Contact North Webinar: The Future of Learning Management Systems

This week I had the pleasure of leading a webinar for Contact North, a nonprofit corporation funded by the government of Ontario. I have participated in two of their annual conferences in Toronto, which are notable for the broad international representation, and the webinar was no exception. While roughly two-thirds of attendees came from Canada and the US, there were many outside of North America, including Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Czechia, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, UAE, and the UK. Contact North and its broad influence are impressive.

For this webinar, I felt that you cannot separate the future of the LMS from the COVID-driven changes to education this year. I used these changes as a backdrop for where the LMS market is going, the role the LMS can play in helping higher education react to the pandemic in the longer term, and the challenges that could prevent either the market in general or specific vendors from having a long-term influence. Think corporate finances.

All of that should help explain how I could present on the LMS for an hour without sharing the squid graphic or the LMS is the minivan of education perspective.

Below is the webinar recording, generously shared by Contact North. If you would like to see the video with auto-transcript, go to this page. You can download the slides here, and you can access many of the graphics from the Free Resources tab at Please note that the webinar was quite interactive, with me responding to quite a few questions in real-time.


One question I couldn’t address during the session was (re)asked on Twitter afterwards.

Thanks to the data captured by our partners at LISTedTECH, I was able to share two graphics for that region. Note that our coverage in Africa has not risen to the level where we have added it to our formal market analysis, but hopefully the data is useful for those working in the region.