Open ICT Infrastructure
This appears to be a terminology related issue. In a general language sense I would say that a free online platform does exist when referring to the collection of open source software tools which can be combined on the open web to support learning. The point is, the OERu network will not allow technology to be a barrier in implementing free learning opportunities for all students worldwide. A wiki for collaborative course development using team approaches plus integration with simple iframes within the local institutional LMS will enable us to proceed without the need to wait for some major "platform" to be developed.
I don't think its a fair assessment to suggest that inviting only an institutional techie to the meeting will close down the opportunities to which you allude. In a project which adopts open governance and open processes thats not going to happen. We will work with the technologies we have. You are free to convene a virtual meeting of technologists, NRENs and other enthusiasts to pit together the "virtual cloud" specifications you see for the future. The meeting will consider any sensible solutions for the future.
We look forward to receiving the technical solutions operationalised for use by our OERu network.
I'll admit the terminology is enough to drive anyone to distraction. It does me. I'm just flagging this early on, so Jim and Steve will know there are lots of other engineers who will want to help as we go though the development of a platform, which can host the goodies in a cloud rather than on an institutional network.
You've seen glen offering his SaaS service, 360. So that gives an indication of how the cloud approach works. Yhe indications of the cost savings. for institutions, are between 50 and 90%, depending on how you measure individual's (like steve and Jim) time and efforts, and the demand on institutional servers.
So far as the spec, you're half way there. A moodle and a wiki being the favourite apps around your end. The only difference, so far as a non geek are concerened, is that one can log in using their institutional credentials, to the platform which is shared by OERu. Sorry to have to use the geek term but this is the terminology which network operators use.
Perhaps what I should have said is that including a few NREN guys in the discussion would open things up. More importantly it would give them some direction from "user groups" who only want solutions which are "above the net". http://billstarnaud.blogspot.com/2011/10/commercial-cloud-services-for.html
You have no idea how frustrating it is when I see you doing some great stuff, and measuring the quality of the content, when my mousetrap builder friends would love to help. But they just measure bandwidth, and talk abut the kinds of things you want as "commodity services".
Ah terminology! Ever get the feeling that we are trying to work in a time where professionals earn their credentials by learning an esoteric language rather than how it relates to improving the real world? All the best.
Rally your mousetrap-builder friends together to provide us with an open source solution we can use. The OERu looks forward to using these solutions. We are hosting a meeting on 9-10 November 2011 and will be using the tools at our disposal.
Given that we are half-way there -- I look forward to your team leading us past the post.
Just one which might give yu an idea of how the moustrap builders talk. (and help me keep things together). This one's from the Internet2 meeting last week. It comes from a session called "Unravelling the Pain of Collaboration", which i thought would appeal to you.
OERu is a "virtual organization" in their eyes. http://events.internet2.edu/speakers/speakers.php?go=people&id=3045 You'll notice on slide 13 & 14 there's a split between "what to do", and not. So it gives you an idea of the split between the "parrallel universes".
So far as credentials, the only ones I'd want are the ones which you might like to issue. "Community manager/digital journalist" is the one I'd love to get credentialized, and no second guesses for who i'd want as my teacher.
Re: the open source. Obviously the OS is the ideal. But the NREN guys are coming around to the idea they they should be brokers between "their" communities and service providers. At the moment they usually do this on a National basis, so 30% off the institutional price is fairly common. But if we can get the Remco's and others to collaborate on a continental basis i think we can encourage "joint research" relationships (between NRENs associations, like terena and internet2, and Service providers). So we'll see how that pan out as we go. Obviously this will come down to how people like Jim and Steve see the best use of their time, in setting up a combination of (federated) services on various (OERu)domains (IP addresses).
I see you're looking at developing a prop with a feb deadline. You'd apprecaite that my interest is centered on this call. (I'm pointing you at Peter's presetation as he's my main man at terana) So i guess another six months will have to go by. But if someone wants to consider leading a bid, I'd love to work though the prop. (this is new to me)
Lastly, as a suggestion to getting into the euro space; obvioulsy the OUUK or OUNL would be interested in this "platform" development. But you see at OCWC that Drs. Anka Mulder, sec-gen@ Delft uni is also the pres of OCWC. I would hope we might see a parrallel to what OERu is doing. All the best.
We don't have European based anchor partners -- so I agree, best to approach OUNL or OUUK on this one -- an open solution will benefit everyone on the planet.
What is the status of suitable XML standards for student information interchange? Towards the ideal of freedom of choice wrt to platform with freedom to share student information among institutions via standard protocols. (not to mention sharing of learning resources with such 'standards'!)