The new LMS

–Sorry, somehow I forgot to polish this post before publishing it. So, I’m adding the links in their proper places 🙂

It was doomed, yet the LMS resurfaced with an apparent change, deeper than a facelift. Moodle has finally released its version 2.0, which integrates many new Web 2.0 features and comes with predefined plugins to connect Moodle sith Google Docs, Flickr, and other apps, including e-portfolio’s Mahara. It even can connect with TurnitIn and check against plagiarism. I haven’t tried M2.0 yet, so I cannot really tell, but I’m eager to give it a try. I love Moodle even if I’m using it only in a few courses now, while in many others I’m using the loose approach of WordPress and the Syndication Bus. Here’s a nice interview with Martin Dougiamas, Moodle’s genius & Lead Developer, and next thing I’d really like to ask him what he thinks of Moodle’s new wave of competition. He must be thrilled, of course!

However, at least one new LMS products has grabbed my attention, of late.

It is Canvas from Instructure, which was actually born from the usual couple of students who hire a professor as coach and investor in their startup. So, the product is fascinating because they decided immediately to release an Open Source edition which can be installed freely, with community support. Great approach, right from the start.

Canvas impresses me even before trying it out because:

  1. It’s Open Source! In fact, they released it OS also to be protected against Blackboard’s possibly suing for patent infringement! {Note: BB pledged not to sue whoever “infringes on their whole-world-encompassing elearning patent” but has an OS use license.}
  2. You can install and run it from your own servers; but
  3. You need Amazon S3 services for storage: Canvas’ storage is in the Cloud.
  4. You must connect it through Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter etc.

So, Canvas seemingly has an impressive connection fan and integration of most current social networking features. Plus, it has a few other interesting features, such as a video system to have students submit some of their work by video, etc.

I’m going to try it out with a free teacher’s Web account and later ask one of my students to install it.

Campus Technology: New LMS From Instructure Goes Open Source

CogDog: Real LMS Revolutionaires burn Zombies

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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2 Responses to The new LMS

  1. Thanks for taking the time to create this post it still amazes me just how much information you can find on the internet I wish we would have had all this 20 years ago.

  2. Jason Green says:

    Our CIS department got the community edition installed. Unfortunately you have to pay for the commercial version to get the webconferencing component and (I think) the media upload component. One thing I believe Instructure did right was to make messaging user centered. Once you log in you tell the system what email address or SMS number it should send various types of messages and announcements to and whether to send immediately or in a daily or weekly digest.

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