Saturday, September 5, 2009

10th Sakai Conference and DataNet

I attended the 10th Sakai Conference specifically for Jim Martino's presentation and associated discussions about our NSF DataNet award. It's our intention to build on Sakai's growing ability to connect with distributed repositories to provide access to scientific data within our DataNet framework. In addition to the DataNet specific items, I noted more general trends or observations.

The attendance for this Sakai conference was at least as much as prior conferences (so much so that they ran out of t-shirts), which is especially impressive given the current economic climate and associated travel restrictions. The number of members and institutions using Sakai continues to increase. Based on conversations with a couple of Sakai Board members, I also felt that Sakai 3.0 was moving in interesting ways that emphasize learning in different ways. The fact that "management" is part of the term "course management system" or "learning management system" has always struck me as odd. Do courses or learning really need to be managed? Within the Sakai community, there appears to be a greater awareness, even embracing, of the collaborative aspects of learning for which Sakai might have been conceived of in the first place.

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