Google has created an application experiment called CloudCourse. This is an open source learning platform, running under AppEngine, Google’s Cloud Based environment. CloudCourse is being used internally at Google for several learning management system (LMS) type functions – from registration to classroom management. It is available as an Open Source codeset (available from http://tinyurl.com/3yqpqrs) and Google claims that it will be evolved as developers experiment and extend the functionality.
Comment: While this is a long way from being the death knell for the proprietary LMS, it’s an interesting move from a software developer that has a great many IT and human resources at its command. In many ways, it was merely a matter of time before a major player in the software world had a serious look at the LMS world. Until the advent of cloud computing, there didn’t seem to be a way whereby the large software developer could bring all its large scale advantages to bear in order to compete on price – as well as in product sophistication terms – with the ‘small but cheap’ LMS producers. With Google’s news, the tide may just be turning.