Week 8 – LMS, Edupunk, and the Open Learning Network


  • Online: All the activities for this week are located on the web.
  • Asynchronous: There is no required component for this week that requires to connect in real time with colleagues or the instructor.


 I think the problem is not so much credibility as incredulity: The greatest scam ever pulled off by “vendors” was convincing management that an LMS isn’t just a database. The second biggest? That they really needed one. The third? That is is a “Learning” “Management” System.

– Jane Bozarth, comment to Mark Oelhert’s blog post


Learning management systems (LMS) have taken over education. Whether it’s an open source product like Sakai or Moodle, or a proprietary system like Blackboard or Desire2Learn, every school has one. It has become a must-have, but does it really need to be that way? Some people are challenging the LMS model altogether, other are asking for it to evolve.


  • Reflect on the nature of LMSs: What are they good for, and what are they in the way of?
  • Understand the concept of Edupunk.
  • If you’re teaching, examine your own practices. Are you keeping everything closed by default? Is this the only way it can be done?
  • Get introduced to the concept of the open learning network.

Action items

1. Read What is the future of the LMS? by Jane Hart (2010).

2. Read the definition of Edupunk on Wikipedia.

3. Read Colleges Consider Using Blogs Instead of Blackboard by Jeffrey Young (2009)

4. Watch the Edupunk Battle Royale part 1.

5. Watch this interview with Anya Kamenetz about DIY education (Optional: more on Anya: DIY U and The Edupunk’s Guide)

6. Read Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network by Jonathan Mott (2010)

7. On your blog, write a blog post answering the following questions: Do you feel comfortable stepping out of the institutionally supported technologies (like the LMS) and why? What are the implications of “going Edupunk” with learners? Make sure to include at least two other sources of information to help you make your point.

8. Submit the URL of your blog post to the assignment titled Week 8: Blog post on Canvas. The submission is due by 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, EDT, and will be graded as a part of the weekly projects.

9. Check the course’s class feed for other posts by colleagues, and comment on their posts. You should at least read and comment on two or three posts, but you’re welcome to visit as many as you want. As a part of the online participation grade, you should also contribute and discuss on the different social media outlets, such as Diigo, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

More to explore

Check our Diigo group and check for related tags.

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