Academic Commons reports that the US Patent Office has awarded a patent to Blackboard, which is unfortunately broad. This can only be bad news for Academics as Blackboard continues to consolidate and monopolize the industry.
Academic Commons:After purchasing and killing Prometheus in 2002 and WebCT last year (and many other companies, though not strictly speaking CMS/LMS companies), Blackboard seems to have a long-term strategy of not developing good or original technology but buying competitors and, now it is clear, trying to keep others out of the field by getting an absurdly broad patent for common uses of technology if that technology is employed in the context of education. Not only do we need to worry about the future of open source initiatives such as Moodle and Sakai, but we also need to worry about using a blog or wiki with a class of students. In fact, simple networking protocols, authentication practices, and the like, if undertaken by a school could well be jeapordized by this patent
This is even more reason to learn about technical tools, stay tuned for more information.
(Via Academic Commons -.)