Response to Crisis:
LodeStar’s genesis more than 20 years ago came out of a response to crisis. It came out of an aspiration to help students who were homebound for reasons of health and safety.
Technically, the origins of LodeStar, in the late 90s, were found deep within an early learning management system. By 2001, it developed as a stand alone tool in partnership with Broad Education and Microsoft Class Server. By 2003, Mark Burrs and I incorporated LodeStar Learning and looked to the future to support the needs of teachers and students in any learning management system that embraced the standards of IMS+, and then SCORM and xAPI.
Since then, LodeStar has weathered technological change after change, but the inspiration behind this tool remains the same: help instructors create a richer, more interactive experience for online learners.
Now the entire world has been forced online. The need that first engendered LodeStar is global. It is an unprecedented situation that awaits LodeStar 8, our newly released version on March, 30, 2020.
Our Latest Response
We also recognize that we’re in a time of scarce resources. We have a new tool, but it comes at a difficult time. To address this issue, we’ve made every effort to set the cost of entry low. There will be teachers, however, who can ill afford any cost however low. For them, we’ve created an online request form for a free one year free license. Just like any license, anything that teachers create is licensed to them in perpetuity. Only the authoring tool license lapses. There are truly no strings attached. We want to do our part.
We ask that instructors from institutions endowed with resources purchase at least a one year license. (LodeStar 8 requires a new license.). This will offset the cost for others who can’t afford a license. The key goal is to put tools in the hands of instructors to make online learning a richer and more meaningful experience.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be re-releasing ‘how-to’ videos and articles that were produced for LodeStar 7, but are still valid for the new release. I’ll then create new articles and videos for the new capabilities. For the future, we’ve designed a new foundation that, hopefully, will support our building blocks for years to come.
In the meantime, thank you so much for your service. I hope we’ve developed LodeStar into something that will help you and your students in the upcoming months. This is a time of crisis, but it is also an opportunity to explore what’s possible in online interaction. We want to be part of that exploration through our tools, templates, articles, and conversations. Help us play a role and make a difference.
Please stay safe and stay in touch.
LodeStar Home and Free Trial License Download
During the Covid-19 Crisis
For teachers who don’t have the financial resources to purchase a license, please click on the link below and fill out the request for a free 1 year license. We may not be able to respond to and grant every request, but we will try.