IMing with my Tech Muse, or Blue Skying Course Managment Alternatives

If there is any one person directly responsible for my current state of exile in instructional technology nirvana at UMW, it may very well be Zach Davis. A few years back, circa 2003, he was talking to me about how he had integrated a movable type blog into his 16th and 17th-century British Literature survey course. I said “A blog? What’s a blog?” and the rest is all too recent history. He brought me on as an Instructional Technology Fellow at the CUNY Honors College and wham bam -I met my true love WordPress. Zach is one of those truly inspirational cats that can move between Milton and Myspace in .2 seconds flat (sounds like another cool cat I know). And he represents one of those rare assets to the intellectual world of technology, for he is a scholar, a teacher, and a professional programmer.

Every so often, between programming, writing his dissertation, and raising a child, he carves out a few minutes to fuel my unpoetic, some might even say “b” grade, imagination. He had been following my recent posts about finding alternatives to the heroine-like addiction that higher education has to closed course management system models like blackboard and WebCT, which brought us around to the following discussion. In short, the question arose, “In a perfect world, how he would go about building such an open source alternative?” The transcript below is his exciting response which epitomizes, for me, that generative, “blue sky” thinking that I have gotten used to lately and which keeps the wheels turning late into the night.

Blue Sky LMS

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3 Responses to IMing with my Tech Muse, or Blue Skying Course Managment Alternatives

  1. Jim says:


    Thanks for the link. That is the first I have heard of Connexions and on a cursory glance it looks pretty impressive. I’m going to have to spend some time examining it in more detail very soon.

  2. Michelle says:

    Wow, I really like the style of that “moving blog.” Would it be possible to get the code for it? I need to make a website in my class and I have yet to find any kind of forum or IM system that I like. If it’s possible, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

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