How my work might change: does open source require more FTEs to support?

(How my work might change if Notre Dame chose Sakai as its next LMS) No. No. And no. These are the repeated answers echoing from those who’ve switched from a proprietary LMS (or whatever three letter acronym we choose) to an open source LMS. (And pipe up here if you’re one of them. Tell us your story. Tell us why?). Then come the caveats. These are worth exploring. Especially in my shoes. With open source, you can choose how much change you’re willing to invest in. With open source, you can choose how much ‘give-back’ to the community your institution … Continue reading How my work might change: does open source require more FTEs to support?

How my work might change: my skill set

(How my work might change if Notre Dame chose Sakai as its next LMS) As alluded to by Kim Thanos in a comment on this series original posting, if Notre Dame were to choose Sakai over Blackboard Learn or any other LMS, the skill sets I bring to my workplace would have to change. Currently my day looks like this: 30% ad hoc requests from the crosslist-related access to how can I do this or that variety; 20% application maintenance, that is, certifying one of our 3 environments after an infrastructure change (patches, updates, networking, virtual farm resource allocations, firewall/load … Continue reading How my work might change: my skill set

WebDAV – Blackboard Vista

Here at Notre Dame, we’ve branded it Concourse, but Bb Vista it is. Instructors upload content to Concourse by clicking on a tool called “File Management” (instructions here) but there is another way to do it. This other way relies on a part of your computer’s operating system that keeps changing. Whether you’re on a PC or a Mac, upgrades to OS X or to XP/Vista/Win7 cause this component, “WebDAV” to be less than reliable. So, here’s the easier and more reliable way. Install an independent client called “AnyClient,” connect it to with your ND netID credentials and you’ll be … Continue reading WebDAV – Blackboard Vista

What does an LMS do? What should it do?

If you think you’re evaluating a replacement for your current system and you don’t know the answers to these two vital questions, think again. As Blackboard’s adopted products, Vista and CE, near their end of lives, many institutions are again evaluating what’s next. Stay with Blackboard on their next generation product? Maybe even re-define what “it” is? Do you really have to replace “it” with a monolithic “system” or are the technologies that enable learning chosen one at a time as best fit for your institution and then glued together by a central authentication system and/or portal? I wrote about … Continue reading What does an LMS do? What should it do?

Follow up on Sakai 3 Webinar …

After the June 1st webinar, Kim Thanos of thanospartners.com emailed to say, “I have been working with Michael on Sakai 3 communications and would love any thoughts that you have. Specifically, I know that ND is using Bb today. As you view Sakai 3, what will set it apart from Blackboard? Where do you see Blackboard’s capability will continue to be preferable for your users? ” With Kim’s permission, I’m responding to her here. First I’ve got to say I don’t understand Sakai very well. I don’t understand where to go for more information about the software, what it does, … Continue reading Follow up on Sakai 3 Webinar …

Dr Chuck Severance visits Bb Angel Indy Office the day after delivering Academix Keynote "Beyond the LMS"

Thanks to Jan Postonday for this TwitPic photo:   Jan doesn’t identify the other person in the photo… perhaps a new BB, former ANGEL employee? I linked to Dr. Chuck’s Keynote slides in a posting several weeks ago. True to form his talk is generating plenty of dialogue here at Notre Dame concerning vision and architecture for an LMS replacement. How exactly does the present day LMS morph to become that next ‘system’ or ‘glue’ or ‘portal’ for all the things teaching and learning requires, for all those fun Web 2.0 cloud apps? Is Blackboard ready for the death of … Continue reading Dr Chuck Severance visits Bb Angel Indy Office the day after delivering Academix Keynote "Beyond the LMS"

Why HigherEd is rejecting Blackboard …

I have to write this post. Even though I personally have the best of experiences with many individuals at Blackboard. In fact, I'll list them. These people are the best. Dedicated. Fun. Service-oriented. Conscientious and knowledgeable. John Fontaine. Debi Himelfarb. John Porter. Matt Brady. Justin Beck. Sahar Javadi. Joel Diamant-Helpern. Sherryl Meads. A 1st line support guy named Andy in the Netherlands. Kathy Vieira. Lara Oerter. Not so much Michael Chasen. (Sorry, Michael, if you're reading this. You could publically respond to Desire2Live, that might help…). Events and contacts and news reports over the past 2 years, since Notre Dame … Continue reading Why HigherEd is rejecting Blackboard …