Image by hazelowendmc via Flickr
Martin Knott feels that Moodle has the capability to change lives. There are many people who would like to access education, but their life commitments mean that they are unable to do so.
Children are changing the way they expect to learn, interact with friends and families, and therefore, Knott proposes that the future of education is going to look very different.
There has been a large amount of attrition from legacy systems such as Blackboard (thanks to Nigel Clarke for sharing this article). Higher Educaiton in the US, because of budget cuts, have made the decision to move to open source solutions – in part because of teacher and student pressure for a more learner-centred LMS.
Globally, the online learning markets are growing rapidly (approximately 20% per year). The number of content repositories is also increasing, in part because of financial savings whereby large institutions with satellite campuses can share the same information. Some institutions are also bringing in a maximum number of pages that can be printed out by lecturers – if they exceed this maximum they have to pay for the printing costs out of their own pockets. Using a managed cloud proposition as a solution lowers the cost per student, which can be handed on to the ‘client’.
It is a worry for me that the focus is mainly financial. Money is a reality, but the education as a business model is an uneasy model that appears to ignore questions of equity, and seems flawed because it sees students more as consumers than learners. As a result, qualifications become commodities to be purchased; and teachers are measured on the quantitative performance of their students. The LMS becomes a “distribution channel”, and as an “upside opportunity” – i.e. a US$2 billion market for Moodlerooms. Yes, developers need paying and education is not an altruistic pursuit, but…when did it become so focussed on income, monopolies, acquisition, profit and market forces? Was it Blackboard (who has bought up a large number of competitors including WebCT and Angel…sound familiar?)? Or is it politics? Has education become devalued by this focus, or am I living in a la-la land of academic cynicism? Would be good to hear what you think :)
Add a Comment