We’re in that period leading up to EDUCAUSE when everybody makes their big announcements. Two caught my eye as being relevant to e-Literate; I’m sure there will be more.
First, Blackboard announced some improved integration of Wimba and Elluminate with competing LMS platforms. I argued previously that there’s good reason to believe that they would live up to their promise of continuing to support such integrations, and now we have the evidence. Several Wimba products now support the cross-platform IMS Basic LTI integration standard, and Elluminate now has a new (or improved?) Moodle-specific integration connector. As Blackboard continues to widen their portfolio of products, I think you’ll see more and more about them actively working with competing LMS providers.
Second, Desire2Learn announced progress on their mobile support. I’ve been meaning to blog about their efforts in this area since they announced their plans at their conference this summer, but I just haven’t managed to get around to it before now. Like Blackboard and Moodle, D2L is pursuing a belt-and-suspenders approach to mobile by building out both phone-specific apps (Blackberry and iPhone for sure; they’ve hinted about Android but I don’t know if they’ve announced anything about it explicitly yet) and a device-independent HTML-based mobile interface. As I have written before, this strikes me as an expensive strategy. But I guess if you can’t be sure which way the market is going to go in an important area like mobile, you invest the resources necessary to hedge your bets. Anyway, what I appreciate about D2L’s current press release is that they tell you exactly what subset of LMS functionality their mobile interface supports. None of these mobile apps are going to do everything that their native interface does at this point, and the details can really matter. I’d love to see a feature list like this one from all the LMS providers.
I’ll be at EDUCAUSE on Wednesday and Thursday and hope to come back with some tidbits and possibly some interviews to share. If you want to try to catch up with me while I’m there, your best bet is probably to go to the community source reception.
One last non-EDUCAUSE-related tidbit: If you haven’t watched Robert Scoble’s interview with Blackboard’s VP of Mobile Kayvon Beykpour, you should. Beykpour founded the company Terribly Clever that Blackboard acquired for its mobile academic portal. In the interview, he proves himself to be…well…terribly clever. He has some interesting insights into where the academic mobile space is going, and Scoble does a good job of asking the right questions.