Desire2Learn vs. Blackboard

David Parry bio photo By David Parry

Using its newly minted patent Blackboard has filed a lawsuit against Desire2Learn in a further attempt to corner the market on elearning. I am not going to rehash all the complex details of this issue, for a good overview of the problem and the threat this poses for higher learning read Michael Feldstein’s blog. But I wanted to highlight something Michael wrote about today: How Desire2Learn is actually acting against its economic interest and for the greater good. Check out Michael’s post for a full explanation. At the end he has a list of suggestions for action:

  • If you have a blog or a web site, or if you write for a journal or magazine, write a piece highlighting D2L’s altruistic behavior.
  • If you are a D2L customer, write them a letter expressing your appreciation for what they are doing. Better yet, get your boss to write the letter. Give D2L permission to publish it.
  • If your institution is in the process of making a purchasing decision, insist that D2L’s good corporate behavior be a factor in the evaluation.

The Blackboard patent is bad news for all of us who believe in open education or at least in the prospect of opening up education to the widest possible audience, so as Michael suggests do what you can to help.