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New Opportunities for Open Source in Education

posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:59 AM by Mark O'Neil
On Monday, March 26, 2012, Blackboard Inc. announced news regarding the creation of Blackboard Education Open Source Services. In brief Blackboard has acquired two Moodle service providers - Moodlerooms and NetSpot - and engaged Charles Severance to drive their involvement in the Sakai community. Blackboard’s stated intent is to provide services around open source Learning Management Systems while growing and maintaining relationships with, and contributing to, those open source community projects. We hope that this news will have a positive impact on the adoption and growth of open source solutions in education.

What does this mean for the OSCELOT global community? This action validates the efforts and goals of OSCELOT to support and facilitate learning tools that plug into various learning management platforms - with a focus on open source and interoperable solutions. Our passion and advocacy is for the involvement of all open source communities to enhance education through technology. It is our hope that moving forward we can bring together individuals from not only the Blackboard, Moodle, and Sakai communities, but across all educational technology communities. Together, we can build learning tools that operate in a manner which is platform agnostic - serving all students and educators regardless of the technology platform(s) they use.

We at OSCELOT work to remove real and perceived obstacles to improving education technology. Our hope is that this latest action by Blackboard helps break down vendor-silo barriers. Blackboard has previously shown leadership by committing time and resources to the advancement of open standards; we hope that it will now continue to support this process across other platforms.

There is an opportunity here for the community to bring together the best and brightest minds in educational technology to advance our common goals. We hope that this development will secure continued diversity in the eLearning market, support the evolution of truly cross-platform learning tools and enable the community to build a greater educational future together.

Over the coming months, we look forward to seeing how this development unfolds. In the meantime we invite members of all education communities to join us at Open Source Day 7.0 on July 8th in New Orleans to learn, share, and develop learning tools of common interest.

Paul Erickson Patricia Goldweic Derek Hamner George Kroner Malcolm Murray Mark O’Neil Stephen Vickers


OSCELOT (the Open Source Community for Educational Learning Objects and Tools) provides the resources and backing for a global community of developers and users to develop and access free and open source software (FOSS) for education. This is accomplished by providing the necessary infrastructure to support these activities. In addition to promoting the use of open standards-based FOSS, OSCELOT also aspires to provide metrics on FOSS projects to facilitate the decision making process for adoption. OSCELOT hosts a community website at www.oscelot.org, a projects website at projects.oscelot.org, and a community listserv. In addition, we host the annual Open Source Day event which brings managers, users and developers together to discuss community direction and future projects.

OSCELOT, Inc is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation registered in Washington DC