James Farmer (who I regrettably missed at BlogTalk Downunder) has had a big swing at LMS (WebCT in particular) and their recent moves to offer interoperability with some open source applications such as PHPWiki.
Those who know me would not be surprised to see me agreeing with James' view and promoting his points here.
It concerns James, as it concerns me, that the LMS clients such as Unis and Colleges might welcome the effort of their big investments to offer integration of Open Source applications into their system. James gets it when he says,
...And to me the appropriation of the tools that will help us achieve this by the WebCTs of this world through stuff like the 'WebCT Wiki Integration Toolkit 0.1′ is bad news. It's the same approach that gets people to shop at K-Mart for everything even though they can get a much greater range, quality and price just down the road and they are not doing it out of a philanthropic to help us teach and learn online better. They're doing it to lock in the $s.
Many organisations have fought a hard road to date getting their employees using an LMS, and the ground swell of free, web based, and open source applications is putting quite a bit of pressure on them I'd say. Many people are asking the long awaited question - why use an LMS at all! Having their LMS investment then offer some interoperability to these 'new' tools is no doubt a relief to them.
But they just don't/won't see that it is about far more than that...