12 big education challenges your LMS can solve

An educator shares her biggest challenges and how the right piece of technology can bring a school together

LMS-teachersWith the rapid rise of online technology resources, coupled with the ever-expanding list of the latest teaching strategies, an educator might feel like they are constantly walking through a thick, dark jungle to carve a clear path to harness the power of the hardware, software, and new theories to effectively improve teaching and learning.

But before we can optimize the student’s learning potential we have to face facts. There are a host (well, at least 12) challenges that I’ve identified that educators must first address before classroom models are flexible enough to expand both within and beyond classroom walls, and our solution for helping to solve them.

So my list looks like this:…Read More

Blackboard acquires MyEdu to retool the LMS

Ask students what they remember from their learning management system (LMS) in college, and they’ll likely recall a clunky interface used to register for classes, download course PDFs and request a transcript, edSurge reports. It was somewhere they went by necessity–not by choice. And when they graduated, they were more than happy to leave the LMS behind. Even Jay Bhatt, CEO of Blackboard–a household name in the LMS market–conceded in a conversation with EdSurge that its LMS needed an overhaul…

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Moodlerooms CEO: Blackboard acquisition will expand open-source movement

Blackboard's share of the college LMS market has dropped in recent years.

Lou Pugliese, CEO of Moodlerooms, said Blackboard’s purchase of his company and another firm that hosts and supports the popular open-source learning management system (LMS) Moodle should be welcome news to educators who support the open-source movement over proprietary options because, finally, an open platform has the financial backing of a large company.

Blackboard, by far the largest LMS provider to U.S. colleges and universities, announced March 26 that the company had purchased two providers of the open-source Moodle LMS platform, Moodlerooms and Australia-based NetSpot.

In its entrance into the open LMS world, Blackboard secured the backing of respected open-source advocates like Pugliese and Charles Severance, who has held a number of positions with the Sakai Foundation, another open-source advocacy organization.…Read More

Educators share views on SIS, LMS solutions

Teachers and school leaders sometimes disagreed on how easy it is to use data in the classroom effectively.

State education leaders, district leaders, and teachers disagree on the effectiveness of student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS) they use to capture data to improve instruction, a new survey reveals.

During a Dec. 13 webinar hosted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), experts from analyst group Gartner Inc., the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and CoSN discussed current attitudes toward LMS and SIS software use in schools.

The panelists also discussed how creating online communities of practice can help school district leaders better learn how to integrate data into instruction, and they shared some key advice for teachers and school district leaders.…Read More

Report: Mobile app use exploding on campus

The number of private universities deploying mobile apps rose to 50 percent from 42 percent in fall 2010.

Colleges and universities have made significant gains in deploying mobile applications over the past year, according to the 2011 Campus Computing Survey, the largest continuing study of higher-education technology use in the United States. But the survey also suggests that colleges have been slow to move key operational and research functions to cloud computing, and budget constraints continue to affect campus ed-tech services.

The 2011 survey shows big gains in the percentage of schools deploying mobile apps, and these gains appear across all types of institutions.

More than half (55 percent) of public universities have activated mobile apps or plan to do so in the coming year, compared to a third (33 percent) in fall 2010. Public four-year colleges also posted good gains (44 percent in 2011, up from 18 percent in fall 2010), while the numbers more than tripled among community colleges (41 percent this year vs. 12 percent last fall).…Read More

Vendors link e-textbook content with LMS software

CaféScribe eBooks are available online and on more than 850 college campuses.
CaféScribe eBooks are available online and used on more than 850 college campuses.

As digital textbooks become more common on higher-ed campuses, providers are making it easy for professors to share textbook notes and resources with students through their class learning management system (LMS) software. The latest provider to do so is Follett Higher Education Group, which announced May 19 that a new standards-based system would integrate its eBook material with popular sites such as Moodle, Sakai, and Blackboard.

Educators who use textbooks supplied by Follett’s CaféScribe, which also brings students together through social networking to form online study groups, can take detailed notes in the web-based format, pointing out the most important lessons to students and fellow faculty.

Until recently, those notes couldn’t be shared on a college course’s LMS, where students go to see class assignments, chat with peers and faculty members, and watch class videos online.…Read More

Blackboard, D2L declare legal truce

The legal fight between Desire2Learn and Blackboard ended, but financial details weren't revealed.
The legal fight between Desire2Learn and Blackboard ended, but financial details weren't revealed.

The three-and-a-half-year court battle between learning management system (LMS) giant Blackboard Inc. and competitor Desire2Learn ended Dec. 15 when the companies agreed to license each other’s patents and drop long-standing lawsuits. But some observers believe the truce comes too late to stem the growing movement toward open LMS technologies in higher education.

The protracted legal clash began in 2006 when Blackboard—the market’s No. 1 commercial LMS—received a patent for online learning systems widely considered to be too broad.

Blackboard sued its biggest rival, Desire2Learn, for patent infringement, and the companies went back and forth until last July, when a federal appeals court voided part of the Blackboard patent.…Read More