Moodlerooms CEO: Blackboard acquisition will expand open-source movement


Blackboard’s wealth of technology and financial resources, Coates said, won’t guarantee that educators who use the Moodle platform will see an improved product in the coming weeks and months.

“I don’t think it requires much imagination to suppose that the Moodle and Sakai community will become even more jumbled and Blackboard will shove innovation even further back on the burner,” he wrote.

Jason Cole, CEO of Remote-Learner, a member of the open-source Moodle Partners Network, said in a statement that educational technology leaders could take a defensive stance after the LMS market shakeup.

“The impact of Blackboard’s acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot on their open-source commitment remains to be seen,” Cole said. “They have a lot to prove.”

Deep skepticism in the aftermath of a major purchase like Blackboard’s was expected by the LMS giant, said Ray Henderson, chief technology officer and president of academic platforms for Blackboard.

“Longtime participants in the open and community source communities may be concerned about our corporate intentions, and how we’ll conduct ourselves given that we are governed by an interest in business growth,” he said in a statement. “Similarly, for those who are clients of the firms we’ve acquired, there will naturally be concerns about our entrance to the community and our execution against the commitments made to them by companies and people that have now joined forces with us.”

Watchful ed-tech leaders wary of education’s most dominant LMS will only be satisfied if Blackboard shows that its commitment to open-source classroom technology is long lasting, and not just a theme of its Moodlerooms rollout, said Brett Frazier, senior vice president of Blackboard Learn.

“We ultimately at Blackboard will be judged by our actions and not by our words,” he said. “I think the blogosphere and the naysayers will say what they want to say, but we’ll be focused on our actions speaking much louder than our words.”

Denny Carter

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