Learning Management Systems: Friend or Foe in the New Ecology?

Diana Childress (Blackboard Inc.), Ray Henderson (Blackboard Learn)

As educational content morphs digital, important questions are raised about the role of the Learning Management system. As publishers transition from text to more beneficial subscription business models and cloud based delivery technologies, the relationship between learning content and learning management has come to new focus. All prior models for how content and platform work together have been challenged, and new models driven by consumers influenced by web 2.0 and social media metaphors are taking hold. Relationships between publishers and LMS purveyors are being rethought and a new digital ecology is taking shape. In the balance are important questions about the future economics of publishing, the relationship between commercial content and Open Educational Resources (OER), and customer relationships.

This session will provide a vision from Blackboard about the evolving relationship between LMS platform and digital publishers and the potential for great near-term mutual benefit. It will provide insight into the history of the content-platform relationship, obstacles that are being overcome, and news from the front about the latest reformulations of this relationship and their results with end-users. The presenters will argue that this model can catalyze greater consumption of new digital products with improved economics and significantly expanded global reach for publishers and their products. Finally, it will argue that the presence of OER is a positive development in the new ecology and that it will further develop the market for commercial digital content.

This session is sponsored by Blackboard

Diana Childress

Blackboard Inc.

Diana Childress is VP, Business Development, where she leads the strategy for the company’s efforts to bring new, customer-driven content solutions to Blackboard’s global client community. Childress is a publishing and information industry veteran with extensive leadership experience in the convergence of content and technology within education.

At Blackboard, Childress works directly with leading companies such as Pearson, Cengage Learning, and McGraw Hill to manage partnerships that allow for the delivery of educational content directly to faculty and students through Blackboard’s e-learning platform.

Prior to joining Blackboard, Childress served in a number of executive positions with some of the largest higher education publishers and has been responsible for significant innovations in the development and delivery of education content as learners move from traditional consumption of print course materials to online learning environments.

Childress served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Gale Cengage Learning, a leading e-research and education publishing firm, where she helped to lead a transformative print-to-digital effort that brought online Gale’s vast reference collection combined with other third party content. At Gale, Childress oversaw a $10 million marketing budget and was a key player in the re-branding of Thomson Learning to Cengage Learning.

Prior to this role, Childress served as Vice President of Marketing at WoltersKluwer Health, a $300 million health science publisher, where she oversaw a budget of more than $25 million and a staff of 75. Childress previously held executive positions at ProQuest Information & Learning, Vcampus.com, and Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Highlights include leading a groundbreaking effort to leverage Proquest’s print and digital library holdings by bringing them into the classroom via technology and leading the execution of a successful IPO with UOL Publishing (now Vcampus.com), Inc., an early LMS-content integrated solution for corporate and higher education.

Childress holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communications Arts and Marketing from C.W. Post College. She currently resides in Annapolis, Maryland and is an avid boater, fly fisherwoman and gourmet cook.

Ray Henderson

Blackboard Learn

As President of Blackboard’s teaching and learning division, Ray oversees product development, client success and support as well as the global services and managed hosting functions.

He formerly led ANGEL Learning’s product strategy, product development and go-to-market efforts. His more than twenty years of experience in educational publishing and technology platform development shape a vision where the customer experience is paramount and the customer voice is integral to product development.

Ray began his pursuit of technology platform development while Earth & Space Sciences editor at Pearson, where he developed Companion Websites™, the first major brand of internet products in higher education. He went on to lead product development at eCollege®, an early pioneer in the learning management system arena. Prior to joining Blackboard in 2009, Ray led ANGEL Learning’s product strategy, product development and go-to-market efforts and served as president for digital product development at Pearson Education where he assisted in developing several industry leading online learning brands and the technology and operational organizations required to support them on a global scale in the market. These included Course Compass™, InformIT™, MyMathLab and related products.

Ray has a strong interest in affecting industry collaborations. As a founding board member of Safari Books Online, LLC, he was instrumental in creating a highly successful joint venture for digital reference products between O’Reilly and Pearson. As an advocate for open standards for online courseware development, Ray conceptualized the Common Cartridge standard. He serves on the board of directors for the IMS Global Learning Consortium educational standards body where he persists in developing this and other educational technology standards.

Ray is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with degrees in philosophy and biology.

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at scordesse@oreilly.com

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