Picture this: a group of students sitting in a classroom with mobile devices in their hands and a teacher overseeing them with a similar mobile device in their hands. What are your first thoughts about the teacher overseeing their activities?
If your initial impression of this situation isn’t positive – you aren’t alone. The movement from the wholesale banning of mobile devices and technology in the classroom to their adoption as best practice in the classroom is happening fast and is still new enough that misconceptions linger. Whether it is embodied in the prevalent fear that mobile media encourages distraction or just a suspicion that it’s a way for teachers to shirk off their responsibilities – the shift to a pro-mobile learning mindset is far from complete.
This week Blackboard interviewed Melissa Stange, a BbWorld 2012 VIP blogger. To say that Melissa wears a few hats would be an understatement. In her day job, Melissa is the Title System Administrator at Shenandoah University where she runs all Blackboard products. In addition, she is working on her PhD in Information Systems Management from Walden University and teaches at Lord Fairfax Community College in the evenings.
Melissa told us she saw the blog contest as an opportunity to challenge herself and take on blogging. She tells her students to blog, and now she knows more about the process. Her blog covers information on BbWorld in addition to must-know cultural knowledge about NOLA. You wouldn’t want to travel down south and forget to eat the official doughnut of Louisiana, would you? Or not know how to pronounce it for that matter (Beignet= Ben YAY). Check out the specifics from the interview below:
Bb: How long have you worked at Shenandoah University?
MS: I have been at SU since May 2009, but I have been teaching on Blackboard since 2004.
Bb: Have you been to BbWorld before? How would you describe your experience?
Do you remember that one subject in school that you could never quite understand? For me, it was chemistry. What is stoichiometry anyway? The class was moving too fast and the textbook was dry and confusing. Now, thanks to Salman Khan, there is a remedy for all the misunderstanding.
At the 2011 Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit, Blackboard Collaborate President Maurice Heiblum kicked-off the event with a keynote speech that focused heavily on theme of togetherness. After all, last year’s user conference was the first time since Blackboard’s acquisition of Elluminate and Wimba in 2010 that both companies and their former customers had come together as one. During his keynote, Heiblum remarked about the surprising ease with which the organizations came together and how the Collaborate team was able to release its new product so quickly. Though that was only 11 months ago, it feels like it could have been 11 years.
What a difference a year makes.
In Heiblum’s next keynote – on Tuesday July 10, 2012 which kicks-off our 2012 user conference – he will touch on the countless changes and improvements we’ve seen since we all last got together. From our newly planned products, to customer satisfaction data and amazing use-case examples, Heiblum is chomping at the bit to share tantalizing tidbits of the past 12 months. But in addition to looking back and our second great year together, he’ll recount our future plans and goals as he paints a vision for where we’re headed – with you, our customers!
Maurice can’t wait to see you on July 10 as he welcomes you to our conference in New Orleans. As we’ve been saying all along, collaboration is music to our ears!
Student affairs and technology blogger Eric Stoller is not afraid to lay things out and tell it like it is. His blog over at Inside Higher Ed takes a macroscopic approach to examining how student affairs practitioners can leverage technology in a variety of educational settings. His expertise and insight extend from high-level analysis of what it means when we talk about innovation in the classroom to the nitty-gritty details of new tech adoption.