Longsight Client LAMP Consortium Expands Sakai Beyond the Academy
Longsight client LAMP Consortium (www.lampconsortium.org) has begun to bring Sakai to organizations beyond the academy.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making remote teaching and learning more widespread, Sakai has widened to to include non-academic teaching and learning. Many organizations are providing educational content to their users, such as employee learners, special collaborations, or customer groups.
Sakai’s capabilities for delivering educational content and fostering collaboration make it an attractive platform for a wide variety of uses.
“Since the pandemic began, we’re getting multiple requests per week for more information about Sakai,” says Martin Ramsay, Managing Director of the LAMP Consortium (lampconsortium.org), a community of smaller organizations that share a single instance of Sakai as well as other technologies for teaching and learning. “The LAMP Consortium was started to serve smaller colleges,” says Ramsay. “But we’ve expanded well beyond that. The Editorial Freelancers Association, for example, uses Sakai for classes it provides to its members. The National Dance Education Organization trains dance instructors across the country. The pandemic has caused a major uptick in interest in its programs. And last year, for the first time, we helped NDEO conduct the national certification exam for new dance instructors. We did it all in Sakai.”
Ramsay says that “a wide variety of organizations are joining the LAMP Consortium because we make it affordable and because we take care of the technological headaches. But mostly they join because they get to use Sakai in all kinds of interesting ways.”
When asked about some other members of the LAMP Consortium that are not traditional academic institutions, Ramsay grins and counts off a list on his fingers. “We have a respiratory therapy certification prep course group out of Dayton, Ohio. There is a team out of Washington University in St. Louis working with public schools in New Mexico. We have a non-profit that trains low-income housing advocates all over the country. There is an organization that works in the for-profit food-service industry that is based outside of Atlanta. We even have a Ph.D. candidate who is studying the concept of joy among evangelical Christians. Do you want me to go on?” Even technology companies are recognizing the value of Sakai. Digication, a tech startup that provides an electronic portfolio platform, sees the value. “Digication joined the LAMP Consortium to get access to Sakai so that they can leverage Sakai’s LTI capabilities,” notes Ramsay.
In short, Sakai is not just for the academy anymore. To reach Martin Ramsay and the Lamp Consortium, go to www.lampconsortium.org.
When asked about the future of Sakai, Ramsay looks off into the distance. “Sakai is not just for the academy any more,” he says. “I think the coming years will see Sakai used in ways the original designers might never have imagined.”
Check out the LAMP Learning Consortium at www.lampconsortium.org.