There’s a blurb article in Inside Higher Ed that kind struck me, mainly because I’m starting to work on an article/chapter about using WordPress as a content(learning) management system, “Blackboard to Unveil New Learning Suite.” Here’s a quote, with my emphasis added:
Blackboard plans to announce today the release of a new version of its widely used e-learning suite, with an emphasis on incorporating social networking tools such as wikis, YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare. “We provided a very intuitive process to search for and add content from YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare to a course without ever having to leave the LMS,” said Stacey Fontenot, a Blackboard vice president, in an e-mail.
So, why is this a plus? What is the problem with having students experience the internets the way that they experience it in every other way? As far as I can tell, the answer is teacherly control, surveillance, and grading. I don’t completely dismiss the value of such things, but is it really a selling point to anyone who uses stuff like Blackboard that you never have to leave the comfort/control of the course shell?