Apereo Newsletter 24 December 2014

1. Open Apereo 2015
2. Call for Entries: 2015 Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award
Project News 
3. What's New In Sakai 10.3
4. Sakai Holds First Ever Online Conference
5. Sakai North Carolina
6. Learning Analytics Initiative Project Update | OpenDashboard
7. Registration is Now Open - 2015 Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference



1. Open Apereo 2015

Open Apereo 2015 - Higher Education ...
Open Source in a New Age
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel - Baltimore, MA
May 31-June 4, 2015

Open source software is emerging into a new age. It’s an age of software as a service and proprietary cloud offerings, yet with an ever advancing open agenda within higher education. Scarcely a day goes by without a sign of growing support for open content, open access publishing, open data, open science - and more. What lies behind these seemingly contradictory developments? Are they an occasion for retreat, or for re-affirmation of key values applied to a new landscape? What is the role of the open source community and non-profit foundation in this new age? Apereo, and its sister organization, ESUP, represent a global network of almost two hundred higher education institutions and commercial partners. Come and join the conversation about higher education open source in a new age. 

NOW OPEN! Call for Proposals for Open Apereo 2015

Look how far we’ve come! Get ready to learn new things, make new friends, and share your stories at our Open Apereo 2015 conference in Baltimore, Maryland! This year’s conference will be held in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, with plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment right on the picturesque waterfront - see more at: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. 

We invite you to submit a proposal now!

Apereo has grown. Come and learn about an expanding range of software produced by higher education, for higher education, including:

Opencast Matterhorn - enterprise lecture capture and media platform
UniTime - Scheduling and timetabling designed for higher education
Karuta - a next generation eportfolio solution
Bedework - Calendaring for the higher education enterprise
Xerte - Authoring highly accessible and rich content for learning
EDExchange - next generation secure transcript exchange
Student Success Plan - production-ready analytics for student success
The Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment
uPortal - now equipped with responsive design, the higher education portal framework
CAS - single sign on for the higher education enterprise and beyond
Apereo Open Academic Environment. Next generation collaboration for learning, teaching and research
uMobile - mobile solutions for your campus

There’s nothing up our sleeve. All our software is 100% open source; produced openly by our community, openly available, with nothing held back. 

It’s not just the software. Come to learn about community building in practice. Join the conversations in our teaching and learning community, learner analytics initiative, and more.

The Open Apereo Conference is designed to be an international, inclusive event, providing opportunities for community members to:

* Present perspectives based on institutional experience, learn from the experience of others, exchange ideas, develop dialogue, and form new partnerships

* Develop an understanding of multiple areas of the academic enterprise by looking beyond immediate interests and appreciating both commonalities and differences

* Organize community-wide, project-based, or institutional discussion, dialogue, and practical collaborative work

May 31: Pre-conference workshops
June 1-June 3: Main conference
June 4: Post conference meetings

The deadline for proposals is February 9, 2015. As proposals are received, the program committee will review and accept submissions during the open submission period. The committee expects to have all proposals reviewed and final acceptances by March 6. Please note that you may login and edit/review this proposal only through the cutoff date of February 9, 2015. The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2015.  Early Bird Proposals entered by January 23 will be eligible for early review decisions by February 6.

The Apereo conference in Baltimore is a global networking point for practitioners. There will be opportunities during and around the conference for meeting, sharing, and learning from others in our global community.

We look forward to your proposal!


Ian Dolphin, Executive Director, Apereo Foundation


2. Call for Entries: 2015 Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award

The Sakai Teaching and Learning community is seeking submissions for the 2015 Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) competition. The award recognizes innovation and excellence in technology-supported teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement. We look forward to entries from those using the Sakai CLE and the Apereo OAE (Open Academic Environment).

Award categories include: 
* Higher Education: Face-to-Face
* Higher Education: Fully Online or Hybrid Course
* Primary and Secondary Education (K-12)
* Project Sites & Alternative Uses of Sakai/Apereo OAE
* Portfolios

This year, the selection process will consist of two phases:

Phase 1: Optional abstract submission for feedback and preliminary review

Opening Date:  Dec 4, 2014 Deadline: Jan 15, 2015

Each applicant will submit a brief description of his/her project and of the innovative teaching method, practice or strategy to be considered for the final award. Applicants will receive feedback on their abstracts, from the TWSIA committee, by Jan 30, 2015.

Participation in Phase 1 is not required for participation in Phase 2. However, the three questions on the abstract submission form will help applicants when they move on to the full application process. Those who submit a preliminary abstract can incorporate feedback from the TWSIA committee in their final application.

To submit an abstract, click this link: 
Optional abstract submission form 

Phase 2: Final submission (required of all applicants)

Opening Date: Dec 3, 2014 
Deadline: March 20, 2015

Each applicant will submit an in-depth description of the innovative teaching method, practice or strategy and indicate how it addresses the award criteria.  Application forms and information on award categories, a definition of innovation, criteria and rubrics are at: 

Winners will be announced in early April 2015 and recognized at the Open Apereo 2015 Conference in Baltimore MD.
Conference dates are May 31 to June 3, 2015.

Registration and travel expenses may be available for award winners.

Contact: Salwa Khan, TWSIA Committee Chair at sk16[at]txstate[dot]edu

Ian Dolphin
Project News

3. What's new in Sakai 10.3

About 200 fixes and improvements. 

Tomcat 7.056+ compatibility.

Assignments - Anonymous Grading feature (off by default. controlled by system property).

Gradebook - control of gradebook display to students based on system properties.

Lessons - may specify a folder for Lessons generated content to be stored in Resources based on system properties.

Samigo Test and Quizzes - Ability to transfer ownership of question pools. Add/Edit Parts interface has been improved.

Security issues - eight security fixes tested and included. 

Source: https://www.sakaiproject.org/current-release


4. Sakai Holds First Ever Online Conference

Dec. 4, 2014 - ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- 340 participants registered for the faculty-friendly Sakai Virtual Conference that took place November 7, 2014. With 7 tracks, 57 presenters and co-presenters, and a focus on pedagogy and best practices using the Sakai learning management system, the event showcased the vibrant and participatory nature of the Sakai community.  The Virtual Conference took place entirely online, requiring no travel and only a $50 registration fee, plus special group rates, making this one of the most accessible Sakai events ever. The registration fee will be contributed to further Sakai development effort.

The conference format provided an enhanced opportunity for teachers, learners, instructional support personnel, and administrators to present, participate, and engage in discussion in a cost effective, timely, and engaging way.

* Attendees could participate from their office or home, alone or together with colleagues.
* Interacting was easy and everyone had a “front row seat”.
* Peers and colleagues shared their latest successes and challenges based on real world experiences.
* Featured a Spanish track
* Sessions were recorded   -  http://lanyrd.com/2014/sakaivc14/video/
* Keynote from Michael Feldstein, renowned educational blogger and speaker. Michael is a Partner at MindWires Consulting, Co-Publisher of e-Literate, and Co-Producer of e-Literate TV.
* The Sakai Virtual Conference covered a broad range of topics including using Sakai for MOOCs, online teaching, autonomous learning, faculty development, IMS LTI adoption, and improving Sakai’s user interface and mobile capabilities now and in the future.

What people are saying:
“Well worth doing - and it's always good to see people in technology using technology tools, instead of just talking about using tech tools!”
“There was no travel so everyone on our team was able to take part.”
“Lots of interesting and challenging topics, the opportunity to "meet" people from other institutions who care about pedagogy and technology.”
“There were quite a diverse range of topics and I quite enjoyed the BOFs. I think it was a wonderful way of being updated of what is currently happening in the Sakai community.”
“Keynote speaker was very informative and interesting. Having facilitators and presenters in different locations was a unique experience. Loved the format.”
“Great participation from the community... I believe it is really important for a community to organize events like this. For a global community, it really makes sense to have virtual events.”
“This was an AMAZING event. Kudos to all organizers.”

Special thanks to our sponsors the Apereo Foundation, Longsight, asahi net international, Unicon, Blindside Networks (http://blindsidenetworks.com/), and LAMP Consortium (http://lampschools.org/) for providing the scaffolding and for our community for building and delivering a great conference.

Source: http://www.prlog.org/12397114-sakai-holds-first-ever-online-conference.html


5. Sakai North Carolina

Twenty four participants, representing four active Sakai schools in the North Carolina Piedmont met at the American Tobacco Campus on November 18, 2014 to share information, learn about common interests, discuss the direction of Sakai and explore opportunities for participation in the global Sakai community.

Duke University hosted this 1/2 day event which included representatives from Wake Forest University, UNC-Chapel Hill,  and Durham Tech Community College.

The format was Unconference-style with the participants choosing the topics to discuss, plus a presentation by Neal Caidin, the Sakai Community Coordinator,  on the Sakai 11 roadmap. For the Unconference portion, the top three issues, based on votes received, were Streaming Media, Upgrading Sakai, and Customizations. Other topics discussed included Automating QA testing, Delegated Access Tool, and Turnitin-like tools, among others.

Feedback immediately after the meeting was overwhelmingly positive, with discussion of planning the next get together in about 1/2 year.

Notable Quotes
“Sakai is a great product. We should be marketing it more!”
“I like meeting everyone from the surrounding schools and hearing what everyone is working on . I appreciate the event being held.”
“I liked everything. The breakout discussion on streaming media was very helpful. Also details from Neal on Sakai 11, the development process, and community issues.”


6. Learning Analytics Initiative Project Update | OpenDashboard

The Apereo Learning Analytics Initiative community is working to realize an open learning analytics infrastructure and progress is being made!

Central to the collection, storage, and analysis of learning data is a way to display that data and the insight it provides. Meet OpenDashboard - an LTI-based open-source learning analytics dashboard that can be extended based on the needs of the institution. OpenDashboard was developed with a focus on performance, scalability, and ease of integration. Currently the dashboard allows users to view LRS data and create/edit an LTI link and pull in tool provider content using that link. Eventually the vision is to have a library of visualizations that can be displayed via the OpenDashboard

Interested in helping to build a library of visualizations? One way to join in is to attend the 5th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference at Marist College in March 2015! The pre-conference festivities include plans for a hackathon where participants will build visualizations to be integrated into OpenDashboard. Join in and help out!

More information about OpenDashboard (and OpenLRS, a related project)

More information about the LAK 2015 hackathon

The LAI community gladly welcomes new members. If you are interested in working towards a community-sourced analytics infrastructure, incubating software, sharing requirements, cross validating analytics pilots, while working in a wider community of interest, please contact: 
Alan Berg: Community Officer for the Apereo Learning Analytics Initiative at
analytics-coordinator[at]apereo[dot]org <mailto:analytics-coordinator[at]apereo[dot]org>


7. Registration is Now Open - 2015 Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference

The Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and Marist College are pleased to announce that registration for the 5th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) conference is now open!

Online registration and updated travel information is now available on the main conference web site at: http://lak15.solaresearch.org/.  Please note that in order to receive the "early bird" registration discount you must register by January 21, 2015.  We are also providing additional discounts for SoLAR members, details on how to become a member and obtaining your membership discount code are available from the Registration section of the web site.  Finally, as noted in our Travel section, we will be providing limited FREE shuttle service from major airports, please review the details before booking your travel if you are interested.

Finally, we would like to thank all of our main conference sponsors, including our Platinum Sponsor McGraw-Hill Education, Gold Sponsor Blue Canary and Silver Sponsor ANI, for helping to support this event!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in March 2015!

Joshua Baron
Senior Academic Technology Officer, Marist College
Twitter: JoshBaron