Blackboard: “embrace, extend, innovate”

In an new post from the Swansea Learning Lab we are pointed to some videos from Blackboard which showcase new features in the planned 2009-2010 release of Blackboard. I watched the videos, and in a comment on the videos, I noted a trend within Blackboard that reminds me of the famous 1994 memo “Windows: The Next Killer Application on the Internet” sent by J Allard to Microsoft executives. This memo was a call to embrace, extend, and innovate [the Internet] in order to make Windows the platform of choice in the newly visible “wired up” world. It was later alleged by the U.S. Department of Justice, that within Microsoft, this mantra became embrace, extend, and destroy.

Blackboard seems to have a similar strategy in the e-learning space. Innovations from Web 2.0 are embraced, extended and, if not destroyed, at least assimilated. Even the title of of the new Blackboard product Blackboard NG [NG = next generation] brings to mind those other great assimilators, the Borg. Resistance is futile?

ICCT Class of 2008

[![](http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__bnNGgqRugY/SH98H-euYiI/AAAAAAAACm4/yQocPgrn5Cg/s320/DSC_0023.jpg)](http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__bnNGgqRugY/SH98H-euYiI/AAAAAAAACm4/yQocPgrn5Cg/s1600-h/DSC_0023.jpg)
Pictured L-R: Matt Smith BSc, Mark Davies BSc, Mark Ireland BSc, Russell Morris BSc.

Today was graduation day for the students in the Information, Computing and Communcations Technology discipline at the School of Engineering at Swansea University. Congratulations to the new Bachelors of Science Matt, Mark, Mark and Russell. Russell was also presented with the W.G. Isaacs Prize for best project. Congratulations and good look to you all! More pictures from the day will be posted on Facebook and Flickr.

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Open Source is Magic

As [reported yesterday](http://crispyj2.blogspot.com/2008/06/google-io-day.html), I’ve been catching up with a number of presentations from the [Google I/O 2008 conference](http://sites.google.com/site/io/google-io-sessions). However, I just had to draw particular attention to one of the highlights which is this recording of a very entertaining presentation from Chris di Bona who is Open Source Programs Manager at Google. In an engaging, anecdotal style, Chris covers the history and philosophy of Open Source (which includes a name check for Swansea’s very own [Alan Cox](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Cox)) and how Google relies on it, promotes it and develops some of its own. The video is on and the [original link to the talk](http://sites.google.com/site/io/open-source-is-magic) includes the slides (which I assume are re-usable).

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