A colleague recently told me that more students pursuing four year degrees are considering community colleges to earn their core credits first and then transferring to the college of their choice to pursue their major. In theory this makes sense as pursuing higher education is a major investment of time, energy and money. However, thinking back on my primary decision criteria for the “right” college a while back (reputation and brand), this trend had me wondering if the decision criteria for choosing the right higher education path have changed. This really came down to a question of how today’s active consumers of higher education are determining the value of their investment. Here are a few points worth sharing.
Anyone who has ever sat in a classroom is familiar with the quiet student who sits in the back and rarely speaks up. Depending on the class, I probably fit that profile at times. Introverts, or those who tend to shy away from classroom interaction, can pose a unique challenge for educators trying to build a more interactive classroom. As our curricula shift to embrace an active learning philosophy, how can we best accommodate the introvert? While we might not see any studies on the impact of technology on the life of the introverted student any time soon – there are characteristics inherent to these quiet learners that can be leveraged through technology.
Last week, Joshua Kim of Inside Higher Ed, posted some thought provoking questions in his blog evaluating Service Pack 8, the latest release of Blackboard Learn. After commenting that the new UI of SP8 looks “clean and modern”, he raised the following question: “How big a deal would an upgrade be?” Realizing that some of our clients may be asking the same question, I felt compelled to respond. The short answer is that the new look and feel offered with SP8 would not negatively impact an upgrade decision for 2 reasons:
- Flexibility and Choice
- Early Client Validation
Super Bowl XLVI got me thinking about an important annual event covered by the NFL Network in recent years. Since 2005, Rich Eisen (NFL Network Host) continues to try and set a personal record running the 40-yard dash. Here’s my favorite coverage of his results from 2010: I love how they start comparing Eisen’s speed to others by superimposing simultaneous 40-yard dash sprints of NFL favorites Tim Tebow, Terrence Cody and Jacoby Ford. Watching Jacoby Ford fly by Rich Eisen over and over again got me thinking about a metaphor associated with our latest release of Blackboard Learn. If Rich Eisen represents the Blackboard Learn of yesterday (Release 9.0, circa 2009), then Jacoby Ford represents the Blackboard Learn of today (Release 9.1 SP8, circa 2012). SP8 is all about Superior Performance Hands down, everything educators rely on their learning management system for is just that much easier and faster on Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 SP8. And being able to do things faster and easier across core workflows is where it really counts. That’s why the ongoing investments made in the design and functionality of Blackboard Learn focus on the tasks and activities that are used most frequently. Here are four short videos that demonstrate time saving additions to SP8 that will make instructors feel like they’re flying through common tasks: (as fast as Ford flies by Eisen.) Delight in a modern experience with the SP8 Theme Get around faster with Task Based Navigation Change it once and it updates everywhere with Automated Regrading Edit files in one place with Easy Edit with Blackboard Drive Now is your chance to start taking advantage of an improved experience with the same tools you love. Start getting things done faster, way faster, in SP8. So, what are you waiting for? Learn more about Blackboard Learn’s latest release, SP8
As the U.S. Peace Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend it with our great friend, Sheila, who is now working as the Country Director for the Peace Corps program in Romania. Sheila and I met ten years ago on our flight to Ukraine to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers ourselves. Little did we know we’d be back in the same part of the world a decade later continuing to fulfill the goals of the program John F. Kennedy started half a century ago. For those less familiar with the Peace Corps, it has 3 simple goals: 1. Bringing technical skills to interested countries through volunteer service 2. Promoting a better understanding of Americans in the countries where volunteers serve 3. Promoting a better understanding of other countries and peoples through volunteers