be part of my Sakai Foundation Update presentation at Newport Beach (don’t forget to register for the conference!).

There was a lot more conversation, though, after the official board meeting closed. This was mostly for my benefit as I’m sure many of the board members have been over this ground many times before. My purpose was to understand the board’s thoughts on the short term goals for the project and how the Sakai Foundation could best support those. We also talked a bit about the longer-term direction of Sakai as a product and as a community. I provided some grist for the mill via a document containing some of the questions I have had about Sakai and potential answers. I’ll be revising that this week and sending it out to the community lists for comments and feedback. From there I’ll finalize the 2008 priorities and budget, hopefully get it approved at the Newport Beach Board meeting, and share the result as part of my presentation.

Educause has been interesting so far, but I’ll write a separate post about that, hopefully tomorrow. If you’re reading this at Educuase I want to remind Sakai, Kuali or JA-SIG members that the Community Source Reception is tonight from 6:15 – 8:00 at the Sheraton Grand Ballroom B. I hope to see you there.