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Industry Briefs

BIG NEWS: BLACKBOARD AND WEBCT TO MERGE. As the news of the $180 million Blackboard ( and WebCT ( “agreement to merge” hit the wires, folks in the community were split: some were shocked, while others had long expected it. According to Blackboard spokespeople, the two companies will become a single company, with a single client base and shared resources. The agreement to merge should be finalized late this year or in early 2006. UNVEILING OF THE NEW IPOD. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new Apple ( iPod that includes a 2.5-inch color screen (for photos and artwork), a video player (for podcasts, music videos, home movies, and TV shows), and can hold up to 15,000 songs. DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD. Hopping on the on-demand bandwagon, Warner Home Video ( teams with Ruckus Network Inc. ( to offer feature films and television series episodes on digital entertainment networks via Ruckus campus installations. The agreement between the two companies will supply high-quality, fully licensed digital movies delivered straight to students’ computer screens. Additionally, instructors can use the movies in the classroom for instructional purposes. THE FUTURE OF MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS. Mobile telecom giant Motorola ( has launched MOTOFWRD, a nationwide competition challenging emerging innovators to express—via words or visually—how they envision seamless mobility in the future. Students from the science, technology, engineering, media, and arts fields are encouraged to submit an entry. Researchers, futurists, authors, and others will judge entries. 3, 2, 1... BLAST OFF! Crestron (, manufacturer of high-end control and automation solutions, has approved the launch of a new and improved Web site. The company has reorganized the content on the site to include tech specs, product information, streaming media, and more. According to Crestron spokespeople, visitors are now able to navigate more easily through the site.
CATCH THE NEWS TODAY? ABC News International ( and Thomson Higher Education ( have teamed up to offer historic, raw news footage and video programming to higher ed. The news footage and clips will be integrated into Web sites, eBooks, DVD, VHS, CDROM, iPod, and PDA study aids for college classrooms. Video programs include World News Tonight, Good Morning America, This Week, Prime Time Live, 20/20, Nightline, and others. PREMIUM CMS. Collaboration and enterprise portal provider Unicon Inc. ( has teamed up with RedDot Solutions (, an enterprise content management company, to provide a combined CMS solution. The partnership of RedDot’s CMS and Unicon’s Academus portal will give customers a customized eLearning experience (built on the uPortal open source technology) from within one interface.

Ray Henderson

NEW LMS CPO: Angel Learning gets Ray Henderson's expertise and track record.

CPO EXEC MOVES FROM PEARSON. Angel Learning (, developer of enterprise learning management systems, has appointed Raymond P. Henderson as its new chief products officer. Formerly Pearson ed technology development prez, Henderson will “leverage his extensive experience in the education industry and his passion for creating innovative educational products to lead the marketing and development of the Angel Learning Management Suite of products,” say Angel spokespeople.
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