The 2010 Blackboard Developer's Conference started early this morning at 8am. We have over 275 attendees, which is the largest DevCon attendance ever! To kick this year's conference off, we invited Anya Kamenetz, a passionate writer from NYC to discuss her thoughts on transforming higher education from her latest book DIY U. Normally, the DevCon keynote is much more technical in nature, but Anya quickly explained that system administrators, developers, and other IT staff have important roles in shaping the minds of faculty and students to understand what is possible from a technology standpoint. These roles are not only important but are growing in influence as technologies are rapidly becoming available and many faculty may not be aware of these new tools to develop more effective learning practices.
Anya's presentation was close to 45 slides and grabbed immediate attention with large images to make her point. She started off by explaining that today's graduation rates at typical 4-year institutions are decreasing and the availability of learning content on the web and tools to socialize on the web are dramatically increasing. This led her into a conversation that universities need to adopt new models of openness to give students more choices to develop their own learning paths and outcomes. The old model of come to a university, get a diploma, and get a job is not working as well as it once did. Today, students go to a university to gain academic information and skills, but they also supplement that learning with internships, mentors, free online learning centers, and help from peers to develop a portfolio of skills that will enable the desired job. Anya then showed off many examples of free online learning opportunities and rich communities of like minded individuals collaborating about their portfolios of work. In closing, Anya urged the audience to all think about how we can increase our graduation rates by adopting and encouraging a more open, flexible learning environment.
It was a pleasure getting to know Anya and learning from her inspiration presentation. Blackboard will continue to develop innovative enhancements for all Blackboard solutions and we will always keep in mind the importance of not only open systems but also of open learning paths.
By: Deanna Mayers, Curriculum
Coordinator for blendedschools.net
Have you ever heard others talk
about online learning and refer to it as a self-paced, independent study?
While some online courses fit this description, others are beginning to use
collaborative tools to engage learners. But, how can we use research
based strategies such as these from The Global Development
Research Center in the online classroom? During my session at BbWorld
2010, “Building Collaborative Learning Activities in your Online Course,” you
will experience how research based collaborative strategies transfer to online
learning. We will work together to complete a “Read and Respond,” have
some fun in a “Jigsaw” activity and experience a progressive writing activity
among other activities.
are excited to announce Tom Vander Ark
as the closing keynote
speaker for BbWorld 2010
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.
I'm very pleased to announce that Anya Kamenetz (aka @anya1anya, author of DIY U and journalist for Fast Company will be the keynote speaker at this year’s annual Blackboard Developers Conference. Anya’s keynote will challenge us all with a presentation on the future of the Virtual Learning Environment and Educational Institutions in the world of DIY U and Edupunk. She will share her insights into the learning tools being used by students and instructors in the world of web 2.0 and social networking.
I hope her comments will provide us with some insight challenges and inspiration for members of our community working to develop next generation tools.
By Dan Lake, OCM Board of Cooperative Education Services (OCM BOCES)
This will be my 8th BbWorld attendance, and I am more excited than ever. I have always attended and often presented my institution, OCM BOCES, knowing that my presence was a minority presence. After all, I represented a K-12 community, not previously seated at the front of the bus traveling the virtual learning highway!
But in May this year, with the release of 9.1, the Blackboard K-12 learning solutions team took a front seat, joining its college partners. The K-12 learning community now has a presence that will be evident as school administrators and teachers across the world realize the immense potential offered by the added features of 9.1. Finally our K-12 teachers can give our younger students that 24-7 assistance they have been demanding to support their emerging “personal learning networks” (Note the use of that ubiquitous phrase. Tagging anyone?)