BREAKING NEWS: Elluminate, Wimba, and Blackboard join forces
Today, we’ve announced that Elluminate, Wimba, and Blackboard will join forces to bring together the leading technology products for synchronous learning and collaboration – and the minds that created them – in what we hope will be a major step forward to pursue new innovation.
We’ve heard directly from you, our clients, that these products are rapidly growing in importance as formal and informal collaboration – in a variety of settings within and beyond the delivery of online courses – becomes increasingly fundamental to the learning process. But you’ve also told us much more is needed to realize the full potential of these solutions for impacting education.
Our combination is a union of like-minded, education-focused organizations to invest in and pursue this greater potential. Working together to form a new and independent Blackboard Collaborate platform group, we believe we can accelerate innovation in technology for collaboration within and across educational institutions, as well as add great value to the interactions between these systems and asynchronous learning platforms. And we can do so at a rate faster, and to an end much more impactful for educators, than any of our organizations could have achieved alone. The new platform group will operate under the strategic guidance of Ray Henderson, who oversees Blackboard’s overall teaching and learning strategy, and will be led by Elluminate’s Maurice Heiblum, who will assume the role of President, Blackboard Collaborate.
As excited as we are about the longer term promise of working together in this way, we realize that as clients of Elluminate and Wimba you will naturally be concerned about the short-term impacts of this news. Our pledge to you is to make our first focus sustaining the positive experience that both of these communities currently enjoy. Further, we will also sustain the goal of improving collaboration broadly, rather than exclusively, for those using Blackboard learning management products. In that regard, we will continue current Elluminate and Wimba integration work for open source products, and it is our strategy to sustain those bridges with other commercial LMS providers as well.
Once we’ve ensured that a smooth transition is underway, we’ll begin the work of shaping a combined vision for Collaborate by working in combination with members of both client communities. In the meantime, we’re actively seeking to learn about specific questions or concerns you may have and hear any early ideas for how we can improve your current experience with our products or better integrate them with whatever learning management technology your institution prefers.
Please feel free to channel your thoughts directly to our executive team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve also established an information resource with anticipated FAQs that we’ll update with your input. We’re very optimistic about the benefit that our collective investment in, and passion for, education collaboration can produce for clients. We’re looking forward to digging in together.
Well, that came as a bombshell, just a few weeks after we went ahead with purchasing an Elluminate licence! Still, if we take the press release at face value, the announcement won’t change too much over the next year. Ultimately, though, as we’ve already seen with Blackboard’s takeover of WebCT, the merged company will have to choose between web conferencing platforms. And will Bb *really* want to continue supporting Moodle integration…?