Oh, please make it stop. Check out the newest deal “inked” by Blackboard:
Blackboard is providing academic users with access to historical multimedia resources from NBC Learn. The two companies today announced that that they’ve inked a deal to make historical and current events materials from NBC News accessible within the Blackboard Learn platform.
Through NBC News Archives on Demand, college and university students and faculty will have access to thousands of video and audio files, as well as textual materials, covering a wide range of topics, from politics to health. All of the materials can be embedded directly into Blackboard courses using the new Blackboard Building Block, which is being made available today at no charge. As Blackboard described it, “As a result, educators can complement courses and lectures with historical and up to the minute video clips and other content on topics ranging from politics, the economy and climate change to health issues related to pandemic preparedness including the H1N1 influenza. Students get to participate in a much richer and more engaging course experience and can use the content and resources to support their own research, project work and presentations.”
I’ve said it before, Blackboard is primarily an access control company. But not content to be in the lucrative business of dining hall management, video surveillance, and door access control, Blackboard’s real endgame is to aid those who want to lock up culture. The last gasp of the LMS will be to convince schools that a contract with Blackboard (or Epsilen, a NYT LMS offering) allows their students to use work they are legally entitled to use anyway. I can’t really think of anything more disturbing, or more telling.