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Syracuse U To Develop Blackboard-Sakai Integration; Moodle on Deck

Syracuse University and Blackboard have partnered to develop technologies that will allow Blackboard's learning management systems to integrate with the Sakai Foundation's open-source learning management platform.

The Blackboard-Sakai Connector is designed to provide access to learning materials in one place to simplify course/learning management at schools that use multiple systems. It's being developed primarily by Syracuse U, with "design guidance and review and support" provided by Blackboard, according to the company. The connector itself will be released as open source.

The partnership, according to Blackboard, is part of its Project NG, a multi-stage effort deliver the new learning tools that couple traditional LMS technologies with new capabilities, including social networking/social learning. This project also included the development of the Learning Environment Connector, on which Syracuse's Blackboard-Sakai Connector.

"This development effort is very important to Syracuse," said Michael Morrison, manager of academic applications at Syracuse U, in a statement released today. "This partnership makes sense for us, given our large installed base of active Blackboard users."

Blackboard said it's also planning to develop a connector Moodle separately. Moodle is one of the most widely used learning management systems, if not the most widely used. Like Sakai, it's also open source. Moodle, as of this writing, has more than 21.5 million users participating in nearly 2.06 million courses at 46,703 registered sites, according to Moodle's published statistics.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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