04 March 2010

Educause catches the anti LMS thread, causes me to look back

Well shit hey! Educause published a paper calling the LMS out!

Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network. By Jonathan Mott

I was sad to see my name not in the references, perhaps 2005 was too long ago! Perhaps blog posts don't rate, perhaps its just me.. anyway, here's an impotent addition to the bibliography that's missing :)

December 2004. The Post LMS Age
May 2005. Everything you need to teach and learn online
May 2005. Graffiti is OK - BlogTalk DownUnder 2005
June 2005. More against the LMS
July 2005. Networked Learning
August 2005. EdNA Groups or the Open Network
September 2005. Lawsuit forces Web 2 learning strategies
September 2005. ePortfolios - I don't get it?
Nov 2005. Die LMS Die, you too PLE
Dec 2005. LMS Comic
Jan 2006. Learning should be free, its an education that can cost
February 2006. Host your own or hold a third party? Change needed as per usual
March 2006. Education, reactionaries, determinism and singularity
April 2006. Digital Network Literacy
April 2006. A snapshot of networked learning
May 2006. What's in a name? Why some succeed and others fail
July 2006. Technological Change and Systemic Change
September 2006. Groups and/or networks... the future of learning in a networked world
October 2006. Out from under the umbrellas
October 2006. What would it be like to be the rain
November 2006. Flogging the dead horse that died in the trough
2007 and 08 are a blur.. lost to the Wordpress blog, self censored due to work place conflicts
January 2009. LMS, VLEs.. oh PLEs what next? ePortfolios?
February 2009. Migrating from Blackboard to Moodle (via the web)


Jon said...

'Twas an oversight due to one too many rewrites and revisions. It's technically still not "officially released" so I'm working with the editor to at least give you and George tip of the hat. I appreciate your thinking in this space very much. Thanks for reminding me that it should be acknowledged.

Leigh Blackall said...

Nice one Jon. :) thanks

Jim Groom said...


Props are good and for you all too well deserved. And for that matter I stole much of my ranting style from you---and if I had any respectability or clout in publishing circles I would recognize you as the wind beneath my wings, and the hippie light at the end of my tunnel :)

alexanderhayes said...


You've worked for it.

Whats your thoughts now on Moodle ?:)

Jon said...

Thanks to some above and beyond the call of duty work by Nancy Hays at EQ, the revised version of the article is live.

Leigh Blackall said...

Ah shocks Jim. You brought much needed humour and popularity to this campaign. No one does it better than the Bava, no one!

Alex, I fcking hate Moodle! Am forced to log in to the bastard every day, trying to breath life into the old nanny, but at the hands of an always under resourced learning centre (as skilled and capable as they are and could be) it will never come close to the joys of the real Internet. Moodle 2 has us all hoping 2004 will come to Moodle in time for 2011 NYE! But the staff and students have come to love it, still clueless on how to use the real internet or how to approach networked learning, they love the "create hyperlink" icon on the toolbar, its cool hey!

Jon, what can I say? You're a good man, helping me feel unforgotten. Thanks :)

Lanny Arvan said...

I'm nor sure what's the to do here. Prophets aren't supposed to profit.
Moses didn't make it to the Promised Land.

Perhaps that's the wrong metaphor. Maybe motion pictures is more apt. It was a bad movie the first time through and now there are many sequels.

The LMS exists not because of what innovative teachers want but because of what campus IT wants:
one system;
something large enough so its budget can't be hacked.
Do you see learning on this list?

If that's right, we should see the same thing in the remakes. I think we are. The technology that is poised to die is not the LMS. It is the land line telephone. That's so 1960s. What will replace it? The buzzwords are "unified communications." Might those synchronous technologies be used for education? Where is the uproar about this?

Leigh Blackall said...

You're right Lanny - if I understood you correctly. Our self referential culture of the edtech, not willing or unable to refer to a world of thought pre digital, make shallow our critiques of present day technology role out, not addressing the real devil in it all - the same devil that prevented the promise of educational equality before.. the telephone, even the television, letters and postal, audio cassettes. My own limited look into pre digital thinking on this hasn't made it far past Ivan Illich. And I'm outraged so few others refer to him and bring his incites forward.

Helen said...

Thanks for pointing me to this article Leigh, and yes I agree you're work in this area should not go unacknowledged. I'm encouraged to see that you are able to speak up and say hey! this is what I've been saying for ages and you can actually be heard now.

Helen said...

I mean 'your' work - jeez those pesky apostrophes pop up in all the wrong places.

Lanny Arvan said...

Leigh - I think you gave me more credit than I deserved with that previous comment. I wasn't hinting at Illich or Freire or anyone else in that regard, though now that you mention it I do believe that if you start to push it in that direction then there is a good chance you end up outside the system because you can effectuate change better that way. Things seem to move glacially within.

Instead, I was thinking of your Everything You Need to Teach and Learn Online post, where the tone is warm and generous, and then the Die LMS post, about 6 months later, where the tone is quite different, though the subject is essentially the same.

There was nothing about synchronous tools in those posts. And maybe you don't think of IM, shared whiteboards, or application sharing in the same way, though some of the more recent Google tools are blurring the distinction between synchronous and asynchronous.

In any event, my sense is that on our respective campuses we are headed toward an LMS-like solution for these synchronous tools. So far that issue doesn't seem to have grabbed you and I'm wondering why. Then, if it did catch your attention, I'm wondering whether you'd get worked up about it.

Leigh Blackall said...

You mean things like Elluminate, Adobe Connect and the like? A the time I wrote Everything You Need, there wasn't much going. Elluminate was just starting out, Skype was catching on... but you're right to suggest IM.. its always been there. I remember a demo of IM between my school and a Californian school back in 1989! We didn't think much of it at the time.

It does piss me off, things like Elluminate reinforcing the some things that brought us the LMS. The Edtech guys subverted it by streaming Skype calls, and there are free and open alternatives.. any moment Google will break it all, but the Institutions will hold onto their expensive conferencing systems.

I think an update on Everything You Need is in order...

Lanny Arvan said...

We are getting closer, but Elluminate and Adobe Connect are really small potatoes, at least in how they are used on my campus. The telephone and email are the big fish. They are converging or so it seems and the result should include the Elluminate and Connect functionality.

Five years ago you gave a clear articulation of using a variety of quite functional tools rather than one big thing that did nothing very well. That's the movie that's replaying, or so it seem to me. When you wrote five years ago, the LMS was already a fait accompli. Unified communication is still in the offing.

Leigh Blackall said...

Google is certainly making strides it seems in that, bringing Voice together with Gmail, adding Buzz and of course Wave.

But I would welcome Google (on its present business model), offering such a service.

Those small potatoes are all chipping away at integrating with the LMS. Small indeed, but just as the LMS investment with no escape plan locked us in, so will these add ons. It just won't die! The workflow is too imbedded.

Even if and when Google offers up a tool that so obviously meets the needs of conferencing, shared docs with live editing, chat and recording, the Institutions will pretend like nothing is there.

They do the same with free Office software, free "repositories", free video streaming, free encyclopedias and other such reference materials. Why or how could they do anything different when Google comes up with the goods for synchronous communications? Already, my university has made the bizaare choice of Microsoft Live!

Lanny Arvan said...

I'm guessing that most online meetings today, even at up to date places, happen via documents shared ahead of time (as email attachments) and then teleconferencing live, perhaps with videoconferencing instead of teleconferencing if there is only one remote location. Voice over IP is still viewed as exotic and unreliable, especially in large groups, though if I were betting, my guess is that Skype would be the most reliable in that function, better than Google Talk (Also, what if the other person(s) are on their cell phone(s)?) I don't know, I've not tested the voice quality across products, but how else can Skype stay in business, since it is their bread and butter?

In any event, with budgets very tight and the old telephone service a significant line item, more current alternatives are being sought, and many people feel they don't need a phone in their office. So the question is: what's next?

If I were betting, my bet would be that most universities will make an LMS-style investment into the sequel service. Then a couple of years after that we'll hear something equivalent to your Die LMS post, for pretty much the same reasons. Must history repeat?

Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Lanny, I've created the first of what I hope will be an improving video version of Everything you need..

Hall Ingram said...

Leigh, really don't understand that why you hate Moodle? It has made teachers and students jobs much easier to deal with. People are enjoying Moodle all around the world due to its popularity and I think you should enjoy too.

Leigh Blackall said...

Hall, I've used it since 2003. It has always been so clunky to use, but more importantly, it always reinforced a power dynamic that I think is an antithesis to teaching and learning.