Thomson Learning Adopts Sakai Open Source Collaboration and Learning Environment

Thomson Learning, one of the largest academic publishers in higher education, has adopted the Sakai open source collaboration and learning environment for supporting the delivery of world-class learning products and services. In becoming a commercial affiliate of the Sakai Foundation, Thomson Learning has committed to assisting the open source community in the shared goal of creating a robust learning environment that combines technology, content and services to meet the evolving needs of higher education. This is an expansion of the company’s support for open standards and integration with all learning environments.

“Thomson Learning is truly breaking new ground in its industry. The company’s commitment to making significant software investments in the open source community is the first in the publishing industry,” said Chuck Severance, Executive Director, Sakai Foundation. “We hope that all members of the higher education learning environment recognize the benefits of adopting open source and contributing to the greater good of the community and follow Thomson Learning’s commitment.”

Thomson Learning will work closely with the Sakai team and other commercial affiliates, including Unicon, to continue the overall effort to keep the open source models vibrant. The commitment to provide ongoing contributions to the Sakai Foundation in a number of methods, including software contributions and open standards support, is essential to this partnership.

“By partnering with Sakai, Thomson Learning has the opportunity to truly transform education and influence the future of learning,” said Ray Lowrey, Chief Technology Officer of Thomson Learning. “The company has always embraced technology innovation and collaboration and is committed to continuing its significant contributions to enabling academic success. This includes continuing our on-going integration efforts with key partners such as Angel Learning, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, eCollege and others to provide a seamless learning experience.”

“The higher education community, specifically students, deserve and expect better learning outcomes at a lower cost,” said Harris Morris, Chief Strategy Officer of Thomson Learning. “Partnering with the Sakai Foundation not only adds value for all learners, but enables the content creators to concentrate all their efforts on enhancing the teaching and learning experience, while maintaining a low cost structure.”

“In addition, Thomson Learning is glad to see one of its key business partners, Blackboard, Inc., making a move in the right direction to engage the open source community,” said Mr. Lowrey.

About Thomson Learning

Thomson Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. These solutions are delivered through specialized content, applications and services that foster academic excellence and professional development, as well as provide measurable learning outcomes to its customers. Thomson Learning’s mission is to shape the future of global learning by delivering consistently better learning solutions for learners, instructors and institutions.

About Sakai

Sakai is an online Collaboration and Learning Environment. Many users of Sakai deploy it to support teaching and learning, ad hoc group collaboration, support for portfolios and research collaboration. Sakai is a free and open source product that is built and maintained by the Sakai community. Sakai’s development model is called “Community Source” because many of the developers creating Sakai are drawn from the “community” of organizations that have adopted and are using Sakai. The Sakai community is actively developing new Sakai tools: IMS Common Cartridge, SCORM, blog tool, shared whiteboard, shared display, multipoint audio, multipoint audio, pod-casting, IMS Tool Interoperability, and others.