May 27, 2016

What happened at the 2016 Sakai Conference?

We just attended the 2016 Sakai (Apereo) Conference in New York, at New York University. We found a very excited group of faculty, developers, and trainers, who couldn't wait to find out about the latest updates to Sakai 11. Plus, there are already a variety of plans afoot for Sakai 12 too! Some folks were handing out Sakai 11 t-shirts-so I thought you might want to see a sample:


 For Sakai 11 (which we'll get the end of this year) the biggest change is the look and feel: 
  • Students can use their mobile devices to access Sakai
  • We'll work with a stream-lined Lessons tool, with just four buttons. 
  • The Test and Quizzes settings will be consolidated and simplified. 
  • Assignments will support peer and group activities. 
  • The New Gradebook (Gradebook NG) will look and work like a spreadsheet, and will be easy to download, update, and upload. 
  • We'll provide training this Fall so you can try out the changes!

What are folks planning for Sakai 12?

  • Forums retooling : Forums will remain the same for Sakai 11, but big plans have already been made to streamline the tool, with less clicks for posting and grading. 
  • Resources upgrade: In addition, there are already plans to update Resources so it looks and acts more like Google Drive or Dropbox, with drag and drop capabilities. 
  • New! Rubrics: Also, a new group has formed to integrate rubrics with the new Gradebook, later Assignments, then Forums.
  • Want to add your ideas or help with projects? Check out FARM, where you can submit and vote on ideas for Sakai and other Apereo open source projects.  You can also volunteer to join project teams (test how a change looks, how it works, document it, code it, or test it) 

What will be available the end of this summerMeetings (BigBlueButton) is adding new features:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Closed Captioning 
  • Plus: Faster Desktop sharing

In future, Meetings will allow shared note-taking, and will allow students to join a Meeting with mobile devices. As a matter of fact, if students use the Puffin web browser on their mobile device now, they can use it to join a Meeting now!

Resources:
Curriculum Online Course Guidelines
Tools for Teaching
Sakai Resources for Instructors

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