I feel like a honeybee buzzing from flower to flower or in my case, buzzing from meeting to meeting. There is so much to do, so many things to pull together, so many clients to contact. Why all the activity? We’re getting ready for BbWorld ’07 and the Blackboard Developers Conference and the pre-conference workshops, user group meetings, client appreciation events and Open Source Day II that will make the week of July 9-14 a very full and fruitful week for everyone!
This year we’re having our 5th annual Blackboard Developers Conference and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Who should attend? You should – if any of these statements apply to you.
- I want to learn how to develop custom integrations and tools for my learning system
- I have some technical questions that only a Blackboard engineer could answer.
- I want to learn how to better manage the projects I’m responsible for.
- I need to connect with other clients who have the same challenges I do.
- I want to know what the merged architectural roadmap for WebCT and Blackboard is.
- I want to drive a race car.*
Our conference session schedule has something for all levels of System Administrator, Building Blocks and PowerLinks developers. There are sessions from clients sharing how they’ve developed Building Blocks and PowerLinks to meet their needs on campus. There are sessions about all aspects of the software development lifecycle and the tools and techniques to manage your projects. And we’ll also be talking about the Blackboard-WebCT technology roadmap.
* We’re also going to be having some fun.
But wait, there’s more! After last year’s BbDevCon we hosted an Open Source Day for interested Building Blocks developers. It was so popular that the OSCELOT group is hosting Open Source Day II (July 14) immediately following BbDevCon. I’m looking forward to attending OSDII to connect with developers who want to collaborate on open source projects of all kinds – come join us!
See you in Boston!
Was that a man in a three piece suit who walked past my office door? That is a sight one doesn’t see every day at generally business-casual Blackboard. Actually, yesterday I saw quite a few suits walking around. What was all the fuss? Then it hit me, of course – it was Non-Casual Tuesday!
On the second Tuesday of each month the Product Development Team celebrates Non-Casual Tuesday. It is the day when engineers, QA staff, product managers and requirements experts dust off their suits and make a date with their iron. The usually casually dressed team gets all gussied up and, well, makes everyone smile.
It all started a couple of years ago when Michael Chasen was in charge of Product Development. He moved his office from the 11th floor down to the 7th floor where Product Development was located. Along with his desk, and one for his administrative assistant, he also brought his executive dress code. One Tuesday morning the entire Product Development Team decided to dress up too and thus Non-Casual Tuesday was born.
Here are some photos of our non-casual developers:
At Blackboard we enjoy celebrating Halloween and each year we have a party and invite employees to bring in their kids to trick or treat. This year we had more than 50 kids dressed up in all sorts of costumes enjoying a magician, face painting, arts and crafts and more. Here are some photos of our recent Halloween party. Enjoy!
Blackboard rolled into the Big D Monday for the start of the Educause 2006 conference. One of my favorite aspects of Educause is seeing so many of our clients, especially the folks I’ve gotten to know over the past 7 years. It is especially nice when after months or even years of emailing with someone I finally get to meet them in person. With 7000+ attendees and more than 240 exhibitors, there are lots of clients and partners to see.
This year visitors to the Blackboard booth might notice a few new things. Our booth has a new look. We’ve updated our booth and given it a fresh coat of paint. You might also spot the fact that the Bb-ers are wearing bright shades of orange and blue in our booth – a nice change from the white and black shirts from years past. For those folks looking to sit down and chat with us we’ve brought some comfy seats and created lounges in the booth to make it easier to sit and stay awhile.
In the booth we’re focusing on the successes of our clients – how they’re changing the teaching and learning experience using Blackboard. We’ve asked folks to stop by the booth and tell us about their experiences and the outcomes they’ve achieved. Everyone who stops by and tells us their story is eligible to win a video iPod.
If you’re at Educause please stop on by the booth and say Hi!
Gordon Freedman, VP of Education Strategy writes,
A report on the state of K12 eLearning in California was released today by the University of California and an Ad Hoc group of the California Department of Education. Because online learning is pervasive, but not officially sanctioned in California and many other states, the report calls on policymakers to modernize education regulation. This is the suggestion of the Federal government so that the benefits of online learning can be used to help students achieve school success and college admission.