Not quite the second coming for the LMS universe(ity)

In mid October I caught an article on the Wired Campus blog belonging to The Chronicle of Higher Education declaring in a strongly worded headline: “Pearson and Google Jump Into Learning Management With a New, Free System.”

Reading through it, the declaration that Pearson has

“teamed up with the software giant Google to launch OpenClass, a free LMS (think Blackboard) that combines standard course-management tools with advanced social networking and community-building, and an open architecture that allows instructors to import whatever material they want, from e-books to YouTube videos”

…got me thinking; “Could LMS Nirvana be near with Google at the helm- imagine what CUNY could do with all the money they wouldn’t have to invest in Bb?’… In fact, a competing LMS provider offered this quote: “Anytime Pearson and Google are used in the same sentence, it’s going to get people’s attention”… yes, well the announcement at a major conference did what it was designed to do, get attention. What I realized soon after was that I was at the mercy of the blazing headline from an over-excited blogger at the Chronicle- the supposed higher ed ‘tech news’ organization. Media literacy issues aside, the article did use strong language, declaring that the two media giants are “upending services that affect just about every instructor, student, and college in the country”. Whew, they are planning to have big shoes to fill this need for open source courseware!

Well luckily for me I mentioned it to CUNYs George Otte via email and he pointed me in the direction of a few posts that had circulated on the Commons earlier in the week that were linked that to the story that came out at Educause. Joe Ugoretz from McCauley Honors posted some excellent clarifications behind this alleged ‘teaming.’ The social networking portion he declares ‘meh’ at this early stage (we have plenty of ‘meh’ right now in Bb!) and the discussion board features are not what you would call “real” online discussion (we ought to have the discussion platform down cold by now, no?). This made the article Wired Campus first posted all the more disappointing… were they basically shilling for Pearson with a load of propaganda?

Fast forward a whole week because it took 7 days in this world of ‘blogging immediacy’ for Wired Campus to recognize they’d been ‘had.’ By perpetrating Pearson’s misleading declaration that they were ‘teaming up with Google’ they followed with a scathing-of-Pearson clarification, which to me doesn’t negate their laissez faire rush to toss the original press release without the due diligence of even contacting Google or testing the thing (which Joe performed and posted here with great immediacy -Thanks Joe!):

Here are Joe Ugoretz’s early impressions-thanks for the timely and important first look. What do you think about this new, free resource?

About Alyson Vogel

I started in education 10 years ago starting a media center and television studio for students in District Ten in the Bronx. Middle school students and teachers were introduced to media and media literacy projects designed for active learning in real world contexts. For the past 5 years I have been an academic program developer, coach and workshop leader. I have significant expertise in course design, curriculum planning, online teaching, training, coaching & mentoring and major event logistics & execution. My emphasis is on integrating the Internet and new media into teaching and learning. My background in television and radio, teaching teachers in K-12 through Higher Education, professional life coaching, and yes, even my newly acquired professional chef skills brings depth to my latest position of Associate Director of Online Education at Lehman College. I am very excited to be among this group of professionals to take my understanding of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to even greater heights.
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