Following on the heels of Blackboard Ally accessibility integrating with D2L, D2L announced a one-year strategic partnership with Aria, a service for blind and low-vision people. From July 15, 2019 to July 15, 2020, users in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will have free access to Aria while using D2L’s Brightspace.
Aria connects blind and low-vision people with visual interpreters and navigators. Its agents help users read when Braille is not available or navigate through unfamiliar and complex areas such as airports. This will help to remove obstacles to learning and create equal access to course materials for those who are visually impaired.
Source: D2L at Software Reviews, Report Published January 2019
Offering inclusive learning content and accessibility tools is a necessity in the educational market. Schools and institutions typically have mandates around providing access to content regardless of ability. This strategic partnership is not surprising considering Blackboard Ally’s announcement the other week on providing access to D2L users. It helps disrupt Ally’s revenue stream from D2L customers and is cheaper and easier than D2L developing Aria’s capabilities in house.
Student retention, already a major concern at higher education institutions, is an even greater concern as students are unable to learn in person and on campus.
Some major LMS conference cancellations or online alternatives have been announced in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, though not all have canceled.
As the world responds to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, closed schools in some affected areas are turning to eLearning and web conferencing to maintain continuity in course delivery and/or studying.
Plans to require four online high school credits in Ontario, Canada, have changed: the required credits have been reduced to two and made opt-outable.
Instructure has responded to pushback from both users and investors about their proposed sale to a private equity firm.
This is the third maintenance release since Sakai 19 was released in spring 2019. Thanks to its open-source community, Sakai is continuously providing fixes, security updates, and improvements to its users.
Pearson released the results of its Global Learning Survey. This is the first time that Pearson has undertaken such a study to capture the opinions of 11,000 learners across 19 countries. The study uncovered eight key trends indicating a shift to life-long, learner driven education.
Moodle, an open-source Education LMS, released an update on Sept. 9, that removes the ability to share courses on moodle.net as well as removing the community finder block. This is in anticipation of the relaunch of moodle.net in November 2019.
Sakai has recently launched its 2019 version, which includes many new features that target areas like communication and collaboration tools and facilitate content creation and delivery.