[Portfolio] Fwd: Invitation to Participate > New Sakai Teaching and Learning Group

Noah Botimer botimer at umich.edu
Thu Sep 10 09:24:21 PDT 2009

Hello everyone,

As you may recall from some of the conversations on our weekly calls  
since the conference, we have been talking about ramping up some  
broader and more explicit collaboration with the Teaching and  
Learning group. The result of our conversations was a plan to adjust  
the focus of the weekly T&L calls to align with some forward-looking  

Below is a message from Josh Baron, who is graciously leading this  
realignment effort. Though it is a bit lengthy, I encourage you to at  
least scan it. There is a request for times that would work for  
interested parties, which is of special importance as this gets rolling.

Thanks for your ongoing interest and participation.


Begin forwarded message:

> SUBJECT > Invitation to Participate > New Sakai Teaching and  
> Learning Group
> I hope things are well with everyone
> I wanted to reach out to invite you to participate in the "new"  
> Sakai Teaching and Learning group and phone call that I and others  
> been working to organize.
> We are working to schedule our first call for some time next week.   
> If you are interested, please go to the Doodle site at http:// 
> www.doodle.com/fv6feshva2wybxfs to note the times when you are  
> available.  If you are not available next week but wish to  
> participate in the future just let me know.
> I've put out some e-mails over the past few weeks outlining the new  
> focus of the group/call.  I know that folks are very busy this time  
> of the year so I'm including one of my more recent notes below that  
> I think summarizes the background and current plans.
> If you have any questions let me know.
> Thanks, Josh
> ===================================
> Sakai Colleagues,
> In lieu of our usual weekly "teaching and learning" conference  
> call, I would like to share some thoughts the future of these calls  
> and some new ideas that have surface following the 10th  
> International Sakai Conference in Boston this past July.  I  
> recognize that this e-mail is very long and detailed but I felt  
> that in order to engage a larger and broad audience that a posting  
> to multiple lists, rather than phone calls, was best.
> I know that this is a busy time of the year for many of us but if  
> you can dedicate a few minutes to reviewing this and posting  
> comments that would be great.  To assist in freeing up some of your  
> time, I'm suggesting below that we not have our regular call for  
> the next several weeks and then reschedule it for a new day/time.
> As many of you are aware, there were several sessions at the Boston  
> conference focused on the need to find new ways for our community  
> to discuss, identify and document the types of instructional  
> practices that Sakai needs to support now and into the near as well  
> as distant future.  Some of this "need" centers around finding new  
> models for the type of "requirements gathering" that has been  
> attempted in the past.  Beyond this, there also seems to be a  
> strong desire to implement new processes that would produce "tool/ 
> technology agnostic" visions of the types of instructional  
> practices (ranging from traditional to innovative) that future  
> versions of Sakai should facilitate and support.
> Following the conference there have been a number of discussions  
> taking place in various groups and settings, including several  
> members of the newly formed Product Council, as to how we might  
> engage in this new work.  Some of the ideas (but not all) and  
> commentary on this can be found in Confluence at http://tinyurl.com/ 
> nuzsu2.  In addition, the folks within the Portfolio group have  
> shared some of the "visioning" work that they have been engaged in  
> for some time that many feel could represent a good model for the  
> larger community (likely requiring some small modification).   
> Examples of their work can be found at http://tinyurl.com/mx5uvb.   
> I have participated in some of the weekly Portfolio/OSP calls  
> recently and believe that they are interested in engaging in some  
> broader work in this area.
> I, and I believe others, feel that in order to move forward with  
> some practical work in this area that we need to establish a  
> regular (I think weekly but that is open to debate) conference call  
> that is dedicated to such an effort.  At the same time, we need to  
> broaden the participation beyond the folks who have been regularly  
> participating in the Teaching and Learning calls as means to  
> increase the resources (i.e. people time) going into this work and  
> to have a more diverse set of institutions represented  
> (particularly more international schools).
> Because of these issues, I would like to make two proposals:
> (1) Re-purpose the Sakai T&L call to focus on "instructional  
> visioning" activities.  This would mean shifting our calls away  
> from the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award program and other  
> conference-related discussions.  I am currently talking with  
> Michael Korcuska about how the Foundation could assist with the  
> TWSIA work (with continued involved of folks from this group) and  
> also believe that we could move the other conference-related  
> discussions to the Conference Planning Committee calls.
> (2) Reschedule the call during a time that will allow a more  
> diverse and larger group to participate.  This may end up requiring  
> some creative approaches in order to include various time zones.
> I would like to hear from folks "on list" as to any concerns,  
> thoughts, suggestions, etc. related to these issues and proposed  
> changes.  I would like to particularly encourage folks who are new  
> to either the community or these calls to share their thoughts.   
> Having this discussion on list rather than on our calls will allow  
> for greater participation (I hope).
> I would also like to suggest that we temporarily postpone the  
> regular Wednesday at 11:30 AM EDT "Teaching and Learning" call with  
> the plan of re-starting these calls in mid- to late-September.   
> This will allow us to some time to find a new day/time as well as  
> free of some time for all of us to think about and start to discuss  
> (on list) the details of how we might proceed with practical work.   
> Unless there is objection to this, I will put out some e-mails over  
> the next couple of weeks in an effort to find a good time(s) for  
> out future calls.
> Finally, I am going to put some time and effort into updating the  
> Teaching and Learning Confluence page to clean up the older content  
> (I won't remove it obviously, just re-organize it) and try and set  
> up some pages that will hopefully facilitate some of our initial  
> work in this area.
> I'm looking forward to engaging more on these issues on list with  
> everyone.
> Thanks, Josh
> -----------------------------
> Joshua Baron
> Director, Academic Technology and eLearning
> Marist College
> Poughkeepsie, New York  12601
> (845) 575-3623 (work)
> Twitter: JoshBaron

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