Having worked for a large omnichannel software developer, I have been very interested in what an omnichannel learning solution would look like. I have many ideas drafted out in notebooks and regularly review learning software solutions to see how something might be converted into a better learning system, an omnichannel learning system.
It appears as though someone in Australia might have a learning software solution that higher education institutions can easily roll out – it uses Microsoft products that are already on the market in an integrated way. The developer also has plans to continue the design in an open-source way, which means instructional designers (that’s me!) and educators will be able to leverage the learning tools alongside other open-source and open-license learning materials like open textbooks which are free to download.
There will likely be some pushback from educational institutions already dedicated to a learning management system that may not be Microsoft-product friendly. There will also likely be some turmoil around linking other technological devices owned by students that have their own operating system complete with a suite of non-Microsoft tools (more than 428 million iPads have been sold worldwide, so this is a legitimate conflict in rolling out a technology for students). But I have to applaud the intent of the design and hope it will be available as an open-source product very soon.
The design comes out of Australia by a forward-thinking professor lecturing at the same university he attended, which means he can better empathize with his students and understands what they need. The details about this exciting development in the Instructional Design and Educational Technology field can be found from Microsoft, here: