(1) The Blackboard patenting story is beginning to spread, having reached the BBC webpages sometime after moving around the blogosphere. Interesting potential challenge to those developing Open Source and rival VLEs (virtual learning environments). Of course, the question is whether realistically speaking such patents can stick in the longer term. Much of VLE functionality is fairly generic. However, it also perhaps gives us an opportunity to rethink IPR in general and not just in the software industry. A while back on this blog we pointed to Thomas Pfeffer's article on the issue of scholarly publications and academic content, for example.
(2) JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) in the UK has published an interesting booklet (also available in pdf) on the design of learning spaces, providing examples of recent projects in educational establishments across the UK. In addition, there is other information available at the JISC website.