Entering the Mines of Moria

Ning went commercial, but it worked great for my on-site San Elijo class. So where should my class be this fall? I need a posting board, a gradebook (I linked out to Engrade from Ning no problem), and somewhere they can work in groups posting images and text to illustrate group presentations.

I applied to Pearson for a free Ning, but they’ll brand it even if they ever do approve me. Could use Moodle, of course, but that’s boring — all my online classes are there already. Would like something more Ning-like, but Spruz and Wackwall have ads or are creepy (at least until Wackwall releases its Oxwall code in a few days). Grou.ps looked good but a colleague of mine had trouble with it. Facebook? Um…maybe later, when I really feel like ducking my head to crawl into the creepy treehouse.

My college is upgrading to Balrog, I mean Blackboard, 9. I have been invited to pilot it for fall. So perhaps, just perhaps, I should run the class there. I’d learn about Bb9 so I can help faculty, and I’d see how much web 2.0-my I can plug into it.

I haven’t offered a class in Bb in years. I have this sense of going to the dark side, without the cookies. Or descending into the Mines of Moria. Will I survive? If I do, will I be forever changed? Perhaps I shall emerge as a White Wizard, wiser than before….

2 comments to Entering the Mines of Moria

  • I find that I disdain Bb more now than I ever did before. In no large part, I think, because it’s based on informed knowledge about the application rather than blind hatred.

    Then again in some ways it’s an amazing challenge to see how many cracks I can put in the closed system and how much light of day I can let into the mine. I like challenges, so looking at it that way I’m able to swallow the bitter pill just a little bit more easily – but not much LOL

    I don’t think you’ll feel compelled to embrace the borg if you do offer a course in it. Personally I find it reminds me how much better distributed systems are for everyone but bureaucrats and administrators.

  • Lisa:

    Sure Bb 9 does not do all we would want, but it does do the logistics side well (roster management, gradebook, email). So I use it as the portal but link out of it to wikis or Google Site that allow for more open collaboration. My students seem to think it is all “Blackboard” but if they are learning, I could care less what they call it.

    Having said that, I love the visualization of Balrog 9!

2 comments to Entering the Mines of Moria

  • I find that I disdain Bb more now than I ever did before. In no large part, I think, because it’s based on informed knowledge about the application rather than blind hatred.

    Then again in some ways it’s an amazing challenge to see how many cracks I can put in the closed system and how much light of day I can let into the mine. I like challenges, so looking at it that way I’m able to swallow the bitter pill just a little bit more easily – but not much LOL

    I don’t think you’ll feel compelled to embrace the borg if you do offer a course in it. Personally I find it reminds me how much better distributed systems are for everyone but bureaucrats and administrators.

  • Lisa:

    Sure Bb 9 does not do all we would want, but it does do the logistics side well (roster management, gradebook, email). So I use it as the portal but link out of it to wikis or Google Site that allow for more open collaboration. My students seem to think it is all “Blackboard” but if they are learning, I could care less what they call it.

    Having said that, I love the visualization of Balrog 9!