Boot Camp at Sakai Conference

I’m listening to introductions now… every story includes an institution that just recently found their recent LMS pulled out from under them. They have great hopes for Sakai.

Also an odd thing as compared to Blackboard conferences where something similar is offered as a pre-conference workshop, this room is full of mixed types – not just sys admins. There are Academic Directors, software developers, Faculty of online courses, new rSmart employees using it as professional development.

And rSmart and Unicon aren’t the only commercial vendors here. Blackboard has sent Jan Poston-Day, whom I’ll have to hook up with later. Jan will be presenting, I believe, on the Blackboard Collaborate integration with Sakai, but more than that, her keen mind and human perspective will surely be taking in and analyzing what makes the Sakai community so attractive to many people and where Blackboard’s cultural transformation could intersect with it.

Comment is being made that the folks in the introductions who are saying, “we’re signing a contract” (rSmart, Unicon, Longsight) represents a change in the ecosystem. In previous Sakai boot camps folks didn’t say this so much because they were running Sakai themselves.

Wake Forest is here! They just “stole” (I smile when I say that), Harold Pace from Notre Dame (our Registrar) and have been on Sakai for a year. About 6 years ago our then Provost Nathan Hatch, also took a new position at Wake Forest. 😉

Okay, we’ve now progressed to the nitty-gritty where we’re rewriting dlls for esoteric databases and developing in SOAP or python or PHP if we don’t like Java, which I barely understand anyway so I’ve got to end this posting to better focus.

Stay tuned for more blogging from the conference.