Blackboard announced today they have bought two similar companies, Wimba and Elluminate. With an aim to integrate into their Blackboard LMS, Blackboard have also stated that they want to retain both Wimba and Elluminate as standalone products.
An interesting move in many ways, there has been a growing interest and increase in use of synchronous tools such as Wimba and Elluminate, as though asynchronous tools that you could use are too “difficult” or “challenging” to use.
Both Wimba and Elluminate reinforce the use of the lecture as a way of delivering learning. Whereas VLE tools such as discussion forums and blogs are much more about learners “delivering” the learning through collaboration and discussion.
However I do wonder of the growth of tools like Wimba and Elluminate is less of a move away from asynchronous tools, but more as a result of an increase in practitioners embracing new technologies. These new users of technology are more comfortable with a technology that replicates what they are use to, rather than try the new pedagogies and ways of working that unknown technologies require.
So what of the Blackboard acquisition? Well technologies come and go, we will have to see what happens! Where is WebCT now?
Recorded during the height of the snow at the beginning of February 2009 the panel discuss the role that learning technologies and communication tools can have in supporting colleges and schools that get closed because of the snow.
This is the twelfth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, It’s Snow Joke.
John Whalley’s final comment, as I didn’t give him much notice on the podcast recording.
Thought on one thing to do if it snows – have a series of general podcasts prepared on a ‘non-mainstream’ area for your subject, distributed early in the course. Ask learners to review if can’t get in to college.
Apologies for the poor sound quality at time on the recording, which we are putting down to the poor weather!
The 5th February sees the launch of the LSIS eCPD event in London. Not sure how many people will turn up due to the snow. I am thought about not going, though it was aright when I left, it has got heavier back home and even now it looks quite thick out of the train window as I write this.
I am running a workshop at the event which is looking at mobile learning. Unlike the MoD event, this time I have forty-five minutes which is longer, but is still not really enough time!
In the session I hope to get the delegates to discuss and talk about how mobile technologies can be used to support, enhance and enrich the learning experience of learners. I am also hoping (as I have done at previous workshops) the delegates use the same mobile technologies to post their reflections and views online.