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Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai



Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai

Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai

Michael Korcuska, Executive Director, Sakai Foundation



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  • Four components: Product, Community, Code and Foundation Before this, a brief history of Sakai. How many have not heard of Sakai?
  • Why not work together to build a common system?
  • The convergence of technology and services is at the heart of Sakai’s product vision.
  • 5 de la top 10 Universités utiliser Sakai. Aussi numéro onze. L’annee prochaine je pourrais peut-être vous dire 6 des 10 meilleurs. Grâce à L’université Yale!
  • ECL: Limitations are few: p reservation of the copyright notice & disclaimer required; n ame & trademarks of copyright holder(s) may NOT be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to the Original or Derivative Works without specific, written prior permission. It is very similar to the Apache 2.0 License The GPL copyleft: The GPL does not give the licensee unlimited redistribution rights. The right to redistribute is granted only if the licensee includes the source code (or a legally-binding offer to provide the source code), including any modifications made. Furthermore, the distri buted copie s, including the modifications, must also be licensed under the terms of the GPL.This requirement is known as copyleft , & it gets its legal teeth from the fact that the program is copyrighted . Because it is copyrighted, a licensee has no right to modify o r r edistrib ute it (barring fair use ), except under the terms of the co pyleft.
  • In summary, the time is ripe for getting Open Educational Resources, both content and technology, introduced on your campus. The technology is proven and innovation is occurring quickly. And that innovation is happening on campus. Your campus can have the same courseware management capabilities as Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley and Cambridge University. More than that, you can work with them to define what the future brings.
  • Very similar to what was presented at Newport Beach
  • R&D: Is it applicable. Is it strategic — is it worth putting it into incubation? Product Council: Needs ability to self-adapt (add members) to some degree Insert a slide about the product council. Stephen: council resolves tensions between product coherence and project work
  • Users expect more based on their experience with so-called Web 2.0 applications. Project sites in Sakai 2 have been incredibly successful. So successful that the demands on these capabilities have grown and we need to respond to our users. The emergence of new technologies allow us to use best-of-breed open source solutions where we previously had custom code. We can also open Sakai development to developers who don’t know Java. An important step in our long-term goal of making Sakai a platform for innovation accessible to faculty and students.
  • Hundreds of campuses and millions of users are being successful with Sakai around the world. Sakai 2.6 is out the door. Plans are being finalized for Sakai 2.7. There are no questions about the sustainability of the community. We have the luxury of deliberatively creating something based on years of learning and an increasingly diverse set of use cases.
  • I’ll talk about this in three different areas. Changes for the end user of Sakai. Changes for those developing applications on top of Sakai. And, finally, changes in the Sakai community itself.
  • Sakai 3 is being constructed with 6 major themes in mind
  • I used the term “learning space” because it is generally more evocative, but we’re really talking about academic collaboration spaces in general. We want the owner of the space to have overall of the content/functionality that is presented. We at the same time want to embrace the fact that education is participatory — many users will contribute content, individually and collaboratively. We also know a lot about *why* people are using our tools and these functions need to be easily surfaced.
  • Academic space creation starts by providing simple, wiki-like content authoring capabilities and putting them front and center in the user interface. Google docs and WYSIWYG wiki-editing are good examples of what we mean. But to this we need to add functionality useful inside and even specific to the academic context. For example, interactive widgets that provide information about upcoming assignments and an easy way for users to provide feedback on each other’s work.
  • We tend to think of content as files to be shared. But our definition should be broader. We use the catch phrase “Everything is content” to remind ourselves of this. Each bit of content should be something that can be tagged, searched, linked to and shared Everything goes into a unified repository, which I’ll say more about in a minute. Sakai is not trying to compete with Drupal. We won’t have complex approval workflows or layout capabilities. Sakai is designed for everyone to be an author and typically that’s not true in traditional CMS designs.
  • In traditional CMS systems, files are added to the system in the context of a site. While it is possible to find items across sites (this is true for Sakai 2), the user interface doesn’t necessarily make that clear. The result is that users find things by first trying to remember what site they were in when they saw it.
  • Users and groups are built in to sites. Two sites with same users and groups requires duplicate effort or complex external provisioning.

Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Sakai Perspectives Michael Korcuska Executive Director Sakai Foundation
  • 2. About Sakai
  • 3. Sakai History
    • Courseware Management System
    • Started in 2004
      • Michigan, Indiana, Stanford, MIT (and Berkeley)
      • Mellon Foundation Grant
    • 2.6 current release
  • 4. Why Start Sakai?
    • 5 Schools with Homegrown CMS
    • Inefficient to build 5 systems
    • Wanted to maintain control
    • Experts in teaching and learning
    • Desire to work together and share knowledge
  • 5. Defining Sakai: Product Scope
    • COURSE MANAGEMENT — all the tools of a modern course management system.
    • RESEARCH & COLLABORATION — project sites for research and work group collaboration.
    • SAKAIBRARY — Library-led component to add citations directly into Sakai.
    • PORTFOLIOS — Open Source Portfolio (OSP) is a core part of Sakai.
    Course Management Portfolios Sakaibrary Research & Collaboration
  • 6. Defining Sakai: Community 200+ PRODUCTION/PILOT DEPLOYMENTS: From 200 to 200,000 users
  • 7. Sakai today
    • 5 of 10 top Universities use Sakai
      • Stanford
      • Berkeley
      • Cambridge
      • Columbia
      • Oxford
    • #11 (Yale) does too!
  • 8. Defining Sakai: Code
    • OPEN LICENSING — Sakai’s software is made available under the terms of the ECL, a variant of the Apache license. The ECL encourages a wide range of use, including commercial use.
    • NO FEES OR ROYALTIES — Sakai is free to acquire, use, copy, modify, merge, publish, redistribute & sublicense for any purpose provided our copyright notice & disclaimer are included.
    • NO “COPYLEFT” RESTRICTIONS — unlike GPL redistributed derivative works are neither required to adopt the Sakai license nor publish the source code as open-source.
  • 9. Open Source Value Vendor Software Local Version New Version Customization New Version Local Version Customization Again Proprietary Software Brick Wall
  • 10. Sakai Foundation
    • MISSION — help coordinate design, development, testing & distribution of software; manage & protect intellectual property ; provide basic infrastructure & small staff; champion open source & open standards.
    • PARTNERS — approximately 100 member organizations contribute $10K per year ($5K for smaller institutions, sliding scale for commercial affiliates).
    • GOVERNANCE — ten board members elected by member reps to serve three-year terms; Executive Director manages day-to-day operations.
    • BUDGET — funds 4-6 staffers, admin services, computing infrastructure, project coordination, conferences , Sakai Fellows Program, advocacy & outreach activities.
    We are not “in charge” of the Sakai Product. We do develop com m unity practices.
  • 11. Why Sakai?
    • UCT decided to move to open source in 2004, migrating from WebCT& a home-grown system. Open source offers the advantages of flexibility & avoids the risks of vendor lock-in & escalating license costs. We were attracted to Sakai by the size & expertise of the community around it.
    Stephen Marquard, Learning Technologies Coordinator, University of Cape Town
  • 13. Sakai Goals
    • Adoption
      • Broad & Diverse (significant adoption by different types of organizations)
      • The top choice for innovators (perhaps not most popular overall)
    • Product Experience
      • Cohesive, effective and engaging (end users)
      • Platform for local innovation (developers)
      • Easy to deploy/manage (production)
    • Community
      • Easy to contribute (for new & experienced members)
      • Diverse (roles & institutions)
      • Excellence (recognized as desirable to belong to)
  • 14. Focus on Quality
    • August 2007: My first month at Sakai
      • Sakai release 2.4 going in production
      • Large institutions spending too much time on troubleshooting & maintenance
      • Fewer resources for new feature development
    • Immediate Foundation Goal
      • Quality, Quality, Quality
    • Other Issues
        • Desire to rebuild Sakai UX
        • (Perception of a) developer-dominated community
        • Roadmap
  • 15. Changes & Results
    • Increased Foundation staff focused on QA
    • Extended QA Cycle for 2.5 & 2.6
      • Formal Beta and Release Candidates
    • Introduction of Maintenance Releases
      • Currently on Sakai 2.5.5
      • About to release 2.6.1
    • Challenge: Managing 2.5, 2.6 & 2.7 releases simultaneously
      • Not to mention Sakai 3
  • 16. User Experience Improvement
    • Project launched in 2008
    • Did not make 2.6 release
      • Not enough work completed in time for code freeze
      • Many felt design needed happen on tools before they would deploy on campus
    • 2.7 or 3?
      • All energy towards Sakai 3
  • 17. 2009 Challenges
    • Predictable Roadmap
      • Good things are happening
      • When will they emerge into the release?
      • Action: Sakai Product Manager, Clay Fenlason
    • Communication
      • Who is working on what?
      • Who is interested in the same things I am?
      • Action: Sakai Communication Manager, Pieter Hartsook
    • Creating large changes
      • User Interface Improvement: UX Improvement Project
      • Major Tool Rewrites
      • A Completely New Version
      • Action: New Product Development Process
  • 18. Product Life Cycle
  • 19. Major Product Changes
    • Generate new ideas
    • Try new technologies
    • Prove desirability
    • Create dev team/plan
    • Reduce dev risks
    • Finish building
    • Test
    • Document
    Community Product Council
  • 20. Product Council
    • Authority:
      • Decide what is in the official release
    • How:
      • Based on objective criteria as much as possible
      • Open process and document decision-making
    • Also:
      • Provide guidance to incubation projects who are wondering what they need to do to make the release
  • 21. Product Council
    • Nate Angell (rSmart)
    • Noah Botimer (Michigan)
    • Eli Cochran (Berkeley)
    • Michael Feldstein (Oracle)
    • Clay Fenlason (Georgia Tech & Sakai)
    • David Goodrum (I n diana)
    • John Lewis (Unicon)
    • Stephen Marquard (Cape Town)
    • John Norman (Cambridge)
    • Max Whitney (NYU)
  • 22. Sakai 3: Why?
    • Changing expectations
      • Google docs/apps, Social Networking, Web 2.0
      • Success of project sites = Sakai beyond courses
    • Years of hard-won knowledge
    • New technologies
      • Standards-based, open source projects
        • JCR (Jackrabbit)
        • O p en Social (Shindig)
      • Client-side programming
        • JavaScript/AJAX
        • Fluid Project
  • 23. Why Now?
    • Proto by Hubert Stoffels
    The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. John F. Kennedy
  • 24. What?
    • Photos by Hobvias Sudoneighm , Massimo Valiani , and Mathieu Plourde
    Technology and Developer Experience Functionality & User Experience Community Practices and Culture
    • Sakai 3
  • 26. Sakai 3 Themes Everything is Content Learning Space Construction Academic Networking Breaking the Site Boundary Academic Workflows, not (just) Tools The unSakai
  • 27. Learning Space Construction
    • Really “Academic Space” Construction
      • Teaching & Learning plus ….
      • Research, collaboration and portfolios
    • Principles
      • Overall control in hands of space owner(s)
      • Embrace participant content creation
      • Simple integration of common academic functions
    • Photos by Cyprien Lomas
  • 28. Academic Spaces: Building Blocks
    • Simple Content Authoring:
      • Easy page creation (wiki-like)
      • WYSIWYG Editing
      • Versioning
      • Templates
        • Page and Site templates
        • Structure, tools and content
    • Enhanced with Academic Functionality
      • Interactive Widgets (e.g. assignments & feedback)
  • 29. Everything is Content
    • Not just files to share
      • Classic “resources” tool in Sakai (of course)
      • Discussion post, user profile, test questions
      • Taggable, searchable, linkable, portable, shareable
      • Addressable by URL
    • Unified content repository
      • Content not tied to site
      • Everything in one storage area
  • 30. Content Management Sakai2 Site A Site B Users find things by remembering what site they were in when they saw it. Photo by Desirée Delgado
  • 31. Content Management Tags : System, Organizational & User Permissions : Who has access, under what conditions Search Smart Folders Photo by Amy Veeninga Sakai3
  • 32. Academic Networking
    • Academic Networking
      • People are important, but “friends” aren’t enough
      • Related content is also relevant, but not the whole story
    • Activity based
      • Who has taken the same classes?
      • Who is reading the same articles? Participating in similar discussions?
  • 33. Academic Networking
    • A platform for exploration
      • We aren’t competing with Facebook
      • We do believe we need to drive R&D in this area
    • Linking networks together
      • Sakai to Sakai
      • Sakai, Moodle, Blackboard, D2L
    • Leveraging existing networks
      • Particularly LinkedIn and Facebook
      • Sharing profile and activity information
      • Creating apps on those platforms
    • P hoto by Joël-Evelyñ-FrançoisDézafit-Keltz
  • 34. The Site Boundary All Art Students Studio Art 101 Year 1 Art Students User 1 User 2 User 3 User 4 User 5 . . . Year 1 Art Students User 100 User 2 User 3 User 4 User 500 . . . Users and groups exist within the context of a site.
  • 35. Sakai 3 Groups & Sites
    • Groups & Sites managed separately
        • Member of a group – People with something in common
        • Access to a site – Collection of content & functionality
        • Support for hierarchy
    Art Dept. Art Majors Studio 101 Studio 101 Students Guest Judges Art Majors Student Work
  • 36. Workflow & Architecture
    • Facilitates independent tool development
    • Resists intuitive workflows
    • Contributes to inconsistent user experience
    Kernel Kernel Service Service Service Service Service Service
  • 37. Workflow & Architecture Kernel
    • Workflows built across services
    • Encourages presentation & service separation
    • Services need to respond to more customers
    • UX oversight is more complicated
    Kernel Service Service Service Service Service Service
  • 38. Academic Workflow
    • Beyond Tool Silos
      • Academic work flows often cross tool boundaries
        • Anything can be graded!
        • Anything can be discussed!
      • This exists in Sakai 2
        • But it is too difficult and more needs to be done
    • Example: Instructor puts into syllabus an assignment to create a discussion post that will be graded .
      • 4 tools for both instructors and students!
    • P hoto by Zoom Zoom
  • 39. Workflow Example Select text & click “Create Assignment” Edit Assignment Information Link to Something Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article& post to discussion forum Create Assignment … Name: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 Points: 10 (of 150) Type: Individual Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Link To: Select... Create Cancel Advanced Options … All Media Images Videos Audio Forums Tests Site Pages Polls Choose New … Forums Jackson Response Forum (3 posts) Class Intro Forum (27 posts) Some Other Forum (0 posts)
  • 40. Student View Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article& post to discussion forum Assignment: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 ( due tomorrow ) Status: Not submitted Points: 10 possible (of 150). Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Read more … Link(s): Jackson Response Discussion Forum ( Create Post … )
  • 41. Student View, Graded Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article& post to discussion forum Assignment: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 (due date passed) Status: Submitted and Graded Points: 9 / 10 (of 150). View feedback Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Read more … Link(s): Jackson Response Discussion Forum ( go to Forum now )
  • 42. The unSakai Documented data feeds allow Sakai to appear anywhere Kernel Service Service Service Service Service Service Kernel iGoogle Windows/Mac Widgets Mobile Apps Facebook
    • Why Sakai 3?
  • 44. Sakai 3 Technology Goals
    • Scalability
      • Millions of users
    • Developer Productivity
      • Faster builds
      • UX & back-end development separated
    • Code Quality & Maintenance
      • Reliance on other open source efforts
      • Increase unit testing
    • Easier to install/build
      • To improve initial experience for new developers
    • P hoto by Luiz Castro
  • 45. JCR as Content Store
    • Standards-based
      • JSR 170
      • Ships with Apache Jackrabbit, but can be changed
    • Everything as content
      • Discussion post, User profile information, etc.
      • Components put Content into JCR Content store
      • Sakai Kernel creates relational indices in DB
        • Component doesn’t need to do anything
        • Automatic tracking of most events by kernel
  • 46. The Point
    • Don’t write our own code
      • Apache Sling is foundation for Sakai 3
      • Sling incorporates Jackrabbit & Felix
    • Criteria:
      • Functionality
      • License-compatible open source
      • Open standard
      • Approachable community
        • Ian Boston is committer on Sling and Shindig
  • 47. JSON
    • Sakai Kernel supports JSON microformat
    • Components use REST calls to interact with Kernel
    • Benefits
      • Back-end services stay Java-based
      • UX programmers more often skilled in JavaScript
        • Easier UX developers can work on Sakai
      • Tools like GWT can be used for Java-based UI
      • Components can be written using other languages
  • 49. Community Practices
    • Functional Leadership
    • Design First
    • Minimize Technology Frameworks
    • Quality Focused
      • Unit (and other) Tests
  • 51. Timelines Official Releases Sakai 2.6 Sakai 2.7 Sakai 3.0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Previews Hybrid Mode Sakai 2.5 Sakai 2.8?