OERu community source model receives major boost

Posted by OER Foundation on 22 June 2015

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OERu green crown

To boost capacity for the OERu's community source model, the OER Foundation today announced the appointment of Dave Lane as its new Open Source Technologist. Mr Lane is currently the President of the New Zealand Open Source Society and brings 21 years of open source development and leadership experience to the OERu network.

This new position will complement and expand the open foundations and technical leadership of Jim Tittsler who has been working with the Foundation since its inception early in 2009. The Open Source Technologist position was established in response to the key performance indicator of the OERu Strategic Plan 2015 - 2017: to progress the implementation of the partnership's community source model.

The OERu community source model encourages partner institutions to contribute financial and human resources towards open source development for the benefit of the network. This approach provides more solid support for open source development than relying purely on volunteer contributions.

Five OERu partners will contribute financially to this shared position: Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Canada); OER Foundation (International), Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand),  University of the Highlands and Islands (United Kingdom) and the University of Southern Queensland (Australia).  These partners will be awarded Platinum status in the consortium in recognition of their additional financial contributions to the collaboration.

"The OERu is distinctively open and this is a key point of difference of the innovation partnership," said Dr Wayne Mackintosh, Director of the OER Foundation which coordinates the international network of universities, colleges, polytechnics and educational agencies. "The technology infrastructure of the OERu is based entirely on open source software. The OERu promotes the development, use and re-use of Open Educational Resources (OER) based on open Creative Commons licensing; models the deployment of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and exemplifies open planning practices. This generates competitive advantage for our network of universities, colleges and polytechnics, which aim to widen access to more affordable education for all."

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Dave Lane

Mr Lane holds an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle and a BSc in Physics from Haverford College, Haverford. He has been administering GNU/Linux computer systems for 21 years, designing and building system and network architectures, managing security, hardware compatibility, application support, and development services for a broad range of organisations. Mr Lane established Egressive Limited, a New Zealand-based open source IT services and bespoke software development company, which he successfully led until the company was acquired by Catalyst IT in 2012.  Immediately prior to joining the OER Foundation, Mr Lane worked as a Senior Consultant with Catalyst IT Limited, a respected New Zealand company which specialises in enterprise grade open source technologies.

"I firmly believe in the positive impact sharing can have on learning, teaching and organisational effectiveness," said Dave Lane, the Open Source Technologist at the OER Foundation. "I'm excited to bring my experiences at the intersection of people and open source digital technologies to support the OERu in achieving its mission."

True to the OER Foundations' traditions of open planning, development and implementation, priorities will be determined in open consultation with the OERu Technology working group. Apart from systems administration, a key focus of the community source model is to foster innovation and integration of the OERu technology with local delivery technologies of the OERu contributing partners.

Image attribution

Jos Kidd, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand.