Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Conference Listing

From Stephen Downes and Clayton Wright comes a handy dandy listing of Educational Technology conferences for 2007.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Desire2Pod Cast 11: Duluth Travelogue

Start the audio file first, and then advance the slides when indicated.



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Photos courtesy of SunFlowery (Flickr, Creative Commons) and Dennis O'Hara of Northern Images dot com.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Desire2Pod Cast 10: Future CMS

I'll post one more snippet from the recording of the phone interview I gave to Jonathon Lunardi. The first post was here. This is the last question that he posed to me. We attempted to discuss what the CMS (IMS) of the future might look like. I don't think that it is a very thorough answer and primarily points out how hard it is to envision a future CMS when the future of education and e-Learning seems to be somewhat unclear.

I would love to get some comments on this post with other thoughts about how the CMS platforms may need to change in the coming years.


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blackboard Lanyards

Interesting snippet on the Internet Time Blog from Jay Cross on 11/30:

"BlackBoard is picking up the tab for an endless flow of wine and hors d’oeuvres for the speakers. The BlackBoard name and logo are all over the lanyards that hold our badges. BlackBoard’s European chief tells me people have totally misinterpreted the lawsuit arising from their patent. He says it doesn’t cover the LMS. It’s very specific. I suggested BlackBoard hire a Robert Scoble because the word in the blogosphere is that BlackBoard is unreasonably and unethically taking advantage of the broken U.S. patent system. Some participants refuse to wear the BlackBoard lanyard in protest."

Blackboard officials seem to have only one retort: "People don't understand us or our patent!!"

If "a" Scoble was "hired" to improve their blogoshphere P.R., that would clearly backfire just like the rest of this has exploded in their (BB) faces. Jay was probably just making a point that shouldn't be taken literally.

I wonder if we can get Blackboard to supply the lanyards (as well as the hors d'oerves and beverages) for the D2L User Conference (podcast) to be hosted by Lake Superior College and UWS in Duluth, MN during July 2007. Now that would be a hoot.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

D2L Fights Back

Lots of new information posted Dec. 1 on the Desire2Learn Patent Info blog.

Suffice it to say that they are seeking relief from the USPTO to re-examine the validity of the patent, and they have petitioned the Texas court for a stay of proceedings while the re-examination is being considered. Read their post for more information.

D2L had to pay $8,800 to ask the USPTO to examine itself to determine whether they are a bunch of idiots. Good luck with that.

There are at least 8 prior art claims made by D2L in this request, including the oldies but goodies, Topclass and ClassNet. Even more fun is their reference to WebCT as prior art. They list six publications about WebCT that illustrate prior art where each of the publications came more than a year before the Blackboard patent filing (pages 37 & 38 of the USPTO request, linked in the D2L Patent blog).

Friday, December 01, 2006

Blackboard versus Open Source

cNet News reports on the latest attack against Blackboard for suing Desire2Learn and also the error made by the USPTO in the granting of the patent.

"The Software Freedom Law Center said Thursday that it has asked the U.S. Patent Office to re-examine a patent awarded to education software company Blackboard. It claims that the patent is bogus and could undermine three open-source education software projects it represents--Sakai, Moodle and ATutor."

Blackboard's Matthew Small gives the standard rebuttal in the article. BTW, he spoke for a while on a webcast by the Ohio Learning Network TeachU series earlier this week and he didn't sound at all like the devil. Probably a decent enough guy just on the opposite side of the barbed-wire fence. More on that webcast later (maybe).