Planning for Sakai 2.10 and beyond

I believe it is time for the Sakai community to embark on a proper planning and management process for the Sakai CLE, to take us well into the future. Not one that is based on existing Jira’s that are left hanging, not one that is based on just fixing a bunch of bugs and calling that a release, but one that completely realigns the focus of the CLE and brings the product back into the spotlight within the LMS market.

The Sakai Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) was formed in 2010 because there was no suitable technical or functional leadership for Sakai. We took control of the technical aspects, and have so far done an excellent job in getting bugs fixed, features implemented and releases cut.

However, I believe that at this point in time, what the CLE needs is to regroup and refocus on what it is what we want to achieve. Focus groups, steering committees, surveys, evangelists and visionaries, connecting with the people that have the skills, that make the decisions and that have the funding. In my personal opinion, we lack direction, the product is becoming stale and we are at risk of institutions and organisations leaving the community altogether.

As Michael Feldstein writes, the Sakai project is at a critical inflection point. We need to seize the opportunity to re-evaluate the LMS/CLE market and see what it is that teachers and students want from an environment, and how we can deliver that.

None of this will be easy. We don’t have dedicated funding to hire developers, nor the group of people as I described above, to discuss where the product needs to go. The community source model works, previous years of the Sakai project has proven that, but it falls down when the product gets stale and momentum is lost. It cannot always be left to volunteers to pick up the pieces.

What we do have though, is a solid product that is in use by millions of people every day and a thriving community of implementing institutions and commercial partners, all of who want the best for their students and clients. This is the perfect time to reflect on our product and start re-imagining what needs to be done.

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Jasig-Sakai Joint Unconference – Save the date!

Who. What. Where.

What

The Sixth Annual Jasig (First Joint Sakai) Unconference on the campus of Arizona State University/Polytechnic, Mesa, AZ

Dates

January 14-16, 2013 2 1/2 days of sessions; January 16-17, 2013 1 1/2 days of developer-implementer gathering

Place

Start Up Lab at ASU/Poly http://campus.asu.edu/polytechnic

Registration

TBD

Accommodation

DoubleTree Gilbert is offering a discounted rate of $129.00 per night, including wireless. Registration will be by individuals, using group code JASIG. Check back for more information. January 2013 Unconference Hotel

Meals

Coffee Breaks, Lunch Mon-Tues-Wed provided.

Travel Information

Campus is approximately 30 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

What’s an Unconference?

“An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance.”
-Wikipedia

Jasig and Sakai have always been about people coming together to share and learn in an open environment, and this is what an “unconference” is all about. The unconference format fits very well with our community values and goals. This January event is our sixth Unconference and will provide both spontaneous and planned opportunities to collaborate on all Jasig and Sakai community initiatives as well as initiatives from other community open source communities as well. Mark your calendar, make plans to join us and register as soon as registration opens up!

What are we going to do?!

The Jasig-Sakai UnConference consists of multiple face to face sessions occurring throughout the day. Some sessions may have more formal presentations, most sessions involve heavy interaction with the audience as a whole. The list of topics, presenters and facilitators is very dynamic and the final schedule will be determined in real-time, interactively with the attendees. Topics will likely include:

  • Project updates on CAS, uPortal, Bedework, uMobile, Grouper, Student Success Plan, Sakai CLE/OAE
  • Sessions on identity management, targeting mobile devices, development tools and techniques
  • Discussions around the Jasig/Sakai merger, Openness, adopting Open Source

OK, I’m Interested! What do I do next?

Mark the date in your calendar and stay tuned for more information.

Contact Patty Gertz (ed@jasig.org) if you would like to be on the planning committee.

See you at the Unconference!