Edufountain: Virtual and Personal Learning Environments My Thoughts

John Fontaine, Fountains of Fontaine, Mar 08, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

With all the talk of the "death of the VLE" one might wonder what Blackboard thinks about it. Wonder no more, as Blackboard's platform evangelist delivers a long and wide-ranging post defending the VLE in general and the company in particular. The post deserves more attention than I can give it in this short space. John Fontaine talks about the drivers for change - what features should count as core, the need for lower-cost systems, the desire to leverage emergent knowledge in a network. He responds to criticisms about the VLE's inflexibility and hegemony. Drawing on research into ten years of the VLE, he argues, "I do not see students requesting that instructors use Blackboard less, and even cites a student newspaper article arguing that the use of Blackboard should be mandatory.
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