I have never liked Blackboard. The problem with taking a company public is that the added red tape makes shifting direction very difficult. Blackboard is no exception.
Widely criticized for its dismal user interface, Blackboard has hinted that it wants to make its software more interactive and user friendly. Yet, according to press releases: ’don’t expect to see this for a couple years’ A couple years?!?
Meanwhile, Blackboard in an attempt to “go 2.0’ has added its own social bookmarking feature. Why not integrate with Del.icio.us? Does Blackboard really think that it can reinvent the wheel? How is Del.icio.us not academic enough?
Most likely still on a patent high, Blackboard believes that proprietary applications are the best approach; I think not. Very soon a new breed of online academic collaboration software is likely to come out with a focus on user interface,user-generated content and smart application integrations (Youtube, Flickr, etc). After all, what good is software if no one wants to use it?
The next year is going to be ’make or break’ for Blackboard. The firm needs to start looking for key acquisitions that can bump them into the 21st century, or else they risk watching their market share erode quickly. I know of at least three schools planning to dump their Blackboard system in the next 12 months.
What do you think?