Thao Nghi Bui, a learning technologies administrator for ITS Teaching and Learning, owns a Sakaiger shirt from the Sakai Virtual Conference. She also created her own Sakaiger fan as a fun way to include him in an ITS group photo.
Bui said the conference is a way for people from across the world to meet. There are presentations led by different people in the Sakai community.
Hand-sewn Sakaigers have been given as awards at some conferences, and Sakaiger hats and shirts are sometimes sold as merchandise at these events.
Kerry O’Sullivan, an instructional media and animation specialist for ITS, adds the Sakaiger to the photos on the front page of Sakai, which typically change during spring, summer and fall breaks. The Sakaiger first appeared on Sakai’s home page at the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester when the page was being redesigned.
“We try to find a playful way to incorporate him ... and try to keep it different each time,” she said.
Adding the Sakaiger is a touch of fun.
“We thought it would be a fun, creative, cute idea just to kind of hide him in there, kind of like (Where’s) Waldo,” Bui said.
They have also announced a Sakai photo contest for which students can submit their own pictures for the chance to appear on Sakai’s front page alongside the Sakaiger by sending a picture of a group of UNC students, faculty, and/or staff with a mobile device to email@example.com. The contest closes on Friday, but pictures submitted later or pictures not initially chosen will still have a chance of being used in the future.
The Sakaiger may look different soon, and students should be looking out for his potential new design.
Bui said hiding the Sakaiger in photos is especially enjoyable when students notice him and enjoy sharing the pictures.
“One of the reasons why I really like doing it is when I started to notice it pop up on the Facebook ‘Overheard at UNC’ group, and I was like, ‘Hey, students are noticing the Sakaiger on there, and they like it!’ So the idea just kind of stuck around.”