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New Community Founded To Help Schools Exploit Open Source

Jasig, a consortium that sponsors open source projects for higher education, has started a new community of practice explicitly focused on helping institutions understand how to exploit open source software. The "2-3-98" project is intended to provide self-support for administrators, managers, and practitioners that want to use open initiatives in order to reduce costs and increase choice, the organizers said in a statement. Participants will be part of a mailing list, access a wiki, contribute to white papers, and share best practices through events.

The project was announced during a conference that promotes open source in higher education. Initially, it will be organized by Patrick Masson, CTO at UMassOnline, and Ken Udas, UMassOnline CEO. UMassOnline is the online education division of the University of Massachusetts.

"The 2-3-98 Project reflects a growing recognition that openness is becoming part of a broader dialogue within many organizations," said Udas. "I believe that Jasig is doing something quite unique and valuable by providing a venue to help explore the relationships between [open source software] and the organization. It is my feeling that the exploration will lead well beyond the formal information and technology functions and extend beyond software to [open educational resources], open access research, and to open governance."

"By looking together at the risks, rewards, challenges, and methods of implementing open source applications, we hope to create a dialog that will provide insights and practice guidelines to help campuses be successful," said Jonathan Markow, Jasig's executive director.

Jasig has fostered the development of uPortal, a portal framework for higher education; Bedework, an enterprise calendar system; and CAS, an authentication system and single sign-on service.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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