eTech Ohio

I just returned from the eTech Ohio annual conference, where I was a featured (not keynote) speaker. My talk was fairly well attended given that it occurred during the lunch slot, although nothing compared to the overflow attendance of the morning’s keynote speaker, Ray Kurzweil, who I’ve admired since my days of studying artificial intelligence. The conference was extremely well run, the staff was very helpful and the exhibitor floor was large (maybe half the size of Educause). I saw Wimba on the floor and stopped by the Blackboard booth but nobody was there.

eTech Ohio is government agency that supports K-12 technology. In addition to running one of the largest educational technology conferences in the Midwest (over 6000 attendees and an exhibitor floor that looks about half the size of Educause, actually), they partner with their higher education counterpart, the Ohio Learning Network, which has helped a number of Ohio schools run Sakai pilots. The partnership between eTech and OLN has recently taken form in, among other things, the Open Learning Partnership Ohio. Check them out.

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Campus EAI Joins Sakai Foundation

I’m pleased to let you know that CampusEAI has officially joined the Sakai Foundation as a commercial affiliate. As you may have seen at the Newport Beach conference, CampusEAI recently helped the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) implement Sakai. They are also hosting the Sakai instance for FIDM.

CampusEAI is also hosting a series of webinars about Sakai featuring David Melone, E-Learning Supervisor at FIDM. I’ll be a guest speaker at a few of them as well. See the “Events” section of the CampusEAI website for details on dates and times.

If you’ve read my past posts you’ll know I think Sakai Commercial Affiliates are critical to the success of the community. Many institutions don’t have the resources or inclination to undertake a technology implementation project on their own. And while the academic members of a community source project like Sakai provide a lot of informal help for each other, implementing and hosting course management systems for other schools isn’t something they’ll be doing on a regular basis, to say the least.

So please join me in welcoming CampusEAI to the foundation. I’ll be visiting them in Cleveland, I hope, at the beginning of February. It’s part of a trip I’ll be making to Ohio as a featured speaker at the eTech Ohio Conference. I’m originally from Cleveland, but my business travels have almost never taken me there, so I’m really looking forward to it. This despite the fact that Northeastern Ohio is not known for its terrific February weather…average high of 36 and average low of 21 degrees Farenheit (2 and -6 celcius). Yeah, I grew up there, but you get soft quickly in California.