Competitive advantage?

It’s not really my business, but it seems to me that the promise that competition delivers consumer benefits is in the “If I had a dollar for every time … ” category of overuse. Mostly this proposition seems to be based on the assumption that if I’m selling lemonade next to someone else selling lemonade, we’re going to compete for the lemonade market either by offering superior or cheaper lemonade, and either way, the passing parade gets a better deal…

Continue Reading

Actual results may vary

Here’s another quick finding in the tealeaves of educational technology prediction. Providing you can get through the argot of the deals, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, and patent showdowns, sometimes you find yourself face to face with the poetry of the safe harbor statement. It’s hard not to read it over and over to check that it still says what you think, and that it says it so beautifully. The safe harbor statement is a get-out clause currently derived from the Private…

Continue Reading

Extraordinary company

Higher ed tech writers are chewing the cud over the not very surprising news that Blackboard is partnering up with major content publishers¬†Cengage, Macmillan, Pearson, John Wiley & Sons and (last year) McGraw-Hill, and that McGraw-Hill itself is now friending everyone in the LMS world. ¬†The language of this new set of deals is that of the soothing murmur: students will now be able to transition seamlessly from Anywhere U via their LMS to centralised content repositories managed by Big…

Continue Reading

Going forward

One of the challenges facing a higher education institution trying to choose a new learning management system is the blind taste test that passes for product demonstration. Typically this involves being hustled through a demo site that’s been populated with made-up students in imaginary classes exchanging imaginary one-liners with each other via a discussion board, while imaginary academics set up imaginary course content, and the whole thing flows through to imaginary gradebooks or generates imaginary tracking reports. Because the number…

Continue Reading