A Plague On Both Their Houses

Image of Plague House in Joffa

Image credit: Mutter_fluffer’s ‘In the Plague House at Jaffa with Napoleon’

Here is the latest PR move by Desire2Learn to call out BlackBoard and their lawyer zombies. I guess there is something to it, and it’s obviously going to put BlackBoard in a public opinion corner, but who really gives a fuck about LMSs? A plague on both their houses, let’s move on with our own loosely joined possibilities, and let the corporations throw around millions of dollars after the “children” or the lawyers. Either way, they are not gonna save education, just bury it deeper.

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10 Responses to A Plague On Both Their Houses

  1. James says:

    If only Moodle was a real alternative. Hey, I know, maybe someone should build a better PLE (so we stop using the term LMS).

  2. Zack says:

    Having recently ditched one in favor of the other, I can’t agree with you more. Each provides an antiquated-feeling box that essentially ignores any of the remotely interesting, interactive, social advances in technology that actually engage learners. Static, top-down content and threaded discussions, anyone? Anyone? Is this thing on?

  3. Ed Webb says:

    I’m teaching one course with Moodle (volunteer guinea pig) and one with PBWiki this semester, and frankly finding the latter more useful. So, yes, let’s ditch the LMS paradigm altogether, and do it with wikis, blogs, and whatever other bits and pieces we find lying around the place.

  4. Gardner says:

    Give faculty a few useful course-administration tools, then make the rest all about PLEs. And as for who should build PLEs, my vote is for the learners themselves. I hope one day higher ed will wake up to the metacognitive possibilities of a first-year experience based on building PLEs. What could be more useful as a transitional moment? We could bake in writing, speaking, media fluency, social network fluency, publishing and subscribing, library resources, the whole thing. Each PLE would be different, all would share important functionalities–but in a manner architected by the learners.

    I’m convinced this is the next step beyond “digital fluency” and “information fluency.” The ultimate first-year assignment: building the PLE. And building it with iterative development in mind … from the outset.

    Certainly leapfrogs e-portfolios, though I’m thinking e-portfolios might be a good gateway to some of these possibilities….

    • Reverend says:

      @Gardner
      Precisely, that is the direction. And as much as I feel for Desire2Learn at times, I feel the whole LMS scam should be behind us already—and doing it for the “children”—well I don’t know—it just feels so calculated as a PR stunt. I get Bb is ridiculous, and their lawsuit is nonsense, but it seems to resurface a debate that is very much moot in my mind. The LMS is a dying breed, and the quicker they devour one another, the better.

  5. Ed Webb says:

    Gardner, your post was very timely for me. It helped crystalize some ideas I have been having about how to get this stuff into the curriculum in a sustainable way. I hope we will see many institutions adopting some version of this approach, empowering our students and improving the learning environment for all of us.

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