Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Utah Education Network recently went through an RFP process to choose a new LMS for the state. They went with a small Utah based start up company called Instructure that has a new LMS called Canvas. Apparently, this product provided the flexibility and price point that made it most attractive for UEN.
I don't know much about Canvas, but I understand it is a completely different approach to an LMS. I was looking forward to learning more about it from some of my Utah colleagues. I assume that will still happen, albeit with some delay as now the courts are involved in the protest filed by D2L.
The article linked in the title (http://bit.ly/hi6KTZ) is from the SLC Tribune and gives a fairly clear description of what has transpired. Although I expect a lot more to be said soon about this issue.
I'm also linking to a blog post by Michael Feldstein who is someone I follow on Twitter and who posts a lot of good ideas about Educational Technology. He calls his blog e-Literate. He does a good job describing what Canvas is. He also includes a 5 minute YouTube Video that is a good visual demonstration of Canvas.
This is an interesting development in the LMS world. Combine with this the news from last fall that BYU Idaho is moving to an LMS called Brain Honey. Another small startup LMS with extreme flexibility.
The lesson here is that the distance ed tool box may have changing tools from time to time. Faculty need to be prepared to change tools without having to abandon their approach or resources prepared for different courses. As we add a Web Conferencing tool at Idaho State in the coming months, the same lesson is worth remembering. The tool may change over time but the approach and resources you want to use should be the crux of how you teach the course.