woensdag, mei 31, 2006

Linking Library resources into Sakai

From the start the Sakai community is working close together with the different library communities in the institutions. Several small scale tools and integration solutions were developed over the past two years.

Indiana & Michigan University decided it was time for a more structual approach on providing a mature solution for the integration of library systems and the Sakai platform. In this session the projectleaders provided a large audience (> 100) with the first results of the Sakaibrary project. The project started last January and will run for the next two years.

The main project goals are:
- to provide seamless integration between Sakai & Library ecosystems, based on newly developed tools by the project
- testing the newtools and scenario's by the usercommunity
- a prototype for discovering licensed content in library systems

The new tools will available the Sakai suite around the summer of 2007. The next year the projectteam will develop and test the tools in small scale pilots at Indiana & Michigan University.

Most of the present work went into the requirements & usage scenario's

The usage scenario's cover quite a lot of areas of interest, e.g.
- integration of Sakai resources tool and reference software
- integrated metasearch in Sakai on library databases & resources
- subject research guide in a relevant Sakai course
- different library tools available for the instructor in Sakai
- federated search tool with different options depending on role (instructor, student, librarian)
- storage of a discoverd article for later use in a course
- in-Line citation Management Tools to coordinate readings (e.g. in science courses)

It's a fairly new project and workable tools will be available in 12 months.
I think that if the project will meet its goals in 2007 it will change the way elearning & library ecosystems will work together.

Addtional information
Slides from the presentation

project space on the Sakai wiki

Live from Vancouver

Originally uploaded by wytze.
Marij Veugelers just delivered her presentation on portfolio implementation experiences in The Netherlands. She had a very interested audience.
I just visited a greet demonstration by IBM who is donating some serious stuff to the Sakai Foundation. They are donating a very capable SCORM player (including RTE) for SCORM 1.2 that can be tightly integrated into Sakai. It comes bundled (as I understood) with Sakai CLE offering by rSmart Group.

Pictures say more than ....

Walking around a conference you meet quite a lot of (new) people.
The conference buzz and impressions are hard to capture and to remember after the conference. Therefore it's really fantastic that we don't only share idea's but also pictures & impressions.

To get an idea why you should be at the next years conference
have a look at this frozen moments of time: Sakai Vancouver06

dinsdag, mei 30, 2006

There is no "THEY"!

Nate Angell and Wende Morgaine today delivered a great workshop on implementing Sakai (and/or OSP).
They shared their experiences on implementing Sakai on Portland State University. Actually the audience turnout was larger then they expected, close to 50, so interaction within the group was not really possible.
Nate and Wende had a lot of messages for the audience, which was quite mixed. There were large schools, small universities, commercial organizations (Stoas and Leidse Onderwijsinstellingen, but also a consulting firm from Argentina that will be doing pilots with two universities in Argentina!) and quite a few people representing Europe (Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Twente, Hull and Limerick).
Here are the messages that I received from the workshop (which I will be using to create an implementation plan for our University):
  1. Communication, communication, and once again communication is something you cannot underestimate
  2. Create a larger vision and promote the larger vision (so it should not just be: "We will replace TeleTOP with Sakai")
  3. Do not use Sakai as the name for your new VLE
  4. Be aware that OSP is not as mature as Sakai (actually I can only agree with this; but with help of the UvA and the larger community we will sort things out)
  5. A pilot should not be used as an evaluation of a particular tool
  6. Be sure that you have at least three competencies on board the projectteam: marketing & communication, IT (to translate between business and IT) and faculty
  7. "There is no they" ("When will they deliver OSP 2.2?"): if you want something done, you have the oppurtunity yourself to make the change happen (you can write out requirements, you can commit developers etc)
  8. You only get one chance with faculty (people tell 40 people if they are not satisfied, but they tell only 3 people if they are satisfied): so your demonstration better be good!
So what would our larger vision be for our implementation? Maybe "Improving teaching and learning within the 3TU federatie" is the formula?
What sort of surprised me is that quite a few (American) participants were not satisfied with their current VLE. This was said about Blackboard as well as about WebCT!
And about this weblog: I got some positive feedback on the way we are doing this in The Netherlands from our collegues from England.
Any other Dutch participants that would comment or add on this post?

Next stop: Vancouver

Tomorrow (well: actually today if you read this in Europe) will be the starting day of the 5th Sakai Conference in Vancouver. Today I was on a pleasant KLM flight with some collegues from Hull.
Just shortly after arriving at the airport I was already bombarded with a SMS from Marij Veugelers. She already had a meeting today at the University of British Columbia, I believe. I hope that she will tell us some more in this weblog :-) I already registered myself today and got a fine T-shirt and the rest of the official stuff.
Tomorrow I will be attending a fullday workshop where I will build a Sakai implementation plan that fits my campus.

woensdag, mei 24, 2006

On forming a Sakai Special Interest Group

On May 22 we had our second meeting in The Netherlands with those institutions interested in Sakai. The following institutions were present, and as such are really working (or will start working soon) with Sakai: Saxion Hogescholen, University of Amsterdam, University of Twente, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Also present were SURFnet and Stoas. SURFnet is the innovative networking partner for all HE institutions within The Netherlands. Stoas is the first commercial affiliate for Sakai in The Netherlands.
The meeting started of with all institutions, as well as Stoas, sharing current events and future plans. The plans are actually quite diverse, but can be characterized as being pilot or experimentation. We also discussed what the goal of a SIG should be, and which activities should be carried out. Furthermore we discussed how we could organize a common ground regarding specific Dutch (European?) issues and viewpoints. We could collate and prioritize these issues together and drive them to a desired outcome within the Sakai Foundation, according the working procedures within the Foundation.
On a more basic level we concluded that we should really strive to inform each other on a regular basis and as completely as possible. Stoas for example shared with us that they have been talking to a HE institution about the use of Sakai as their primary VLE. The name of the institution could not be disclosed during the meeting, but will be disclosed soon.
There were several action items that we have agreed upon. Some of them are:
(a) we will meet again on July 5, where we will discuss in detail what is happening at the institutional level,
(b) every institution will provide some more text, that we can (and will!) share with the worldwide Sakai community (keep watching this weblog for this information) and
(c) there is a need for a coordinator, that should drive the SIG in the right direction.
So, as you can see, there is really something good happening within The Netherlands. I hope that we can also gain some progress on a European level, during our BOF meeting in Vancouver!

zondag, mei 21, 2006

It's official

As of May 16, 2006, the University of Twente has officially joined the Sakai Partners Program (SPP). This is serious milestone for us. We are very serious about Sakai and the potential of the community. Joining the SPP is one of our ways of giving back something to the community.
So where do we stand right now? We have started the definition phase of our project, which is called Campus Blend using Sakai (CBUS). We have Sakai up and running for some time now and are evaluating (technical as well as educational) how it compares to our current systems. To document our findings we have started using a Wiki. That works quite nice in my opinion. The wiki is not open to the general public, but sometime it will!
We are planning on starting some pilots with Sakai and/or OSP later this year. There seems to be quite a lot of interest so far from several departments on our campus on utilizing Sakai in their courses, so that seems very promising. We will be delivering some demo's and walkthroughs for those seriously interested in the course of next month, June. Our first official demo will be on June 9.
We will do our final evaluation of Sakai, the toolset, the community and the Sakai framework around May of next year.
We will keep you posted through this weblog. For some more information, in Dutch, you can still go to http://www.utwente.nl/elo.

maandag, mei 15, 2006

1st European Sakai Day 6 & 7 September 2006

The 1st European Sakai Day takes place from September 6-7, 2006. The Luebeck University of Applied Sciences (LUAS) is delighted to welcome Sakai Friends and the Sakai Community Europe.

A special website (www.oncampus.de/sakai) is available with additional information and a agenda of the meeting. Several Sakai core developers will be present and they will give talks and participate in discussions.

The 1st European Sakai Day aims at discussing and supporting the further development and usage of Sakai in the European context.

Let's meet in Luebeck

donderdag, mei 11, 2006

Sakai not only for education but also for Research

News from the Sakai website

Open Grid Computing Environments (OGCE) 2.0 released using Sakai

Paragraph #5 --

In conjunction with the NMI R9 release, Open Grid Computing Environments (OGCE), another NMI team, is announcing a major revision of its software that enables the creation of Grid portals or Web-based user interfaces that simplify the process of identifying and accessing Grid resources.

In a single download and one-step build process, the OGCE Version 2.0 provides a complete toolkit for building science-portal gateways. Newly incorporated Sakai collaboration portlets provide access to their tools such as calendar scheduling, document sharing and chat functions. Also included are Grid portlet clients to the Globus Toolkit 4 services for credential acquisition, remote command execution, and remote file management. The release also features new portlets for Condor and the Storage Resource Broker and optional support for PURSe Grid account management. The OGCE portlet software and plugin modules are integrated with the GridSphere 2.1 portal container and include GridPort information and file management Web services, which may be deployed as separate "science gateway" services.

Read the whole article at:


Follow up on May 22

As mentioned on this weblog before, on May 22 there will be a followup meeting with those people and/or institutions in The Netherlands that are really interested in Sakai. Those that previously expressed their interest have received an email regarding this followup meeting with a detailed agenda. We plan on starting up a special interest group (SIG) for Sakai.

This is the agenda for our meeting on May 22:
1. Welkom en introductierondje

2. Discussiethema's:
- Wat is zinvolle samenwerking tussen instellingen?
- Welke mate en vorm van informatie-uitwisseling is nuttig?
- Welke werkvormen en taakverdeling hanteren we?

3. Europese samenwerking en lidmaatschap Sakai Foundation

4. Afspraken en vervolgstappen

5. Wat verder nog ter tafel komt (wvttk)

The meeting is open to everyone in The Netherlands that has a serious interest in Sakai. So if you haven't received the formal invitation, please make yourself known (preferably by commenting on this post, but email is also OK) and we will provide you with the full details.

dinsdag, mei 02, 2006

Presentations online

The presentations of the Sakai meeting in Utrecht (19th april) are available.
They can be found on this webpage from the SURF website.

Sakai Status Update

Charles (Chuck) Severance, the Chief Architect of Sakai published an insightful post on his weblog. In this post he provides us, Sakai users and implementers, with the latest info on the issues that will be tackled during the development cycle for the next Sakai 2.2 release.
The link to his weblog is here