The sale of Angel to Blackboard. One year ago Today.

Let’s see what Ray Henderson has been up to since being named President of Blackboard Learn….

His first blog, “On Beginning” contains this list of “My First Focus Areas at Blackboard

1. Product Support. Improve it, of course. What I mean by that is: What do I have to do to get a problem resolved and how long does it take? Am I talking to the right people? I think that’s what Henderson means by that. One year later… are we seeing it?

2. Innovations. Since I’m on Blackboard Vista and will be unless or until the NG product Blackboard Learn 9.x has parity with features already in Bb Vista, I can’t speak to whether this goal is being realized. The latest release of Blackboard Learn 9 does not yet have parity, or so I’m told. Social networking and mobile apps seem to be the innovation categories getting the most buzz. What about implementing standards for course import/export and for data sharing between systems (with an SIS, for example)? How’s the innovative implementation on those fronts coming along?

3. Openness. I’m waiting for Michael Feldstein to report his thoughts on one year progress in this area. His definition of “openness” is a good starting point on what Ray Henderson is attempting to accomplish in this area. In July 2009 Blackboard (Ray Henderson from the stage actually) did announce the publication of the Blackboard Learn’s database schema), although that doesn’t make Feldstein’s list here it’s an obvious one.

4. Transparency. I think there has been change in this area in the last year. But not enough. Take the recent partnership announcement between Blackboard / SunGard  for instance. I don’t yet have visibility into whether that means anything real to me, the customer. I don’t know what the direction is either… Practically speaking, will I have to pay a service engagement for integration between their systems?

5. The Greater Good. No report to give here on Ray’s progress on improving access to education, or sharing best practices to leverage global expertise in online learning or using technology to improve the way people teach and learn around the world. Maybe someone else has ideas?

One thought on “The sale of Angel to Blackboard. One year ago Today.

  1. “Innovation . . . is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method . . . Innovation is the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.” Luecke and Katz (2003)

    Fixing Learn9 to have feature parity isn’t innovation. Making Learn9 have features you can’t resist not having is innovation. Pushing mobile is innovating.

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