Monday, November 20, 2006

The Future CMS

(Better late than never. I meant to post this more than a week ago)

IMS ... LMS ... CMS? Whatever!
I attended a session at WCET titled "The Future CMS." The first presenter was Scott Leslie who works as the Manager of the BCcampus Learning Resources Centre and also researches course management systems as part of the WCET Edutools team.

Scott asked his Magic 8 Ball the following question: "Will BlackCT be the future of CMS?" The photo from twistedtigger shows the answer. Another question: "Will open source CMS continue to evolve and gain adopters?" 8 ball says "Signs point to Yes." Seriously, he used a magic 8 ball in his presentation. I figure that it's as good a guess as any.

During the presentation he spoke briefly about the developing concept of a learning management operating system (LMOS) and touched lightly upon some of the lesser known open source or open community projects being developed in this field. Unfortunately, he wasn't allocated much time in the three-way presentation, and I'm afraid much of his best stuff never quite made it to the screen and the discussion. He and I talked for about 15 minutes in the hall later that afternoon and had a much better discussion about what the future might hold and also about the ramifications of the Blackboard patent lawsuit.

He was followed by Jared Stein of Utah State University and John Krutsch of Utah Valley State College. They also had lots of good information (maybe I can post more later) but I was most taken by their efforts to deliver learning content to mobile devices (small screens) from the same server that is delivering content to normal-size screens. I was also intrigued by the description of SLoodle which is a mashup of Second Life and Moodle. I definitely want to learn more about that.

All three of them talked a bit about the desire to use Web 2.0 tools as important components of the learning environment. There seems to be quite a bit of controversy among educators about whether they are willing to give up some of their control and let things happen outside of the walled gardens of the IMS. Time will tell.

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