Another dot in the blogosphere?

Blackboard’s business

Posted on: September 19, 2011

I read this thanks to a retweet from @EDTECHHULK. As I have met with Bb folks, I can say this is not entirely true. Mostly true, but not entirely.

On a side note, one might be just as concerned that Bb might suffer from some serious security flaws.

Returning to the tweet, there is truth that Providence Equity has bought Bb and this is a business decision. But at least one analyst thinks this was a desperate move.

There will be changes in Bb’s offerings, especially as one pays expensively to move from version 8 to version 9. But these changes look more like reactions (and late ones at that) to offerings like Google Docs, YouTube videos, etc.

At the risk of sounding technologically deterministic, I believe that the Bb tools are not just tools; they have certain usage, practices and even philosophies in mind. Just like the way a construction worker’s sledgehammer, sculptor’s mallet and carpenter’s hammer are used by different people for different things. (My other rambling thoughts on LMS or Bb [1] [2] [3])

So the adoption and integration of some of these “new” tools will bring some added affordances and perhaps some of the “teacherly soul” that the tweet mentioned. But I cannot help but feel that Bb is just playing catchup and that it is not offering what more progressive educators have already discovered outside the confines of LMS.

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