Freeing the LMS

Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, Oct 13, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Pearson Education has announced a cloud-based "new learning management system that colleges will be able to use for free, without having to pay any of the licensing or maintenance costs normally associated with the technology." According to the article, "OpenClass can be used 'absolutely for free,' says Adrian Sannier, senior vice president of product at Pearson. 'No licensing costs, no costs for maintenance, and no costs for hosting. So this is a freer offer than Moodle is. It’s a freer offer than any other in the space.'" The company clearly sees greater potential in value-added content and services. "The company 'wants to change the perception of an LMS to [make colleges] say: ‘Hey, that’s a commodity, that’s a delivery system — and really education, and the education system, needs to be about the content itself and how students interact with that content,’' Hill says." Well - it's not like I haven't tried to convince the commercial software providers to open up and focus on services - now they're playing catch-up. Update: more discussion on my Google+ post. Update - here's the Pearson OpenClass web page. And here's the joinopenclass start page.
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