Waynesboro, Virginia – March, 27 2012 – Blackboard’s recent acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two of the fifty companies that make up the Moodle Partners Network, has surprised many in the open source LMS community. Blackboard’s traditional proprietary product strategy contrasts sharply with their recent investments in Moodle partners.
“The impact of Blackboard’s acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot on their open source commitment remains to be seen” Remote-Learner CEO Jason Cole commented, “They have a lot to prove.”
Remote-Learner remains dedicated to Moodle’s open source model. We have released a number of major components to the Moodle community on a freemium basis including our flagship Enterprise Learning Intelligence System (ELIS). As a company built by educators, creating and delivering open source components to further educational and learning goals continues to be a primary focus. Our commitment to Moodle and open source applications will always be the core of our business model.
“Remote Learner, one of our biggest partners, have been supporting Moodle since the very earliest days of the Moodle Partner program. I’m proud to have them as part of the team that is contributing towards core Moodle development” Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle and Managing Director of Moodle Pty Ltd stated.
Blackboard is currently funded by Providence Equity, a private equity firm with several online learning companies in their portfolio. Over the past few years, Providence Equity and Blackboard have acquired numerous companies including Edline, ANGEL, WebCT, Schoolworld, Schoolfusion, and Teacherweb, with a long-term goal of offering an extensive mix of commercial online learning solutions to meet the diverse needs of the market.
“Such a vast product line can compromise customers’ best interests. Schoolworld and Schoolfusion are both no longer available but once offered unique solutions designed with a specific segment in mind” states Bryan Poss, Director of Marketing for Remote-Learner.
With 58 million users, it’s easy to see why Moodle has been the LMS of choice for numerous educational and corporate entities over the years and will continue to be. Moodle’s open source licensing reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, lowers costs, improves organizational flexibility, and allows end users control over the source code.
A large portion of Moodle’s success comes directly from the strength of The Moodle Partners Network. “We started the network back in 2004 with only four partners and it has expanded to over fifty with more partners added every year. Moodle’s growth and success is, in part, due to all the Moodle partners contributing a portion of their proceeds back to the Moodle program for ongoing development.” said Bryan Williams, Chairman and Founder of Remote-Learner.