Pleasanton, CA (PressExposure) April 06, 2012 -- The education world is a buzz today with the news that Blackboard, a large education technology provider of Learning Management Systems, has recently acquired the popular Moodle host, MoodleRooms.
Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), very similar to Blackboard's commercial LMS software. The difference between Moodle and Blackboard is largely that Moodle is free and Open Source and Blackboard is a premium paid solution. Moodle has grown in popularity over the years because it can be used under GPL (General Public License) and has a large worldwide community that has actively added on and improved upon its capabilities and features.
The reason for the alarm at the news of Blackboard's acquisition of MoodleRooms is likely because Moodlerooms has become the most popular host for the Moodle service in the United States. Critics of the acquisition fear that Blackboard will either remove the service as a competitor, or charge a hefty premium for what was once a cost effective solution.
These fears aren't entirely unwarranted, according to education blogger, Michael Feldstein, who a few years ago published his findings on Blackboard's marketing strategies. Essentially, Mr. Feldstein found that Blackboard's average cost of selling its enterprise learning system is estimated to be around $250k per District or University aquisition, a fact, according to Mr Feldstein, that has driven their business development unit to continuously come up with new ways to make money, which is often at the expense of the education community.
As educators fear the arrival of heftier fees for hosting their Moodle data, some are turning to a new player in the EdTech community. Novachi, just earlier this year, announced they will be providing hosting of Moodle classrooms for an even lower price that was previously available from organizations like Moodlerooms.
In addition to their offer to help Moodlerooms users migrate to their servers, Novachi also offers an integrated education system that allows educators to build their own IIS (Instructional Improvement System). This IES comes free with Novachi SIS, Community Portals, Classroom Collaboration SNS, and access to its App store and all its free and open source applications.