The Sakai Foundation Announces the 3rd Annual Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award Winners for Exceptional Technology-Supported Teaching Practices

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The 3rd annual Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award recognizes faculty members from around the globe for their use of technology that supports outstanding pedagogy, increased student engagement and enhanced learning.

“The greatest challenge was stepping away from the paradigm of a safely prepped class into a technologically-constructed project that would bring theory, practice and experience together for the students in a very personal way." Dr. Scott Bowman

Today the Sakai Foundation announced the winners of the third annual Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA). All award winners will present their submissions at the Sakai Conference 2010 held in Denver, Colorado on June 15 – 17, 2010.

The first-place winner is Dr. Scott Bowman from Texas State University, San Marcos (USA). Second place was award to Dr. Sally Knipe of Charles Sturt University (Australia). Both Dr. Joshua Danish from Indiana University (USA) and Dr. Karen Swenson from Virginia Tech (USA) received honorable mentions.

Winners were selected from submissions from 5 countries. The annual award recognizes exceptional technology-supported teaching practices. Submissions are evaluated based on the excellence of pedagogy and innovative use of the Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment.

The Sakai Project brings colleges, universities and K-12 organizations together to create and use open software that supports exceptional teaching, learning, research and collaboration. Founded in 2004, Sakai is used today by over 350 colleges, universities and schools in 35 countries, including more than one-third of the top 100 universities in the world.

“Sakai exists to support exceptional technology-enhanced teaching, learning and research,” says Josh Baron, chair of the Sakai Foundation board and director of academic technology and eLearning at Marist College. “As our growing community works to continually improve on our achievement of this mission, the TWSIA creates an important opportunity to both reflect on our progress and align around new possibilities. We are so pleased to see these outstanding examples of teaching with Sakai.”

Award sponsor IBM is also pleased with the impact of the award. “When we initially sponsored the TWSIA in 2008 it was our hope that this award would recognize excellence,” said Michael King, Vice President IBM Education Industry. “We are so pleased that it has led to not only recognition of excellence, but sharing, collaboration and enhancement of teaching practices across the higher education community. IBM is both proud and honored to contribute to this important effort.”

A panel of global education experts including Dr. Ken Bain, Dr. Angela T. Ragusa, Dr. Karen Swan, and Dr. James Zimmerman, selected the winners. “All of the finalists presented excellent submissions, making it difficult to select a winner,” explained Dr. Karen Swan of the University of Illinois Springfield. “We were unanimously impressed by the winning entry, which was particularly outstanding.”

First place winner, Dr. Scott Bowman, used a wiki throughout his Juvenile Justice course to bridge the gap between theoretical explanations and the true praxis of the juvenile justice system in various cities, creating a practical and experiential learning environment. Second place winner, Dr. Sally Knipe, re-developed her course using a wiki-based assessment and an online debate to support two design theories; social cultural theory and constructive alignment.

“The Sakai tools provide an incredible opportunity to engage the students in an experience that deepens their learning, beyond the theory and beyond initial presumptions,” explains Dr. Bowman. “The greatest challenge was stepping away from the paradigm of a safely prepped class into a technologically constructed, semester long project that would bring theory, practice and experience together for the students in a very personal way. The technology tools have created incredible advances in my course.“

To view the winning applications, please visit http://openedpractices.org/twsia.
Submissions from all participants who indicated that they were willing to share their work are also posted on the award website.

About Sakai
Sakai is an open source software project driven by the Sakai Foundation, a worldwide consortium of institutions, organizations, and individuals dedicated to providing collaboration, research, and e-portfolio tools. The Sakai Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to coordinating activities around Sakai and the Sakai community to optimize the contribution of community members and long-term effectiveness of Sakai. For more information, visit http://www.sakaiproject.org.

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