Blackboard battles ‘disruptive technology’ tag
22 July 2006
A New York Times article about disruptive technology (spotted by eagle-eyed Brock Read in a Wired Campus piece) fingers Blackboard as a prime example of disruptive technology. I recall Murray Goldberg (founder of WebCT) giving graphic evidence at AusWeb2004 indicating that WebCT was rapidly becoming almost the dominant information system on many campuses, second only to the payroll system! The NYT article would have us believe that Blackboard are aware of this potential dominance and are playing a diplomatic role.
At Bond our Blackboard team has been very diplomatic but the iLearn ripples are inevitable. We have already seen that the Bond electronic information infrastructure has been found wanting, and has hastened the review of this area and the implementation of a new system independent information exchange. When iLearn comes fully onstream from September I suspect the content management infrastructure, if it exists, will come under strain. If teaching-related administration as well as curriculum planning become Blackboard-based we have some additional challenges ahead. At the very least, I think benign disruption from increasing Blackboard use is inevitable. Time will tell.