Report on Sakai Newport 2007

Report on Sakai Newport 2007

Last week I attended the Sakai 2007 conference in Newport Beach, and boy, it was fabulous! I saw some really awesome stuff and met some really dynamic and creative people.

I learned:

Lots of institutions are using project sites for a variety of things. We in the libraries are using it for managing library content and work group information (like the Science Library and Library 101 sites, as well as the Library Staff site), which are common trends. Other academic institutions find the wiki a wonderful collaborative tool to coordinate work outside of meeting times. One school is using a Sakai project site to manage their disaster and emergency preparation information.

Archiving the Sakai content is becoming a thread of discussion. Some are thinking of Institutional Repositories and others are thinking of Digital Libraries. There are concerns that content produced, from research to administration information, should be preserved. What are we thinking of here? Perhaps there is a way the SAT team and the CCDL should work to archive important data currently housed in Sakai.

Lots of schools have migrated course reserve content off eres servers and into Sakai. There seems to be three trends:
1. House objects identified with metadata on a server, and link to the objects in resources
2. Enable staff to have admin access to course sites’ resources folders, and populate objects there
3. Enable staff to have admin access to the users’ My Workspace resources, and instruct them on how to move content into desired course sites (this could also be an option for document delivery)

The Library at Michigan modified their Web Content tool, titled the ‘library help’ tool, and made it point to a Meebo widget that then links users to library service desks. Faculty add it to their course sites in the ‘site info/edit tools’ area. They’ve had 230 sites add it this semester and have noticed an increase in chat reference traffic.

It was REALLY cool seeing all the techie gadgets, phones, cool software, cool hardware, and nearly everyone but the vendors in jeans with their ‘moffice’ (mobile office/backpack) plugged in and working. I felt at home with my ilk.

I’m REALLY glad I don’t have to drive to Newport Beach everyday. Omg, that’s exhausting.

The Sakaibrary Project is creating a subject guide tool that will enable the assigning of metadata tags to resources and then dynamically building a list of resources relevant to those tags. You can tag anything from a document to a database to a journal to a webpage…

I got my first text message reference question to my phone while at the conference.

The citation tool integrates with open URL technology to incorporate objects found using open URLs from library tools and Google Scholar into the resources of Sakai sites. We would need to turn on open URLs in Blais for us to use this effectively with our books at Claremont.

Wimba is a really neat web conferencing classroom tool that enables virtual online classroom sessions with cobrowsing and all kinds of fun features.

My presentation on Integrating Library Resources into Sakai was well attended, and I felt honored to speak to such brilliant and creative people. The Claremont Colleges participated in a total of 6 presentations.

We had a fabulous discussion with a selection of users from small schools. Among other things, we think that small schools are good places to beta test tools as our user base is smaller facilitating discussion, trials and new ideas. We would ask for new tools from the larger developer bases from the larger schools. We also discussed the thought that smaller schools would be a good place to try new pedagogies and teaching strategies that can be shared back to the larger community. Pedagogy is a large, upcoming trend in the Sakai community.

Want to see pics? Go to and search for sakainewport07


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