Apereo Newsletter - May 2019
Deadline for the June edition will be June 10, with publication on or around June 17. Send your contributions along to!

From the Executive Director

Open Apereo 2019 Keynotes

There's still time to register for Open Apereo 2019, June 2nd to 6th at the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza!
Register here and don't forget to book your hotel place by 1700 PDT, Friday 17th to get the special rate!

Tannis Morgan:
The Future of Ed Tech in Higher Education When Open Source is a Radical Solution

There is no shortage of futurists speculating about innovation, disruption, and the future of educational technology in higher education. Yet, those responsible for leading edtech strategies and academic innovation are often faced with institutional realities and considerations that don't align with the visions being pitched by futurists and vendors. 
In this talk I will take us through some examples of ed tech absurdities from the perspective of a public college administrator responsible for the academic innovation strategy. I will dive into the importance of institutional control in an environment where it is increasingly critical to understand issues of privacy, surveillance, and big tech business models; our tendency to recreate problematic structures rather than rethink the models; and the need for alternative visions of NGDLEs driven by teaching and learning and not tech.  I will suggest that open source educational technology is critical to a future where open education practices and flexible teaching and learning are established, and the importance of models such as Apereo, Domains of One's Own, and OpenETC in shaping that future.

Tannis Morgan is the Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning, & Innovation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). She is a key champion of OER at the JIBC, including conceiving their Zed Cred initiative several years ago and systematically working towards it even before BCcampus put out a call for grants. Tannis has helped steer the Justice Institute towards leveraging open source tools such as WordPress and Learn Dash to create affordable and open resources used by students and by the community. Click Here to read more about Tannis.

Ian Dolphin: Platforms and Privacy - Open Approaches

Privacy is currently a big deal in higher education IT. The topic entered the EDUCAUSE “Top Ten IT Issues” list this year at number 3. So what’s new? High profile legislation such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has both upped the compliance ante, and done much to generate awareness. These developments have been accompanied by high profile data breaches with international ramifications affecting millions of users at British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Starwood, amongst others, and a daily diet press stories of egregious misuse of user data by large technology platforms. Higher education is in danger of being caught in a web of multiple conflicting agendas. Ian Dolphin will survey the privacy landscape, and draw some preliminary conclusions about the location of open source software in relation to privacy.

Ian Dolphin is Executive Director of the Apereo Foundation, and has been involved with open source software in higher education for almost twenty years. He is former Heady of eStrategy at the University of Hull, in the UK, and has also worked for the UK's Jisc.

Conference Website -

Join Friends of Apereo!


The Apereo Foundation and its projects have been at the forefront of creating and sustaining software in service of education.  Apereo extends membership to individuals through the Friends of Apereo program. This program allows individuals to support our community programs and activities.  

By making a small contribution that will be dedicated to our support programs, Friends of Apereo can help make a difference. In return, we'll help you stay in touch by providing discounted access to Apereo events and by giving Friends a say in how Apereo is run by voting for a reserved Friends of Apereo board seat.

Apereo's work has touched countless learners, teachers and researchers worldwide, helping to both extend access to learning opportunities, and enriching them. Please help us sustain and extend that by becoming a Friend of Apereo today.

Individual memberships are available for $100.   Joining is easy at

Individual membership supports the work of the Foundation as a whole.  If you'd like to direct your gift to a specific Apereo Project, please specify the details using the special instructions section in PayPal.

Thank you for your continued support of the Apereo Foundation!


2019 Apereo Fellows Announced

The Apereo Foundation is pleased to announce the Apereo Fellows for 2019, individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Apereo projects and their communities.

Many thanks to the Apereo Fellows Selection Committee: Wilma Hodges, Matt Jones, Stephen Marquard, Janice Smith, and Anthony Whyte, chair

Julien Gribonvald: Julien works for the online education software service at GIP RECIA - a public interest group serving the Center-Loire Valley (France).  He develops, manages, and deploys several services (including uPortal) to more than 200 middle and high schools on a common and centralized platform.

Greg Logan: Greg is a developer, board member, and consultant working with Opencast. 

Misagh Moayyed: Misagh has been working as a senior software engineer and a member of Unicon's Identity and Access Management team since 2011.

Martin Ramsay: Martin is the Managing Director of the LAMP Consortium (, a community of colleges, universities, and other educational organizations that shares a single instance of Sakai.

Jolie Tingen: Jolie is a Product Manager for the Kits platform at Duke University.  She has been a contributing member of the Sakai community since 2008, participating in the Quality Assurance, User Experience, and ATLAS working groups.

For complete bios on our winners, read more here

European Commission launches quiz to assess knowledge of open source software

The European Commission is an enthusiastic user, producer, and contributor of free and open source software (FOSS). Freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change in any way, open source code is publicly shared to encourage people (anyone) to voluntarily improve the design and features of the software.

Many people already use FOSS without knowing they are benefiting from it. This is about to change. To spread the message about the benefits of FOSS, the EU-FOSSA 2 project has created a simple quiz in an effort to assess the level of understanding of FOSS among the general public. In addition, the quiz covers issues such as the safety of FOSS, how often it is used, and which European institutions use FOSS.

The benefits of increasing the level of FOSS usage are undeniable. According to recent studies, the European economy saves around EUR 114 billion per year by using open source software solutions. The overall contribution of FOSS to Europe’s economy is estimated at almost EUR 450 billion.

Public services that procure free and open source software solutions generate significant future benefits that are, by their nature, available to everybody - citizens, companies and public sector organisations. Open source contributions create a virtuous loop, and are a key component of the European Commission’s free software strategy. 

About EU-FOSSA 2
The quiz is part of the EU’s Free and Open Source Software Auditing project, EU-FOSSA 2. The project aims to ensure and maintain the integrity and security of key open source software. EU-FOSSA 2 has set out to improve FOSS security and raise awareness of its many benefits which, amongst others, include lower software costs and increased security. 
To find out more about what the Commission is doing to improve the security and usage of open source software visit the EU-FOSSA 2 website.

Project News

 New Directions for OAE

The OAE has been slowly getting back on its feet after a somewhat long period of consolidation, data migration, and redeployment. The 15.0 release "Snowy Owl" last November paved the path to a sequence of new developments and releases which we are now proud to announce to the Apereo community (and to the world!), including most noticeably the integration with Ethercalc to provide collaborative spreadsheets to OAE.

Other improvements include:
-- New group joining options
-- The ability to export personal data
-- New SVG based previews
-- A new "rails-like" database migration mechanism
-- Replacement of several outdated dependencies
-- Node 11 and ES6 modules support

This period has also seen the OAE team adopt several best practices and standards for open source projects, including conventional commits, (real) semantic versioning, consistent and modern code styling and formatting, among others. This couldn't have been possible without the help of a few services that provide amazing value free of charge for open source projects, such as: (licensing) (policy enforcement) (integration testing) (code quality)
- (security)

We recommend other projects take a look and try them out. If there are other essential tools or apps not on the list, please share them with the community! As usual, we'll be attending Open Apereo 2019 and we've got a nice surprise in store for you, so we hope to see you there as well.

See more at the project website

New Members Join Sakai PMC

We are pleased to announce that three new members are joining the Sakai Project Management Committee (PMC). PMC membership is reflective of significant contributions to the community and a dedication to the shared goals of the Sakai community.

Matthew Hall - University of Virginia
Matthew is the Technical Lead for the University of Virginia’s learning management system team. He manages software development and system administration for UVACollab, UVA's implementation of Sakai. His focus is on the tools, services, and integrations that make up UVA's central online collaboration and learning environment. Matthew has been working with Sakai since 2011. He holds an MS in Computer Science, a BS in Computer Engineering, and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Virginia.    

Miguel Pellicer - EDF - Entornos de Formación
Miguel is the CTO at EDF and an LMS market entrepreneur with a strong commitment in Open Source education technologies.  An active member of the Sakai Community and the Spanish Team since 2008, security and internationalization lead. Miguel has led more than thirty Sakai deployments all over the world, including elite universities in Spain, Netherlands, UK, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and the USA.  

Joshua Wilson - Longsight Inc
Joshua is Longsight’s Chief Operating Officer.  He leads client relations, business operations, project management, and strategic planning. In addition, Josh chairs the Sakai Community’s Marketing Team. He has been a leader in academic technology for more than a decade, serving most recently as Associate CIO for Academic Technology at Brandeis University, where he directed the strategic and client-centered renewal of the University’s academic technology environment, including its open source LMS.  Josh has served for a decade on the management team for the nationwide MISO Survey, which measures the effectiveness of IT and libraries at more than 150 higher education institutions. 

In terms of what PMC membership "means", the PMC members are already active members in the various groups in the Sakai/Apereo community (QA, Core Team, Marketing, FARM, Accessibility, Teaching and Learning, etc.). Most of the decisions about Sakai are made in those groups without any need for the PMC to take a vote or render an opinion because we believe that those closest to the actual work should make decisions regarding the work whenever possible.

The PMC gets involved when there is a significant or broader issue or a decision needs to be made regarding Sakai's direction or resource expenditure by Apereo on behalf of Sakai. The PMC does all of its work in full view of the community on a public list except for votes on new PMC members.  Everyone in the Sakai community is welcome to join, monitor, and participate in the PMC mailing list.

Please join me in thanking these new PMC members for their past, present, and future contributions to Sakai and welcoming them to the Sakai PMC.

Thanks to Matt Jones (PMC Treasurer) for running the PMC nomination and election process.

-- Chuck Severance

Wanted: Your Institution's Story

Consider submitting a vignette for!

If you’ve not looked at recently, go take a look. On the landing page we’re promoting Apereo sponsored software in a series of what we’re calling “vignettes”. These are short stories and messages about what problems adopters are using Apereo software to help solve. Check out the solutions we’ve highlighted so far!

Have a message about Apereo software you’d like to communicate to others? Why not take five minutes to write a vignette and forward to
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