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David Richardson

Learning Management Systems under patent threat

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I've just read a disturbing article on the BBC website about Blackboard's lawsuit against Desire2Learn. Apparently, Blackboard were granted a very far-reaching multi-national US patent in July which they're now using against their competitors, claiming that a host of common features of LMSs are actually Blackboard patents.

Here's the original BBC article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4790485.stm

and here's the No Educational Patents site:

http://noedupatents.org/

I'm no *great* fan of LMSs myself, but, at first reading, Blackboard's claims do seem a bit absurd.

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I've just read a disturbing article on the BBC website about Blackboard's lawsuit against Desire2Learn. Apparently, Blackboard were granted a very far-reaching multi-national US patent in July which they're now using against their competitors, claiming that a host of common features of LMSs are actually Blackboard patents.

Here's the original BBC article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4790485.stm

and here's the No Educational Patents site:

http://noedupatents.org/

I'm no *great* fan of LMSs myself, but, at first reading, Blackboard's claims do seem a bit absurd.

Hello David

Why are you posting about education on a site devoted to unhinged conspiracy theories???

I will be establishing a separate forum for educational issues soon as I have given up on this one

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Don't give up on us yet, Andy!

Remember that it's the school holidays nearly everywhere but Scandinavia (we've just gone back), so I'm sure there'll be more people discussing education again soon.

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Don't give up on us yet, Andy!

Remember that it's the school holidays nearly everywhere but Scandinavia (we've just gone back), so I'm sure there'll be more people discussing education again soon.

Fair point David but I think it is probably best if I separate out the distinct areas of this forum in the future. I find it more than a little difficult to push the use of it amongst teachers given its current contents.

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Andy writes:

Fair point David but I think it is probably best if I separate out the distinct areas of this forum in the future. I find it more than a little difficult to push the use of it amongst teachers given its current contents.

I've recommended the Education Forum to a number of friends and colleagues but many of them have got back to me saying that it just seems to consist of a mass of never-ending exchanges on conspiracy theories, especially JFK, and then they decide that it's not for them. I think we need to make a clear distinction between those parts of the Forum that focus on teaching and learning issues and educational practice and management and those that focus on conspiracy theories etc. I often have a quick look at the Forum to see what current topics are under discussion and I don't even bother to log in when all I can see is JFK etc.

Coming back to education, I share David's view:

I'm no *great* fan of LMSs myself, but, at first reading, Blackboard's claims do seem a bit absurd
.

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I agree with Graham. I check into the forum regularly, always clicking the "View New Posts" button, and I'm always disappointed when the JFK thread is the only one to be active. These days, I spend most of my "online forum time" with the TES Forum, which has very active modern languages and special needs sections, the two areas that interest me professionally. The TES Forum has the advantage of a "critical mass" of primary and secondary school teachers who are prepared to read messages and respond with advice and opinion. The forum has an excellent resource bank to which I have contributed - schoolteachers do like to share and borrow classroom resources! On the downside, there can be aggressive trolling and personal abuse on certain TES forum threads which goes far beyond what is acceptable. So all forums have their good and bad points.

What I appreciate on The Education Forum is the thoughtful, courteous correspondence that invariably ensues when an educational topic exercises the minds of a sizeable body of the membership. When this happens, intelligent people drawn from a multidisciplinary background share their ideas, views, problem-solving strategies. More light than heat is generated and everyone comes away feeling that they have been listened to and valued. This is The Education Forum at its best. I'm just saddened that when I do make a solitary contribution to the modern languages section, there is so little response other than Graham's, and when I contribute to the special needs section there may be no response at all.

David Wilson

http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/

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