First Blog Post of 2018

Mon Jan 8 8:56:15 2018 EDT (-0400 GMT)

The new year effectively starts in September for anyone working in Education (in Europe and NA), for me that’s never been more true then this year as I transition from Brock University to University of Toronto.

I started working on the University of Toronto’s project to transition from a Blackboard 9.1 based system, The Portal, at the end of October. When I took the one year job and secured leave from Brock University I didn’t know what platform the University of Toronto had selected, but I had hoped it was Canvas and was relieved when it was finally confirmed. Now titled Quercus, the University of Toronto’s new Canvas-based teaching and learning environment, has been introduced to all U of T instructors and 3000+ students.

Canvas Cloud Comes To Canada

First UBC then a few months later, U of T adopted Canvas hosted by Instructure on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure in Montreal. I feel that this will be the start of conquests for Canvas in Canada similar to what’s occurred over the last five years in the United States. SFU an OCADu and others in Canada had self-hosted the community version of Canvas for a while, but this is the start of a cloud-based option hosted in Canada.

As many Canadian insituations make big cloud transitions across all of their IT services I welcome another LMS option that can be selected based on pedagogical and feature-based decisions, not otherwise important legal concerns.

If you’re wondering, I still feel that there’s a lot of value in the equivalent budget spent on Sakai and strong pedagogical support. In any case, the ability for the LMS to integrate other relevant platforms and the sum of all those parts is how everyone now measures the component of the LMS: the toolbox approach.

Real New Year, Real Challenges

As the early adopters of Quercus start using it to teach and learn this winter the work on the remaining implementation details begins and the massive content conversion project starts. I’m looking forward to seeing the existing U of T integrations come to Quercus and new integration to existing key platforms like O365.

I don’t want to start defining the NGDLE, but whatever it is, U of T is takings big step towards it. I’m happy to be a small part of it.

 

Looking at Robarts reflected in Rotman