TAKING FROM BLACKBOARD: Not long after The Washington Post wrote that Blackboard was bleeding “high-profile clients,” rival learning management system (LMS) providers rushed to claim some credit. Much has been made about Blackboard’s market share slipping: Its once dominant grip on the higher-ed LMS space has slipped from 90 to 44 percent. The company’s foray into the K-12 space is being challenged as well. Instructure, based in Salt Lake City, UT, recently announced it has signed more than 70 new K-12 clients in Indiana for its Canvas LMS over the past five months.
Instructure, which is reportedly getting ready for an IPO, started in 2011 with a LMS targeted for higher-ed institutions. Today, the company claims more than 1,400 clients and, according to analyst and e-Literate blogger Phil Hill, “has more K-12 clients than higher ed and has more sales people in K-12 than higher ed.” He recently shared this slide breaking down the company’s customers.
Not to be outdone, Schoology based in New York, announced seven new clients, including Seattle Public Schools (Wash.) and Boulder Valley School District (Colo.), to expand its customer base past 1,000 K-12 institutions and districts. Schoology has seen adoption overseas as well: last year it scored a contract to provide its LMS to all schools in Uruguay. And Blackboard (and Instructure) beware: CEO Jeremy Friedman tells EdSurge via email that “we are expanding into the higher education space rapidly in response to customer demand.”
Amidst all the market jockeying, let’s not forget that there’s one often-overlooked player: Moodle. Hill estimates there are 73 million students around the world using Moodle—making it “ the most prevalent academic LMS in the world.”