SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Perspectives on the Blackboard Patent Pledge

Blackboard, Sakai comment on the latest developments in our exclusive interviews

For the last few months, we've provided extensive coverage on the Blackboard e-learning patent and reaction from both the education and open-source development communities. In the latest twist in the ongoing saga, Blackboard last week released a legally binding statement granting open access to its patented technologies for open-source developers and schools implementing their technologies.

Is everybody satisfied with that?

Not everybody.

In our latest exclusive coverage of the ongoing e-learning patent dispute, we speak with representatives of both Blackboard and open-source CMS developer Sakai and get their perspectives what has come to be known as Blackboard's "patent pledge." How does the pledge impact open-source CMS implementations on campus? Where does this leave universities using commercial solutions that might infringe on the patent? How will this pledge affect CMS development in the future? We have the answers and perspectives from the major players involved in this....

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News & Product Updates

Ohio U Brings Second Life to Middle School Students

Ohio University's Office of Outreach and Russ College of Engineering and Technology paired up to develop educational software on Second Life, an online virtual Mecca....

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U. of Chicago Students Attempt OurSpace Service

University of Chicago students have launched a website that enables Internet users to build their own social sites, with simple features that can be "customized, privatized, and personalized."...

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Philadelphia U Adopts Trumba Connect

Philadelphia University is using technologies from Trumba to connect students and faculty to online events on and around the campus....

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Case Study

Tools Enable Collaborative Learning at MTSU

One challenge of collaborative learning can be sharing the information written on flipcharts or whiteboards with others, either right there in class or in distant locations. While course files and slide presentations are fairly easy to distribute, what about the notes that instructors or students might add to them during class?

At Middle Tennessee State University, the oldest and largest public university in mid-Tennesee, a special high-end classroom has been set up to take advantage of new collaborative technologies, allowing professors—and students—to experiment with some high-end collaborative technologies and the best ways to use them in class.

The centerpiece of the new room is Polyvision’s Thunder Virtual Flipchart System , a sophisticated electronic whiteboard that allows anyone with an Internet-connected laptop to join an instruction session, either from within the room or remotely. Through Thunder, participants can share the contents of their laptop screens with the class, actively adding content and annotations that everyone in the class can see. Anything on the board can be marked up electronically, including Internet content, graphics, or course files. At any time during class or afterward, the collaborative content can be saved to a PDF file, then added to the course management system, WebCT, or e-mailed to all participants....

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Tech Notes

E-Learning: Getting the Money Right

Does your organization’s funding model support your online learning program’s success and sustainability? Here are the factors you should be considering in order to maximize one of the most significant growth areas in higher education.... (Campus Technology)

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Reader Response

We want to hear from you!

What does "smart" classroom technology mean to your campus? Share your viewpoint, experiences, and questions with your peers by writing to us at

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