Pat and Charlie Lowe went back and forth a bit about Manila as a Content (or Class) Management System and I just want to throw these two or three cents in to the mix:
1. I think Pat is right when he cites tech support as a barrier to open source adoption at this point. I’m fortunate enough to have a very smart and talented group to help me through my Manila implementation, but I’m sure my experience is rare in other schools.
2. Right now, there are no hosting alternatives for open source CMS, at least as far as I can tell in my limited knowledge. As Pat and others have been saying since the beginning, none of this will take hold without that. Manila has eBN and Weblogger and there are some others. And there’s some talk that TypePad will be free to schools.
3. Finally, I’m looking forward to the time when I can really start to use Manila’s CMS potential. I don’t think I’ve totally wrapped my brain around that whole concept yet, which is why I’m going to make every effort to get out to SF and take advantage of Erin and Bryan’s day long Manila/Frontier workshop.
I understand Charlie’s concerns that one CMS gets adopted by edubloggers and then that company takes the program in another direction. But I think we’re too early in the game to fear that right now. I’m certainly not adverse to looking at Drupal or other open source CMS, but right now, and I think this is true for most schools, lack of support and time make it almost impossible.
Tim Wilson says
Have you seen Fle3 (http://fle3.uiah.fi/)? This is an open source “web-based learning environment” that is not quite a course management system. Very interesting and worth a look.
Drupal has support available: check their services page.