Proof Blackboard Hates You
So Blackboard’s big time now (80% of the LMS market) and has bought out its rivals or sued them. Let’s ignore the fact that their product really is focused on administration rather than learning.
They made $4.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. So they’re not a one man shop barely getting by.
This is their idea of a search page for online documentation. Really. You’re not confused. Their search function is a really, really, really bad index. Really.
This was the final straw for me. I have declared a blood feud with Blackboard. One of us is going down.
Mike got all up in my grill for criticizing the CMS in education. I am apparently both a dreamer (but I’m not the only one) and a “doubter.” He even accused me of listening to Beach Boys music (I do have a theme song in mind for CMS’s – unless some knows a song dedicated to mediocrity?). I will ignore the fact that I was mainly talking about Blackboard and never mentioned HCPS’s Schoolspace. Although that military mindset is very much like some aspects of HCPS. Mike, be careful with that kind of talk you’re headed toward a job in the nugget factory and I don’t think that’s what you want. To put it simply, the use of the CMS in education is very often an admission of defeat. It is replacing agile and targeted with clumsy (often forced or coerced) mass adoption. It’s a cookie cutter response to what are very individual needs. You want a blog, she wants a discussion board. I (the lord of technology) will give you something that does that (sort of, in the next version- I swear!) and 43 other things you don’t want– only it does none of them very well. Now you should be happy. Right? I’d much rather work with individuals on tools they can control and tweak to really do […]
All mobs are self selected and mobs often do very stupid things based on emotion – This post was inspired by some comments at the Edupunk panel at SXSW, which while disastrous as a whole, did have some good pieces. Granted, you had to look very, very hard.Mobs bully/attack other peopleor burn down building etc. but we’re talking Internet “mobs” here but they do so because people have gathered strength from finding other people thinking/feeling just like they do. I think the Internet and all the social media toolsfrom twitter to blogs makes it really easy to surround yourself with the echo-chamber, or a self-selected mob, and then it becomes much easier to start doing dumb things while still feeling like your ideas/actions have been vetted and approved by an unbiased crowd. I’ll also say that the Internet and social media allow you to do the opposite. That is you can surround yourself with vastly different ideas and people from very different backgrounds that will challenge your thoughts and ideas and help keep you from doing or continuing to believe stupid/wrong things. I think far more people do the former. It’s human nature. I try to fight it in two ways. One, I try to get lots of ideas from outside what I do. I try to broaden where my […]
I saw this poster in a library the other day and it made me queasy. I like books. I like libraries. I dislike zealots and this kind of garbage. This poster is the kind of reactionary propaganda that does no one any good. The opening quote is below. Libraries are icons of our cultural intellect, totems to the totality of knowledge. To claim, as some now do, that the Internet is making libraries obsolete is as silly as saying shoes have made feet unnecessary. Wow. Icons and totality. He almost makes Internet zealots seem reasonable. To claim that there can ever be a “totality of knowledge” is egotistical and to claim the library somehow embodies “totality” is absurd. Libraries, by their very nature, have to exclude huge amounts of information and make editorial decisions regarding content inclusion. There’s plenty of good and plenty of bad in that. To use the feet/shoes metaphor is equally misguided. Libraries and the internet aren’t comparable to feet and shoes. That would seem to indicate that a library is an organic component of a society, like feet are a part of the body and the Internet is an add-on whose main purpose is to protect, or possibly enhance, the library. Neither is the case. Libraries are places we’ve put information. The Internet is a place […]