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Coursekit and Canvas: What the Blackboard Spokesperson Should Have Said
January 16, 2012 - 8:30pm

"A Blackboard spokesman declined to comment on the various companies seeking some of its business." 

From Cracking Up the LMS: What Does the LMS of the Future Look Like?  1/11/12 by Steve Kolowich.

Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn, subsequently offered a terrific (balanced, honest, and positive) response in comments area (definitely go and read what Ray had to say). 

What Else Could Have Ray Added?:

We Welcome These New Entrants:  We work in educational technology because we believe in the power of technology to catalyze improvements in learning, and to support the mission of colleges and universities.  We are interested in providing solutions to our customers, in creating true partnerships, and in providing value. New entrants like Canvas or Coursekit do not change any of our core values.   

We Admire Many Things About Canvas and Coursekit:  The UI (user interface) of Canvas is gorgeous. Coursekit has an interesting and innovative business model. We believe in the potential of the LMS as a platform to improve learning, and we think a great deal about how our products and services be improved. A competitor like Canvas or Coursekit that comes along offers terrific incentives for our entire industry to invest resources, time and energy into improving our own products. 

We Believe That Competition Will Make Us Stronger: We believe in the power of the market. We chose to work in the ed tech sector because we believe that the incentives of the market provide the most efficient route for innovation and change. New entrants in the LMS space are the fuel that will drive competition, and result in better products and services at lower prices. We believe deeply in our company, platforms and services, and we welcome a fair fight for your business.

Although perhaps Ray said it best when he noted, "This discussion reinforces the healthy market dynamics in our industry, and the range of choices now available to institutions seeking the benefit of technology platforms for delivering education.  It promises to be another interesting year, with the benefit of improved user experience across the industry".

What would you have said?



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