I’ve recently been in a number of conversations about the education system in the United States and the role of technology in improving things. So I thought I’d take a minute to write down some of my thoughts on the subject. While I don’t think technology is a silver bullet by any means (as evidenced by the fact that I’m still having this conversations 20 years after I entered the field!), I do think technology has a role to play in improving learning outcomes.
Please join the Sakai Foundation in welcoming Josh Baron and Maggie Lynch respectively as Chair and Vice Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. Board members are elected to three-year terms on a rotating basis with one-third of the Board seats up for election each year. Board Chair and Vice Chair serve as officers for one year.
I am happy to provide you with a status update on the progress that has been made since the previous post: Sakai 2+3 Hybrid pre-alpha. I think you will be most pleased with the outcomes and in many ways provides a better user experience than what is available in the Sakai 2 portal! The speed at which you can switch between tools is quite amazing. Check it out:
As the week begins winding down, I wanted to draw your attention to some progress I have made in this area since my last blog entry: Importing content from Sakai 2 into Sakai 3 (take 2). First, I would like to point you to a screencast I recorded on the subject earlier today:
December 2009 was a short but productive month. I worked with the Karen Tsao (Stanford) on Test & Quizzes, Nuno Fernandes (Universidade Fernando Pessoa) on SiteStats, Megan May (Indiana) on Messages and Forums, Chuck Severance (Michigan) on BasicLTI and Steve Swinsburg (Australian National University) on Profile2/profile classic. My contribution involved refactoring each project's Maven pom files and adding an assembly module in order to automate the generation of stable tags and binaries.
Southern Europe is suffering a very cold spell indeed. If I walk outside now in Amsterdam then the temperature is -4 with a wind chill factor that makes for effective temperatures below -10. The weather is great for the children as car driver’s ride slowly by only to get snow balled (Alan say's as he hides a snowball behind his back).
The cold weather motivates me to sit for longer and warmer behind the computer. However, luckily I am taking time to eat home made apple tart and drink warm drinks of various levels of non alcoholic content, hic.
It was a busy December with projects targeting both the internal Sakai community and outreach to those who haven't yet decided to adopt Sakai. We got a lot done, but a number of these projects carry over into the new year.
Michael Feldstein just posted some great information on tracking the Sakai Foundation activities on his blog. I also wanted to point out that I've started a "Sakai Foundation Goals and Activities" wiki page that (hopefully!) provides a framework for putting a lot of the particulars into context. It certainly needs more work and I will invest the time to make it easier to understand -- if people find it useful, that is.
Several members of the Sakai community, including Ian Boston, Brad Wheeler and Chuck Severence have made excellent comments on the Chronicle of Higher Ed article regarding Melllon's folding of the RIT program into the Scholarly Communication program. If you're interested in the story I encourage you to check them out.