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  • Student Engagement in the Sakai Community
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Background
There are three core constituencies within the Sakai community: the developers, the users, and user support. These three constituencies target their activities around enabling collaboration, teaching, and learning. At the Sakai Conference we make space for the constituencies to report on their ideas and their activities. For the most part, we have seen that these ideas and activities revolve around development and teaching. We have not seen as much engagement around collaboration and/or learning. I see this as a natural growth point within the community. One branch of this growth can come from the community of learners (i.e. students), and their ideas and activities as supported by Sakai implementations around the world.

Proposal
For this reason I propose that we establish ways to encourage and support student participation in the Sakai community.
I can envision at least four sub-groups whose contributions would be valuable within the Sakai community:
•    Individual projects and portfolios
•    Student developers
•    Student groups and organizations
•    Student research groups

Ideas for including student ideas and activities
1.    One way to do this is to provide space for this group as a fourth core constituency which reports on its ideas and activities at the Sakai conference, via a Student Initiative track. From the four sub-groups named above, we derive four categories into which student proposals could be grouped.

2.    Another way to encourage and support student participation in the Sakai community is for the existing Sakai discussion communities to actively engage with students, ultimately making space in each of the established conference tracks for proposals and contributions from students. The conference committee would specifically target at least one student proposal for inclusion in the respective conference track.

Key Consideration
1.    How do we get students from all over the world to the Sakai conference?
a.    Sakai Conference fees slashed?
b.    Special hotel rate, or alternate accommodations in cheaper alternatives like hostels?
c.    Awards program incentive like the TWS Innovation Award?
d.    Regional/local innovation programs?
e.    Combination of the above?
2.    What's the structure of student presentations?
a.    Student work represented by a conference attendee from the students' institution?
b.    Face-to-face student presentations by individuals or groups?
c.    Tele-presence?
d.    Combination of the above?
3.    What kind of funding structure would we need?