Today Pearson, the publishing and learning technology group, has joined the software giant Google to launch OpenClass, a free LMS that combines standard course-management tools with advanced social networking and community-building, and an open architecture that allows instructors to import whatever material they want, from e-books to YouTube videos. The program will launch through Google Apps for Education, a very popular e-mail, calendar, and document-sharing service that has more than 1,000 higher-education customers, and it will be hosted by Pearson with the intent of freeing institutions from the burden of providing resources to run it. It enters a market that has been dominated by costly institution-anchored services like Blackboard, and open-source but labor-intensive systems like Moodle.
Connecting to the system through Google—it will be available through the Google Apps Marketplace—adds to the ease of use and comfort factor, officials say. People will sign on to their Google Mail accounts and see OpenClass as one of their available products at the top of their Web browser. They will also be able to use Gmail and Google Docs from with the program.
Read the Complete Report by Josh Fischman
In other Pearson News, on Tuesday the company launched:
FT in Education allows Pearson’s educational publishers to search a new republishing database hosting over 100,000 FT articles, special reports and features that are highly relevant to students and professors. A new trademark licence agreement will allow Pearson to use this FT content across its products and services for the education market around the world.
The new licence and database will initially be used by Pearson UK, including Higher & Professional Education, ELT, Schools & College and Edexcel.
In addition, FT.com is shortly launching MBA Newslines, a new product aimed at business schools that offers enhanced functionality and enables students, faculty and practitioners from around the world to create and share annotations on FT articles.
Pearson is the owner of the FT (Financial Times).