Big news last week in my software niche. I’m coming up on 13 years writing software at Blackboard. I’m still as passionate as ever about making good software that makes it easy for instructors and learners to share and collaborate. I’m not stopping now and neither are my fellow developers.
I heard a rumor has been spread that I’m giving up on innovation to commoditize. Not just me, but the whole of Blackboard, Angel, Sakai and Moodle. Heck they even say John Baker at D2L gave up. I don’t know maybe D2L did give up, though I doubt it. For the others I know that the rumor is false.
I could point to road maps and recent features, but there are plenty of places like CourseSites where one can see ongoing innovation. The originator of this silly rumor should get the exhaust system on their tank checked. The fumes seem to be making them goofy
Two years ago Michael Feldstein presented three tests to demonstrate the “new” Blackboard.
These tests were focused on driving Blackboard towards implementing three important industry standards that enable portability and interoperability of systems. I know that many customers want to be able to consider from a broad set of market choices and they recognize that standards enable that choice.
As of today this challenge is answered. Blackboard has integrated these technologies into its core. Blackboard is first to market with IMS Common Cartridge 1.1 (import and export) and demonstrated interoperability via IMS LIS with Oracle and SunGard at the 2011 Learning Impact Conference. BasicLTI has become and industry standard and is integrated deeply into Blackboard Technologies. LTI powers our partnerships with companies like McGraw-Hill and enables Blackboard Collaborate to integrate with a variety of platforms.
As a person who has been working with IMS standards for a long time, I’m really happy to see this progress. It is personally quite rewarding to see talking about interoperability transform into doing interoperability. Let’s make 2011 the year we transformed this challenge into a benchmark. I await updates from the community on the state of standards in other VLEs such as, Sakai and Moodle. Let’s see those benchmarks and meet them together.