vrijdag, oktober 27, 2006

Who is going to / Wie gaat er naar Atlanta?

It would be nice to have some idea which Dutch collegues are going to Atlanta for the 6th Sakai Conference. Please respond by commenting on this post. You can also send an email to Wytze in case you don't want to be known :-).
I am planning to have the following travel schedule (nothing final yet):
To Atlanta on Monday 4 dec, KL621
To Amsterdam on Friday 9 dec, KL9289 and then KL644 (via JFK)
Disclaimer: this is just for informative purposes... I am not going to act as your travel agent!
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woensdag, oktober 25, 2006

Candidates for Sakai Foundation Board published

Candidates for the 2006 Sakai Foundation Board election have been announced today. You can view the candidates bios and statements at https://sakaiproject.org/election. Board members will be elected by the institutional and corporate representatives as specified in the Sakai Foundation bylaws. These are the candidates (names link to their bios and statements about their candidacy and vision for Sakai): Lois Brooks , Michael Feldstein ,Clay Fenlason ,Rolf Granow, Joseph Hardin, Michael Korcuska, Deon van der Merwe.
This list shows some very very well respected people (at least by me!), as well as that Sakai is really international (Rolf Granow is from Germany and Deon van der Merwe is from South Africa).

maandag, oktober 23, 2006

Security and data integrity worries

On 10 October Kennisnet, a Dutch organisation that facilitates ict in education, held a meeting about their ePortfolio standard. This ePortfolio standard is a derived localisation of the IMS standard and has a more narrow definition for some datafields focused on the Dutch context. It remains interoperable, which is a good thing and vital in the current global market.

One question that was still open is the following: How can we guarantee data integrity for the grades, teachers reviews and comments?

The educational intstitutions are held responsible for this data and therefor should protect it from manipulation. A change in grading from 'bad' to 'exellent' must not remain undetected.
  • Should signatures be calculated for this data based upon public and private encryption keys?
  • Should (this part of) the portfolio be virtual and only hold references to the grading data at the website of the original source?
  • Should there be a grading bank that holds and issues the data from a central trusted repository?

Is the answer for this problem already thought up elsewere? I am probably not the first one to think about this,... and hopefully not the last ;-)

woensdag, oktober 18, 2006

WebCT versus Sakai? Read this!

During my travels around the web, I sometimes find some interesting treasures. A few months ago I found the UBC Arts ISIT Learning Tools Community Blog. I cannot really find out who the authors are, which is a pity. I guess that UBC stands for University of British Columbia.
Because they use categories on their blog it is quite simple to point you to all relevant posts on this blog that give you some insight in differences between WebCT and Sakai as seen through the eyes of an enduser. Just go to UBC Arts ISIT Learning Tools Community Blog - WebCT versus Sakai.

vrijdag, oktober 13, 2006

Interviewing in Dallas

Every year a large group of Dutch elearning professionals visits the annual Educause conference somewhere in the US. This year the group traveled to Dallas. Keith Russell (University of Utrecht) got hold of Charles Severance and conducted an interview for the Edutrip 2006 weblog which also has been recorded.
Thanking Keith for pointing this out for us.

woensdag, oktober 11, 2006

Interdisciplinary studies (UvA) supported by Sakai

- Jaeques Koeman, Universiteit van Amsterdam (IIS), Edia
- Roland Groen, Edia

The Sakai implementation www.iis-communities.nl is the learning environment for interdisciplinary lecture series at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS, www.iis.uva.nl) of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. A broad population of students including alumni, contract students and students at other universities participate in these lecture series, which cover topics ranging from conflict studies, religion, quantum lessons and China.

The use of Sakai in supporting the lecture series offered ways to overcome bottlenecks and meet new demands and opportunities at the same time. The environment has been configured to meet demands such as facilitating experts at distance to contribute to the educational process and have a level of public accessibility to allow the communication and transfer of academic knowledge to a broader audience outside the university. By doing this, the achievements made during these lecture series (e.g. a Wiki containing future scenario’s about the city of Amsterdam) will also not be deleted at the series’end, but remain publicly accessible and serve as a reference point for future students, thus creating a community around interdisciplinary topics.

The Sakai implementation www.iis-communities.nl was done by Edia - education technology (www.edia.nl) . Edia is an Amsterdam-based company that develops educational software, implements (open source) e-learning technologies and advises in the field of ict in (higher) education. Since 2005 Edia has monitored the developments of Sakai and now has version 2.2.1 in production at IIS. Next to adding various bug and issue reports and some translation work, Edia has developed a tool for versions 2.1.1 and 2.2.1 that combines the register, join and login functions in one.

Both Edia and IIS are now joining forces with the Computing Centre of the Universiteit van Amsterdam, exchanging experience and ideas on applications of Sakai within the university. For example, 2007 will see Sakai in action supporting online academic introduction courses for scholars (Webklassen).

maandag, oktober 02, 2006

A little tool for aiding the translation process

Making a good translation for Sakai to the local language and keeping it up to date is quite a challenge. Within the LOI company we are confronted with the translation into Dutch (together with the other organisations in this language area). To aid that process we have build a little tool that we want to share with the Sakai community.

The tool works for any given language and calculates the percentage translated labels per resource file, lists the labels without translations and possible missing resource files. It is currently being used to generate a report for the resource files in the Sakai development trunk. You can find the nightly updated reports on the QA server of the Universiteit van Amsterdam:


Additional information about the tool can be found on confluence:



Hugo Jacobs
Leidse Onderwijsinstellingen (LOI)