Monthly Archives: January 2019

Python for Everybody, Everywhere

I am very proud to announce courses from my popular Python for Everybody (PY4E) MOOC series is now live and open for enrollment on edX. The series is composed of two courses, Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) and Python Data Structures – you can enroll in both and start learning today.

Back in 2009, my goal for PY4E was very simple: create the ideal first programming book and course for my students at the University of Michigan. There were lots of solid “beginning Python” courses that, in many ways, are not aimed at real beginners with absolutely no technical training, or math knowledge. So I created a course that does not try to teach Computer Science using Python but instead teach a subset of Python that represented the essentials of programming.

When I was originally building the course (in Python 2.0 at the time), I would not have predicted the exciting growth of Python and the success of the MOOC movement. Ten years later, PY4E has reached more than 2 million learners to become the largest Python course in the world, graduating thousands of new Python programmers every week.

As a result of its own success, PY4E is an incredible de-facto prerequisite for almost any Python-oriented course or MOOC. If a person wants to learn “Data Mining” or “AI,” and they have no Python background, they may quickly realize they need to step back and learn the foundations of Python programming. In other instances, students in a first Python programming course may find the technical perspective a bit daunting and can enroll in my introductory Python courses to build confidence.  PY4E helps to fill in the gaps by giving learners a complete picture of programming avoiding language that might be challenging for a beginning learner.

One way or another, PY4E has become the entry point into programming for hundreds of thousands of new programmers. Given the success of the course, free textbook and support materials, and free supporting website (www.py4e.com) – my new goal is to share this introduction to programming with any and all learners.

That is where edX comes in.

PY4E is coming to millions of learners on edX, who are welcome additions to this growing community of Python learners and practitioners. I hope PY4E can serve as a low-barrier introduction to programming for edX learners prior to pursuing any number of excellent Python courses from great institutions. This is an exciting moment toward the goal of reaching as many learners as possible in as many countries as possible.

I’m excited to welcome the edX community to start their programming journey with PY4E. Enroll here today and let’s learn together!

Abstracts for Open Apereo 2019

Sakai Community Update 2019

This presentation will review the progress on Sakai in 2018-2019, covering the Sakai 19 release and looking ahead towards the Sakai 20 release.  We will review new features in Sakai 19, report from SakaiCamp 2019, the Sakai Virtual Conference, and FARM Projects.  We will update attendees on accessibility, QA efforts, documentation efforts, standards compliance, and marketing efforts. We will talk about the future arc of Sakai and how we intend to move Sakai forward to be part of a Next Generation Learning Ecosystem. We will cover these and other aspects of the Sakai product and community in a fun and upbeat talk show format

Tsugi At Five Years Old – An Update

The Tsugi project is now five years old and has been an incubating Apereo project for several years now.  The goal of Tsugi is to provide the ability to build tools and content that take full advantage of the state-of-the art standards based integration into LMS systems and Google Classroom.  Tsugi has been an active participant in the IMS LTI Advantage standardization effort and will be the most advanced open source LTI Advantage integration in the marketplace.  The PHP version of Tsui is production ready and has a commercial affiliate.  The project has recently adjusted its multi-language strategy.  This update will talk about the efforts to date and new directions the project is taking as an attempt to reduce the barriers to adoption.

Marketing Open Source – Why We Need a Race Car

This will talk about the challenges and ideas around marketing an open source Learning Management System (Sakai) when faced with  well-financed commercial market players.   The 100% open source Sakai Project was founded in 2004 and has maintained a 5% market share for over a decade.  The LMS marketplace has a lot of churn and new entrants attack the established products and take away their market share until the new entrants become the “old guard” or get absorbed and the cycle repeats.   The presentation will look at the challenges of marketing open source projects in the face of the strong competition.  We will look at how a race car (@SakaiCar) that runs in a low-cost endurance racing series (@24hoursoflemons) is an interesting strategy in this environment.  If all goes well, we will also bring the race car and racing gear to the event.

Looking at LTI 1.3 in Sakai-19

This session will cover the end-user and administrator user interface for the support for LTI 1.3 in Sakai-19.   This session will also cover the basic technologies that underlie IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) version 1.3 that makes use of OAuth 2.0, Public/Private Keys, and Java Web Tokens.  This session is about the technologies and there will be another session that will cover how LTI 1.3 is built into and works within Sakai 19.

Which Programming Languages will Still Exist in 2030?

This is a panel discussion that I am proposing.  I am hoping not to be the only panelist :)  I bet we will find plenty of people to talk about this.  I for one will be advocating for the position that Python is starting to be more than just one of the alternatives.   I think that with the Python 2 to Python 3 transition completed, we are beginning to see a world where, if some library can work in Python – ultimately it will work in Python and Python will be the preferred way to do something.  Of course this is just to get people fired up :)

Abstract for Pengiucon 2019.

Marketing Open Source – Why We Need a Race Car

This will talk about the challenges and ideas around marketing an open source Learning Management System (Sakai) when faced with  well-financed commercial market players.   The 100% open source Sakai Project was founded in 2004 and has maintained a 5% market share for over a decade.  The LMS marketplace has a lot of churn and new entrants attack the established products and take away their market share until the new entrants become the “old guard” or get absorbed and the cycle repeats.   The presentation will look at the challenges of marketing open source projects in the face of the strong competition.  We will look at how a race car (@SakaiCar) that runs in a low-cost endurance racing series (@24hoursoflemons) is an interesting strategy in this environment.  If all goes well, we will also bring the race car and racing gear to the event.

See also: https://www.sakaiger.com/sakaicar/

Abstract for 2019 Penguicon