is best known as the former executive director of the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he oversaw more than $3.5
billion in funding programs to improve education in the U.S. He also
served as President of the X PRIZE Foundation, which gives away
millions to individuals who come up with breakthroughs that benefit
humanity. Prior to his role at The Gates Foundation, Vander Ark was the
first business executive to serve as a public school superintendent, leading
one of Washington state’s larger school districts (which today is a Bb Connect
Vander Ark is Managing Partner at Revolution Learning, a private equity firm
focused on improving formal and informal learning globally. His company
is involved in supporting a number of innovative/entrepreneurial approaches to
education that challenge the status quo and leverage technology to create more
personalized learning for students.
his speech, he will share relevant stories and insights from his time at The
Gates and X PRIZE Foundation, discussing technology, innovation and the future
out Vander Ark’s blog, EdReformer.com, where he blogs
regularly. We hope you’ll join us on Friday, July 16 at 10:30am to learn from
Tom Vander Ark.
This week, we announced the availability
of Blackboard Mobile Learn for Android, Blackberry and iPhoneOS, making the
mobile learning app available on the most popular smartphones devices.
Blackboard Mobile Learn, which was first announced for the iPad
in April, recreates the Blackboard learning experience for students and
teachers from anywhere. A lot of work went into the development of each of
these native applications and for a more detailed perspective on that process,
check out this recent blog post from Kayvon on The
If you want to see these mobile apps in action, check out
these demos for Android,
. We’re really excited about these innovations and look forward to hearing
your thoughts on this blog and next month at BbWorld!
As we get closer to announcing full program details for BbWorld 2010 in Orlando,
we have some exciting
news to share. Greg
Mortenson – bestselling author, education activist and advocate – will
serve as the event’s opening keynote speaker.
In Three Cups of
Tea, Greg tells about how his failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2 in
1993 brought him to a village in a remote mountain region of Pakistan where he
observed students writing their school lessons with sticks. From that
experience, Greg has dedicated his life to promoting education and literacy
programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and
the first in a series of posts drawn from a conversation with K-12
administrators that took part in the Beta program for Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1.(See the Higher Ed conversation here). Over the next few weeks,
they’ll share their impressions of Release 9.1, their ideas for how it can
enhance teaching and learning within their districts, and where they think
online learning is headed.
Roundtable participants include:
Robert Leo, Model Schools Coordinator at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison
Counties Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) in Syracuse, NY,
a Blackboard client since 2000,currently on Release 8.
Pam Willingham, Teacher on Assignment at Management
Information Services in Volusia County Schools, Florida, a Blackboard client
since 2005, currently on Release 9.
Jed Friedrichsen, Chief Administrative Officer at
BlendedSchools.Net in Pennsylvania, a Blackboard client since 2002, currently
on Release 9.
The Washington Post has published a new story that includes an important clarification to their earlier article reporting that someone had hacked into a client’s Bb system. In the new story, the Post makes clear that the unauthorized access was achieved by someone who obtained an instructor’s password, and not due to a security vulnerability in the Blackboard system.