BLACKBOARD'S OPEN SLATE: Learning management system, Blackboard, which is extensively used in colleges, has snapped up open-source solutions, Moodlerooms (US) and Netspot (Australia). The move may seem surprising as Blackboard has in recent years raised the ire of many educators who contend it has become a costly and constraining technology, and that its support of grass-roots community efforts has wavered. Thoughtful blogger Joshua Kim at Inside Higher Ed weighs in here. Clearly Blackboard hopes to transform itself into a broad education services company that supports a “full student lifecycle.” Many companies, however, find it tough to wholeheartedly nurture a smorgasbord of brands. Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen pledges that the company will support its growing collection of different LMS systems. He also says Blackboard itself is learning. “Even if we’re large -- with $600M revenue -- this move says we can stop and turn on a dime,” he told EdSurge. More on the deal in Wednesday’s edition.