Jeff Longland

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Archive for July 2009

Blackboard's Next Acquisition Predictions

with 3 comments

On Friday, George Kroner from Blackboard tweeted about “big news” that will be announced this week at BbWorld09:

must attend #BbWorld09 to be the 1st to hear all Bb’s exciting news 🙂 day passes available http://bit.ly/6SDWG

http://twitter.com/georgekroner/status/2572131853

I’m willing to wager that Blackboard has acquired (yet) another company / competitor. So, I’d like to speculate briefly and wildly as to who:

  • Wimba – There have been some partnerships between Blackboard and Wimba lately. This air of co-operation had me wondering what might be coming down the road. Maybe this is it? Also worth mentioning is that Carol Vallone is running Wimba these days. Carol was running WebCT when it was acquired by Blackboard. Just coincidence? We’ll see.
  • iParadigms’ Turnitin.com – Wild speculation yet again.. but I’ve heard from several institutions that they weren’t satisfied with Blackboard’s SafeAssign and have returned to Turnitin. Perhaps Blackboard has realized that their free SafeAssign didn’t take off as they had intended and acquiring Turnitin was the better route towards shoring up their plagiarism detection product. Not to mention Turnitin’s phenomenal GradeMark tool – this would be a huge improvement to the Blackboard Assignment tool.
  • Pearson eCollege / Digital Publishing Generally – There aren’t many competitors left in the LMS arena for Blackboard to acquire. But perhaps eCollege is of interest? Or anything in the digital publishing realm?

Again, these are nothing more than wild speculations that I haven’t taken the time to back up in any meaningful way. But I said this would be a quick post and I wanted to seal my predictions before the announcement is made this week. We shall see.

Edit: By way of the Twitterverse I’ve been told I’m off the mark. None of the above were acquired. So we’ll have to wait and see.

Written by jlongland

July 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

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