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OSD 3.0

The third OSD was hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

This year it occurred before the Blackboard Developer's conference, making it an excellent networking opportunity where friendships forged at OSCELOT could be strengthened over the following days.

As an experiment suggested by Neal Caidin, participants in OSD iii were invited to join a community website (crowdvine) before the conference began.
This helped new members feel part of the OSCELOT community before they arrived. Some of the discussions also led to projects proposed during the day. 

There was an informal reception on the Saturday evening which included a showcase of recent projects.



On the Sunday we were lucky enough to have two keynote speakers:

Jeff Kahn has been working in the area of repository interoperability for many years. His work has focused on development and exposition of the Repository Open Services Interface Definition or Repository OSID (www.okiproject.org) and facilitating its adoption in a number of commercial and open-source projects. Jeff has been working on the development of repository migration tools that include access to the Blackboard Content System. Jeff has also worked with the SOURCE Project, MIT, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and Blackboard on an open source Blackboard Building Block for federated search of repositories.

Jeff Kahn shared some of his experiences gained by working on more than 50 repository-related, open activities. After reviewing his areas of focus, he reviewed some case-studies from these projects, and then discussed what he has found people mean when they say "open source". This was followed by a discussion of interoperability standards, particularly those related to repositories. He closed with some person observations about the industry.


Working at the University of Nevada website, Michael Wilder has a dual career path - both education and technology.  The result is a hybrid individual with skills and perspective from both fields. He worked as teacher and trainer in a variety of environments, serving, among other positions, as Blackboard administrator, Online Learning Specialist, and college faculty (web design, web-based multimedia, networking, programming, desktop publishing, essential computer applications, and much more). Michael specializes in web-based education and the educational use of open-source technology. He has presented at major conferences, and has consulted to schools districts and colleges. Michael received his B.A. in English from UCLA, and received his master's degree in Educational Leadership, with emphasis on computer-based education, from Gonzaga University.

Michael gave a talk entitled Commercial vs. Open Source Learning Management Systems:  Weighing the Issues. This addressed questions such as why, when it comes to learning management systems, would many educational institutions rather pay large corporations vast amounts of money than invest in their own technical infrastructure using open source solutions? What are some of the issues that hold such institutions back from considering non-commercial alternatives? What are some of the challenges both commercial and open source learning management system developers face in order to satisfy the needs of educational institutions? He reviewed the issues related to commercial vs. open source learning management systems, inviting the audience to contribute their own observations.

During the day a series of possible projects and ideas were discussed, suggested by the participants.
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