Hello. I’m a Copycat. And I’m an Original.

Oh, BlackBoard. I really do try to give you a fair break. You just make it so hard not to. Recently I linked to some videos that highlight the new changes coming in BlackBoard NG:


Chapter 2: User Interface… Something about that looks familiar. What is it… [stares off blankly at my iGoogle page] hmmm…. not coming to me. I’m sure it will soon….

Then, a friend sends me this link to BlackBoard NG ads:


While it would be so easy to mock the acting, the blank stares, the stand-ins with the look of “will this come back to haunt me when I finally land that sweet job at Google?” on their faces… that would be too easy. I mean, with as much money as BlackBoard makes, couldn’t they actually afford actors and script writers? Probably even the real PC and Mac guys?

Nah – I won’t go there. The thing that gets me is the righteous indignation that surfaced when defending “the patent.” How they so defiantly defended how innovative and original they are. And then sued Desire2Learn for a system that basically comes close to their patent (but isn’t really a down right copy). So, sue those that kind of copy you, but then blatantly copy others? Brag about being an innovative and cutting edge company, and then follow others? Hmmm…..

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

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