Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sakai OAE: a bazaar in the cathedral?

Last week I drew up some visual notes for the seminal article on openness:Cathedral & the Bazaar.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe
After reading some really thoughtful posts by Ken Romeo, Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein, I can’t help but wonder if the Sakai Foundation has taken too much of its process from the Cathedral style of development and not enough from the Bazaar?

As the first commenter, Bruce states:

Organization and labor. No real developer community; only paid developers. That’s not sustainable.

I think the lessons we are to take from the open source movement which seems to have failed in the translation for community source are:

  • lose the ego (let everybody in)
  • release early, release often
  • harness the brainpower of many
  • listen to the users
  • with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow
  • be ready to throw it all out and start again

Once the development team cloistered itself away from the general public and stopped sharing honestly the state of OAE in general, the project went south.

I love the idea of using and supporting a community source learning management system at my institution but if it’s only partially open, then how is it any better than any other LMS?

Nothing Can Stop It!

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

Starring Sebastian Thrun and all those xMOOCS: Udacity, Coursera, EDx (because they are the ones that get all the attention) but produced, directed and thought about by George Siemens, Alec Couros, Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes.

Poster based on The Blob illustrated movie poster, aptly named Design Assignment 666 (number of the BEAST!!!)

I read some comments in the Openness in Education newsletter today about whether MOOCs should be feared by institutions because they threaten their financial viability.

Will MOOCs disrupt the regular university experience?


At first I was offended, like BrainySmurf about the talk of monetization since that completely bastardizes the O part of Open. Monetizing MOOCs is NOT OPEN.
If some MOOCs start charging for certificates, etc, will we call them $MOOCs? Or just drop the “open”.$MOC ? #oped12 #TLTGmooc1#mooc

If MOOCs start making money they should call themselves University of Phoenix or any other university at this point for that matter.

The more I think about it, universities do have something to fear. But the monster is not the MOOC, however, the MOOC just one of the solutions to a problem that already exists.

The best thing to come out of the MOOC phenomenon is that people are talking about teaching, instructional strategies, and assessment. Lots of people.
Some of my favourite.
#jiscwebinar <a href=What Is A MOOC? @dkernohan @mweller @jonathan_worth @loumcgill @daveowhite [visual Notes]”>

38 Special

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

On Wednesday August 29 I was in the middle of facilitating an intensive 3 day Instructional Skills workshop for graduate students.

It was also my 38th birthday.

It’s been an excellent year for me but for some inexplicable reason I’ve had a bit of a log jam (blog jam?) in the past few months.

There’s been a lot happening. I’ve been to Halifax, Virginia, Vancouver, Montreal, Arizona, Algonquin. I ran my first 5K race. I climbed down 1000 feet of the Grand Canyon. I’ve given and attended some really blog-worthy workshops. I have the inimitable @DrGarcia visiting me in Welland and she cooks me dinner so I have time to blog.

“Don’t worry, honey, I’ll make dinner…you blog” cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

I was monumentally touched by David Kernohan‘s “oh Giulia won’t you write us a blog” song.

I asked myself repeatedly, Why I am I NOT blogging?

Well the (b)log jam is dislodged thanks to the surprising and overwhelming gush of loving responses I received from my network, sweetly planned by Alan and executed by all our friends.

I have to admit even this post stalled numerous times as I started to thank every person who tweeted, FB msgd, emailed, phoned, doodled, photographed, sang and DJd on #ds106radio. The thank you list was so long I started to feel like one of those oscar winners who won’t get off the stage.

Then Alan suggested (he is full of good ideas) I draw my gratitude. So I did.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

At first I wasn’t sure why I drew myself as a four year old super hero but then when I thought about it, that pretty much sums up how I feel about the experience. All that. And more.

So this is a thank you to all of you who give me such great memories, who make my life so rich and interesting, who encourage, support, and give me just the right amount of challenge, who teach me about the world and myself.

Thank you, friends for being a part of my network and inspiring me to be a better version of myself with every passing year. While 38 is not a traditionally major milestone year, I will always remember it as being extra special.