Monday, October 24, 2011

Pearson and Google Jump Into Learning Management With a New, Free System

One of the world’s biggest education publishers has joined with one of the most dominant and iconic software companies on the planet to bring colleges a new—and free—learning-management system with the hopes of upending services that affect just about every instructor, student, and college in the country. 

Today Pearson, the publishing and learning technology group, has teamed up with the software giant Google to launch OpenClass, a free LMS that combines standard course-management tools with advanced social networking and community-building, and an open architecture that allows instructors to import whatever material they want, from e-books to YouTube videos. The program will launch through Google Apps for Education, a very popular e-mail, calendar, and document-sharing service that has more than 1,000 higher-education customers, and it will be hosted by Pearson with the intent of freeing institutions from the burden of providing resources to run it. It enters a market that has been dominated by costly institution-anchored services like Blackboard, and open-source but labor-intensive systems like Moodle.

“Anytime Pearson and Google are used in the same sentence, it’s going to get people’s attention,” says Don Smithmier, chief executive and founder of Sophia, another community-based learning system that is backed by Capella Education, the corporation behind the online educator Capella University. “I believe the world will be shifting away from a classic LMS approach defined by the institution. Openness and social education is a very powerful idea.” ...


Anonymous said...

If I buy books from Pearson, will I receive a free trip to Brazil like Dr. Holliday of the Kentucky Department of Education?

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if it will follow the path we have seen so far, were we are given very basic but sometimes inaccurate or contradictory support only to learn that in order to obtain the specific or truly valuable resources, we will have to pay a sizeable fee. The whole Pearson/ACT monopoly is so disheartening. Your only choice is to either play the game and pay for overpriced resources and training (which I thought was suppose to be free) or risk falling behind your neighbor who might have deeper pockets. Makes me want to teach in Brazil or China.