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"I love CUNY and I love public education. Blackboard is a parasite on both. Writing free software is the best way I know to disrupt the awful relationship between companies like Blackboard and vulnerable populations like CUNY undergraduates."
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When Northwestern adopted Blackboard way back in the '90's I recall asking why they were spending so much money on a proprietary system when they had a whole department full of CS students who needed practical projects on which to work.
Blackboard isn't FOSS, so not entirely sure what you mean by fragment.
I apologize -- and I'm rarely lucid anyway. =) I meant it sounds as if they may be trying to build a homegrown alternative to Blackboard when there's FOSS alternatives in existence, such as Moodle, that may already meet CUNY's needs and/or would benefit from CUNY involvement. I should say I don't know the background here of what was explored and what wasn't software-wise, but at first blush it sounds like something more of a fragmentation than an augmentation.
I teach at a university that uses Blackboard, and am almost finished with a PhD at a university that uses Moodle. As a student, Moodle seemed to work well. As a teacher, Blackboard regularly bugs me out. I am thinking of moving to class wikis for each class that I teach, and just skip BB altogether.

The article did make me want to work on free software though.
Wow, that article is first-class churnalism... Just a press release in news clothing.
I looked for anything else on that, and only found an actual press release. No coverage. No report that I saw. No comparison that I found.

I once tried to find a way to make open standards an interesting read, when Massachusetts was considering some of the OASIS formats instead of XLS and the like. You can't make that stuff interesting to general audiences, unfortunately. =(
Kuali, Sakai and Moodle all look like worthwhile projects. At this time, we use none of them at IIT. Blackboard now allows instructors to create a finite number of classes for free on Not sure how I feel about that, but at least they didn't cripple the export/import features.
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