31 August 2006

Patents and IMS Common Cartridge

Ok, vacation is over. Let's get back to work!
Besides Stephen Downes, there are more interesting weblogs that I would encourage anyone to read also. One of them is Michael Feldstein's. Yesterday he gave a very interesting twist to the whole Blackboard patent discussion. Check e-Literate: Patents and IMS Common Cartridge: "I’m afraid that recent history with technology patents shows that it is not so easy for standards bodies to protect themselves from abuse by aggressive patent holders. (..) How confident can we be that Rob Abel is right and that the IMS isn’t being “gamed” to encourage vendors to adopt technologies that will infringe on somebody’s patent?"
Again some more proof that this discussion is in no way over, or can be discarded. So, what will be most interesting is what Blackboard's next moves will be.

13 August 2006

Going for vacation

I am off! See you in two weeks, August 29, 2006.

10 August 2006

Why Blackboard does what it does

Joseph Hart at Eastern Oregon University has expressed an interesting view on the whole Blackboard patent stuff: "My own belief is that Blackboard does perceive a serious threat from the now highly developed open source learning management systems that will become even more available to both small institutions and large institutions. Blackboard abandoned their base of small institutions to go after the big money large institutions, but many of the most prestigious large institutions are operating within consortia to push forward open source efforts; therefore Blackboard is in danger of losing both the big plums and the little plums--they'll be left with the pits." I guess this is quite true. What is the big institutions turn to Sakai, or Moodle, or .LRN?
BTW: All the latest news on Blackboard and the patent is handily captured by Stephen Downes.

03 August 2006

Come to see the future of the VLE

The Surf Foundation is organizing a great conference (what else should I say when I am one of the organizers?).
The conference, in het Nederlands overigens, gaat "Over de grenzen van de ELO". Hoe actueel kun je zijn nu Blackboard een patent krijgt waar iedereen de naschok nog van voelt!
Dus meld je aan op de website van SURF (het is gratis!).
Sprekers zijn onder andere: Charles Severance (Executive Director van de Sakai Foundation), Scott Wilson (PLE guru), Melle de Vries, Erik Saaman (SURFnet) en Misja Hoebe (over Elgg).

02 August 2006

Thinking about the patent

There is a great comic about social software and the Blackboard patent: Small Pieces - Gnomz.com: "Small Pieces" by dnorman.
Is this dnorman the guy of this weblog?
BTW: this gnomz.com is a free service where you can create your own comic. Great stuff!

On hindering innovation ?!

Michael Feldstein has a keen eye on developments in the elearning stratosphere. Last week he wrote (in Blackboard Patents the LMS): "I’m surprised there hasn’t been more uproar about this yet. The ever-brilliant US Patent and Trademark Office has apparently granted Blackboard a patent for...well...pretty much anything remotely related to learning management systems."
It seems to me that we should take this pretty seriously. At least that is in the countries where this patent has been issued. For now this is the USA, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, but it is "pending in the European Union, China, Japan, Canada, India, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong and Brazil" (source: Blackboard press release).

01 August 2006

Wilfred Rubens points me to OpenAcademic

Wilfred Rubens TE-learning centrum: technology enhanced learning: OpenAcadamic: "OpenAcademic is een op het eerste oog boeiend initiatief van de ontwikkelaars van Elgg, Moodle, Drupal en MediaWiki."
Seems like a real nice initiative where the best of four worlds (Elgg, Moodle, Drupal and MediaWiki) are merged together and are given back to the community at large. They are also working with the OpenID project for single sign on. So, that's the fifth partner in this ambitious effort.
Direct link: OpenAcademic