The University of Manchester, the co-host of BbWorld Europe ’08, was featured in an article published this week by Crain’s Manchester Business. The university implemented the Blackboard Learning System and will make its features – including SafeAssign – available to 13,000 students next month, and then plans, over the course of the year, to roll out access to all of its 40,000 students.
The strategic project manager for teaching and learning at U of M, Sarah Morgan, is quoted in the Crain’s article. While providing reasoning for Manchester’s use of Blackboard software, she cites an interesting fact that exemplifies the seemingly exponential growth of the student population in the UK during the last decades:
“The whole of the UK had as many students in the 1960s as Manchester University has today. That’s good but it means we are chock-a-block with students, and it’s challenging to meet the needs of so many.
(To view the Blackboard Blogs archives for previous posts about U of M, click here.)
FYI: Registration for BbWorld Commerce ’09 opens the week of September 15.
This users conference, a premier event for campus commerce and security professionals, is designed exclusively for users of Blackboard products and services, to share ideas with peers, network with industry leaders and learn about the latest innovations directly from Blackboard developers. The conference will be held at the the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix from February 9 to 11, 2009. For further initial information, see the newsletter announcement in the August 2008 issue of the Blackboard Commerce Bulletin.
Interested in learning what occurred during the conference last year? Jay Sternberg posted his view of the activities during the conference. Tom Bell summarized last year’s event nicely in a post-conference post. And the keynote addresses delivered last year by Mark Milliron (Catalyze Learning) and Adrian Sannier (Arizona State University), which I feel fortunate to have seen in person and recommend highly, can be viewed here.
Congratulations to Polk County Public Schools! Earlier this month at BbWorld ’08, Polk County, in Florida, was introduced as the winner of the "2008 Blackboard K-12 Video Contest." (Read the original contest announcement here.)
In Polk County’s video, district administrators, staff members, teachers, and students explain why they use Blackboard technology for professional development and to increase the sense of engagement both students and teachers feel in the learning process:
For more information about Polk County Public Schools, visit http://www.polk-fl.net. You can see this video and dozens of others created by and archived for the K-12 community at the BlackboardTV Channel on YouTube.
You know the saying, so I won’t bother you by repeating it, but suffice it to say that we had a GOOD time two weeks ago at BbWorld ‘08. The days were filled, but the enthusiasm of clients and staff attending the annual global users conference was seemingly tireless.
For those of you that were able to join us in Las Vegas, hopefully you had a chance to sit in on at least one of our Blackboard Managed Hosting sessions or presentations. Before re-capping events, I want to pass along the link to our new Managed Hosting Wiki page. Visit the Wiki for up-to-date information about our services and policies. Log in here using your Behind the Blackboard login and password.
In Las Vegas, I presented on the ecological benefits of Blackboard Managed Hosting in our exhibit hall booth. In the 20-minute presentation, I demonstrated how the scale of our operations, as well as the technology that we use at all levels of the Blackboard reference architecture, help us to reduce the annual power draw of an average, medium- or large-size Blackboard client from approximately 28,000 kWh to under 6,500 kWh!
If you missed Dr. Michael Wesch’s excellent keynote address Monday during Blackboard’s DevCon 2008, or attended that session and want to review some of the information he shared (because he discussed a tremendous amount of useful information, very quickly, about the recent history of digital technology and its innovative uses in the classroom), here’s an hour-long video of a similar presentation he gave in June at the University of Manitoba: