Sakai: Free as in Freedom (Alpha)

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About the author:
Charles is currently a Clinical Associate Professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Charles is a founding faculty member of the Informatics Concentration undergraduate degree program at the University of Michigan. Charles also works with the IMS Global Learning Consortium promoting and developing standards for teaching and learning technology. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project.

Charles is the author of the book, "Using Google App Engine" from O'Reilly and Associates and the book "Python for Informatics: Exploring Information". He also wrote the O'Reilly book titled, "High Performance Computing". Charles has a background in standards including serving as the vice-chair for the IEEE POSIX P1003 standards effort and edited the Standards Column in IEEE Computer Magazine from 1995-1999 and currently serves on the IEEE Computer Editorial Board.

Charles is active in television and radio as a hobby, and has co-hosted several television shows including "Nothin but Net" produced by MediaOne and a nationally televised program about the Internet called "Internet:TCI". Charles appeared for over 10 years as an expert on Internet and Technology as a co-host of a live call-in radio program on the local Public Radio affiliate (

Chuck's hobbies include off-road motorcycle riding, karaoke and playing hockey.

Charles has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.

Sakai: Free as in Freedom (Alpha)

A Retrospective Diary

Authored by Dr. Charles Russell Severance

This book describes the experiences of building the open-source Sakai teaching and learning environment software.

Sakai was founded by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Open Knowledge Initiative(OKI), and the uPortal Project. The Sakai project was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and over 100 Sakai partner schools and companies for over five million dollars over a two year period.

The project was very ambitious with an almost impossible schedule for delivery. Almost nothing in the project went according to the plans and yet today, the Sakai software is in use at nearly 300 schools worldwide with three million daily users and a ten percent market share of research universities. Sakai competes with commercial products like Blackboard and Desire2Learn as well as other open source products like Moodle, OLAT and ATutor.

This is the story of the successes and failures and recoveries along the way as well as the fun and stress as the project went forward from an insider's perspective.

Publication Date:
May 18 2011
1461166292 / 9781461166290
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
7" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Computers / Social Aspects / General

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