I got to thinking a little more about this, and I am starting to wonder if this could be part of a financial scam. Consider the following:
1) There is an LMS market with companies making money. This is illustrated by Blackboard.
2) Blackboard has had known problems. Could another company come in and take over market share?
3) Yes, but there is already a great, and free product called Moodle.
4) In the U.S., there is this group of major universities that joined Unizen, an organization that promotes sharing and open-course development. Many of the major big-10 universities have been joining Unizen.
Now here's where it get's tricky.
6) Unizen picked Canvas, not Moodle, as it's LMS. Members of Unizen are pretty much obligated to buy Canvas. This has always puzzled me. Why wouldn't Unizen pick Moodle, an open-source LMS where universities could really help make improvements, and share for free? Why pick a specific LMS that you must pay for, and where it is difficult to make improvements?
7) At many schools, it appears that the decision to go with Canvas is a "top-down" administrative/management decision. These higher-level administrators tell the workers, "You must now use Canvas."
8) Canvas is publicly traded. People can invest in Canvas (Instructure).
8) Let's say that these higher-level decision-makers real goal is to become wealthy. Let's say that they see that there is the potential to make money with Instructure stock. So, they buy stock in Instructure, and then tell their schools that they must use Instructure/Canvas. And they promote Canvas, via Unizen, to other schools.
So what I am saying is that maybe some folks picked Canvas not because it was the best LMS, but there was an opportunity to make money. And these people were in a position to influence the value of Instructure by forcing their schools to buy Canvas? Isn't this somewhat like insider trading?
Who knows, but this is just a theory that I was thinking about last night.
In my own case, I don't own Instructure stock. But around 4 years ago, I did think about buying some. I was thinking that if all of these major universities switch to Canvas, that the Canvas stock value should go up because of the large investment by these universities.
Well, who knows. Maybe this is the way all businesses operate. But I do end up thinking that perhaps many school administrators picked Canvas not because it was better, but because they could purchase Canvas stock and influence its stock price. I had also been thinking somewhat the same way about Blackboard. However, for my own LMS needs, I was going to continue to use Moodle. I saw no advantage in using these other inferior products. I wasn't in a position to decide/influence the value of these other companies.
Maybe none of the above makes any sense, and I am just rambling.