I am pleased to announce the results of the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors officer elections. Maggie Lynch, of Thanos Partners, and formerly Vice-Chair of the Board, was elected Chair, and David Ackerman, Associate Vice President for .edu Services at New York University, elected Vice-Chair.
Thanks go to Josh Baron, outgoing Chair, for his commitment to service over the years, and to the incoming officers for their willingness to serve.
Executive Director, Sakai Foundation
In November and December last year, several stakeholders in the Sakai OAE Managed Project, including Indiana University, the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley and New York University committed to a substantially increased collective investment in the project. Others recommitted, and rSmart has recently approached the stakeholders with an offer to join the managed project and contribute resources under its direction, the first Sakai Commercial Affiliate to do so.
This is all great news for the Project, and great news for the Sakai Community. It is also a testament to the work of the first year of the project in realizing the OAE vision.
What does this change? Firstly, and most obviously, it gives the project access to additional development resources. As the project ramps up, this translates into more rapid and richer development. This will not be instant; it takes time to bring new resource on board and up to speed. It will, however, be noticeable after March, when the ramping up process will be substantially effected. Secondly, there have been some adjustments to the governance structures of the project. A new Project Council will oversee a further OAE investment drive, and act to ensure the Project is resourced effectively. The Steering Group continues to provide Project direction, the User Reference Group ensures that the project remains design and mission led, and the Technical Reference Group provides a vital conduit to institutional technology perspectives.1.2 Release
The Open Academic Environment Project team continues to work hard on the next release - 1.2 - which is due on or before 24th February 2012. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, and let you try out the environment, an OAE community instance is available at
The 1.2 release roadmap – and the roadmap for 1.3 – is available at
The OAE Project has recently launched a Widget Library and Widget Software Development Kit (SDK). The Sakai OAE Widget SDK provides up-to-date documentation, example widgets, code best practices, FAQs and a design style guide, aiming to make it very easy for developers, students, researchers and staff to create their own widgets.
Six new videos featuring the Atlas Network, the NYU OAE pilot, have been added to the Atlas channel on YouTube. These cover academic networking, graduate nursing courses, writing courses, and interdisciplinary humanities courses. You can find them at:
The OAE Project is on a solid footing, and is making significant strides forward. Additional investment is required to increase the velocity of the project further. If your institution is interested in participating as an investor, please contact Ian Dolphin or David Goodrum at the addresses below.
Executive Director, Sakai Foundation
Contact the Open Academic Environment Project:
- Steering Group Chair: David Goodrum, Indiana University - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sakai Foundation: Ian Dolphin, Executive Director -email@example.com
- Project Co-Leads: Anthony Whyte - firstname.lastname@example.org & Nico Matthijs - email@example.com
- User Reference Group Chair: Lucy Appert, New York University - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Technical Reference Group Chair: Owen McGrath, UC Berkeley - email@example.com
The Sakai Teaching and Learning community announces the official opening of the 5th annual Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) competition. The award recognizes innovation and excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement.
Entries are accepted in the following five categories, and may be implemented in Sakai CLE or Sakai OAE.
- Higher Education: Face-to-Face
- Higher Education: Fully Online or Hybrid Course
- Primary & Secondary Education (K-12)
- Project Sites & Other Uses of Sakai
Entries are now being accepted on the Open Ed Practices site www.openedpractices.org/twsia . Open Ed Practices serves as a repository for new entries and for submissions from past winners. The site also provides information for entrants on how to enter the competition, including award entry categories, the rubric which is used to judge entries, a definition of innovation and a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the entry process.
The closing date for entries is March 2, 2012. Winners will be notified in early May 2012 and may have their expenses paid to Atlanta, Georgia to present their winning entries at the 13th annual Sakai Conference June 10-15, 2012.
To apply for the award, and for more information, please go to www.openedpractice.org/twsia.
Save the dates for the first Joint Jasig/Sakai Annual Conference!
Sunday, June 10 through Friday, June 15, 2012 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia. Supplementary half-day Jasig and Sakai Seminars on Sunday, June 10
More details to follow soon.
If you are interested in participating in either the Conference Planning Committee (logistics) or the Conference Program Committee (content) please contact Patty Gertz at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ian Dolphin at email@example.com .
Strengthening regional communities within the broader Sakai community is an important priority for the Sakai Foundation. Over the last fifiteen months, there have been particularly strong regional events in Japan, Australia, South Africa, and Europe. Within Europe, the Spanish Sakai community has been especially dynamic. It's with great pleasure, then, that I can report the latest volunteer addition to Sakai Foundation staff. David Roldan-Martinez, of the Universitat Politècnica de València has volunteered to help strengthen and build the Sakai community in Latin America. This is a significant step. Please join me in thanking David in advance for his time and effort.
Sakai Foundation Executive Director
I am pleased to announce that Steve Swinsburg, of the Australian National University, David Ackerman, of New York University, and Seth Theriault, of Columbia University have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Sakai Foundation.
The elections were close-run, with the second two of three candidates receiving an identical number of votes. In these unprecedented circumstances, and with only two positions vacant, the existing Board were polled for their preferences on how to proceed. They determined, without any vote to the contrary, that all three candidates should be declared elected - hence the slight delay in announcing results.
I would like to welcome the three sucessful candidates to the Foundation Board, and to thank them for volunteering their time and effort to the Board.
Executive Director, Sakai Foundation
38 Institutional Representatives voted, with Steve Swinsburg (ANU) receiving 28 votes, David Ackerman (NYU) 20 votes, and Seth Theriault (Columbia) 20 votes.
Dr. David Ackerman currently serves New York University in a dual appointment as Associate Vice President for .edu Services and Executive Director for Digital Library Technology Services. He oversees academic and shared computing services in Information Technology Services and the Digital Library Services in NYU Libraries. David has been at NYU for almost 20 years. During that time, he has also served as technology consultant to the Soros Foundations, Expert on Mission to the United Nations, and the Founding Chairman of the Board of the New York chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-NY). David currently represents NYU on the Sakai OAE Steering Group.Statement:
New York University and I have been fully committed to producing OAE for the past year and a half. It's been a privilege to collaborate with Indiana, Charles Sturt, Georgia Tech, Berkeley, Cambridge, and Michigan. We have been successfully piloting OAE since the summer.
Last week NYU announced we would begin the move from Blackboard to Sakai. So, we are also fully committed to CLE, where will begin to move to in January. I would welcome the opportunity to serve the community on the Board.Steve Swinsburg
Steve is a Software Engineer at the Australian National University. He holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology, majoring in Web and Internet Technologies and a Bachelor of Science Degree. He also has several years of tertiary teaching experience.
Steve has been involved with Sakai since 2006, he is an active member of both the Sakai and Jasig communities and is a committer on both the Sakai CLE and uPortal projects. Steve is the lead for several core tools within the Sakai CLE, actively contributes to the various mailing lists for both Sakai and Jasig, and assists other developers within both communities. In 2009, Steve was selected as a Sakai Fellow.
Steve is a member of the Sakai 2 Technical Coordination Committee, the Maintenance Team, the Kernel Team, the Security Working Group and the Jasig Incubation Committee.
Steve has written over a dozen articles on Sakai best practices and how-to‚Äôs and regularly blogs about new developments in the Sakai and Jasig communities. In 2008, he had a paper on Sakai in distance education published in the Australian Ascilite journal, and in 2011 he contributed to the Sakai CLE Courseware Management book.Statement:
Being involved with both Jasig and the Sakai Foundation, I have a keen interest in the upcoming merger between the two organisations. I have a vision for strengthened and improved quality assurance and release management practices for both communities.
I recognise the large investment that institutions and commercial affiliates have made to the Sakai CLE and as such will seek to restore Foundation support and leadership for the CLE for many years to come.
With Sakai and uPortal being global efforts, internationalisation is the key for increased adoption and development around the world. This is a significant issue, even for English speaking countries. I endeavour to improve on the existing internationalisation efforts already underway within both communities, by increasing the number of languages supported, and improving the quality and coverage of existing translations.
I also have a vision for the Sakai Open Academic Environment to be a framework that facilitates innovation in online learning and collaboration. We‚Äôve already turned a pivotal corner in the re-imagination of online learning environments, thanks to the foresight and dedication of our community. I will strive to deliver a product that redefines online learning and collaboration for the future.
There are tremendous challenges ahead. Our community is re-writing the rules for online academic and collaboration environments. My experience and passion for Sakai puts me in a strong position to help consolidate and focus our development efforts to create truly amazing products. I am confident that my knowledge and dedication will be valuable assets, and hope that you will support my election to the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors.Seth Theriault
Seth works on research, teaching, and learning systems at Columbia University and was the original technical lead for its Sakai CLE deployment. He has been active in the Sakai community since early 2005, was named an inaugural Sakai Fellow in 2006, and is a member and past chair of the Sakai CLE Technical Coordination Committee.Statement:
I strongly believe that we must continue to nurture and cultivate strong, self-organized communities of interest and support for both the Sakai CLE and OAE. The future of the Sakai platforms is closely tied to the innovative and vibrant communities that created them, maintain them, and will improve them. By fostering cooperation across communities and leveraging our common technical interests, we will be able to further reinforce the CLE and the OAE as powerful and credible choices for organizations of all shapes and sizes.