Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sakai Session

MERLOT session presented by Unicon, a Sakai Commercial Affiliate. This was the second of two presenters for a 60 minute session. He only had 15 minutes after the first one just couldn't stop herself. Unicon is of the opinion that the vendors dealing with the higher education market are getting too much power over us .... and I totally agree.

Unicon is an open source support provider. In other words, they will host your Sakai installation and provide technical support. They say that you get the benefits of open source software as well as the benefits associated with vended applications. The result is lower risk and more predictable costs. He talked about four potential steps down the path to using Sakai:
1. Test drive Sakai
2. Pilot Sakai in an ASP environment
3. Private-labeled hosted instance of Sakai for institutions
4. Deploy local instances of Sakai
I'm hoping to find the time to take a free test drive of Sakai at Academus Open Campus. The brief look we got at the session looked pretty clean and user-friendly, although we were looking at a student view so I don't know (yet) how user friendly it is for instructors.

He says that adopting Sakai is more of a strategic opportunity to position yourself for the future, but the vendor-based products do have more bells and whistles. In other words, don't expect it to be all things to all people; which I would also say is true of the vended products as well. I'll post more after a test drive. Don't hold your breath waiting, but sometimes I surprise even myself by getting things done.
Photo courtesy of pfmeurer (Creative Commons)
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