Planning to Divorce the CMS

Yeah, I’ll leave someday. I’m sure my second Course Management System knows that already. It’s not that it’s been a bad relationship (not like my first CMS — that was brutal — we’re not on speaking terms), but some day I’ll have to move on. I’ve gotten a lot of advice lately, reading some self-help gurus: Brian Lamb, George Siemens, Stephen Downes.

And now I’ve found the last tool to break the chain. It’s called Engrade, and it’s a web 2.0 gradebook (thanks to Sharon Davis and the WOW2 folks for posting the link the other night). I haven’t tried Engrade. It may not work. I don’t care. The fact that it’s there means there will be more apps like it. That’s all I want.

I can now do everything offered by a CMS outside a CMS. I can patch together the whole thing using webapps. I can mix-and-match, I can blend. I can do it my way (anyone will tell you that’s the way I do everything anyway!). I can create and have my students use and create pages with widgets in Protopage, discussion boards with QuickTopic, IM with Meebo or Adium (for Mac), conference calls in Skype, RSS feeds in Feedraider, blogs at Edublogs, wikis at pbwiki or in <a href="" MediaWiki, slideshows at Bubbleshare and VoiceThread, annotated photos at Flickr, presentations and zillions of other things at Zoho. And all for my very favorite price: free!

No, I won’t move out right away. But my current CMS better start taking out the trash.

7 thoughts to “Planning to Divorce the CMS”

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Looks like we are insynch. I am also a big fan of free, open tools that allow the development of spontaneous, learner centered environments.
    Thanks for sharing. It is always good to know that there are people that think alike! 😉

  2. Hey Lisa,

    The trick, moving away from a CMS, is to actually have the students post in their own environment and aggregate to you. Leaving the CMS for flexibility is nice, leaving it to decentralize the power and enable students to control their own content… i see that as the magic.

  3. Yes, Dave, my approach here is still rather instructor-centered, and is focused more on replicating the more familiar aspects of the CMS. What I would like to see is the use of such tools to create new styles of learning, but I am concerned that a lot of folks just aren’t ready for such transfer of control, and are being tied into the patterns encouraged by the CMS in a way that makes it hard for them to ever escape. Perhaps web 2.0 tools that make instructional modes more flexible is a first step?

  4. 8i want to know how to start online teaching. what are the equipments beside pc required.

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