“People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.” (Carl Rogers)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Canvas LMS in the clouds

I just watched a video from educational technology company instructure - http://vimeo.com/44878522 - where one of the founders of the company, Josh Coates, talked about where the company's main product, Canvas, sits in the LMS (learning management system) market. He quoted a report from the San José University (2012) which says: "Blackboard and D2L are the past, Moodle is the present, and Canvas is the future". It's a brave statement! But, taking things further, Josh says that the coming decade will demand usability, technology, innovation, open source and cloud in the education 'industry'.

I think the last one is the big plus for the future and for Canvas because educational institutions are going to
make huge savings in terms of hardware and skilled staff to maintain by not having to have their own servers or to install any software whatever - it's all accessible via a bog-standard browser and from any device. And, as Josh says, an application that is built for 'the cloud' (like twitter, gmail, skype and Canvas - and as opposed to something built, say, in the 1990s, and offering itself hopefully as 'cloud') will have the following qualities:
  • Always up to date - no versions, or upgrades, continuous new features and bug-fixes
  • Always provisioned (as I understand it, the application's response to demand from users) - no slow-downs and no overloads. 
AS well as getting an insight into the company culture (and the monkeys 30 minutes in are well worth checking out for a pointed reflection on unthinking workplace culture...) , I actually rather enjoyed the talk - plus I learnt a useful shorthand and hopefully this post is not tl;dr (you'll have to google it).

And 36 minutes in REALLY shouldn't work, but it does, sexy saxy maaan...
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