Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference 2012
Last week, I had the unique opportunity to join a large contingent of Blackboard clients and colleagues at the Blackboard Teaching and Learning Forum in Antwerp, Belgium. I arrived on Sunday morning in Antwerp trying to shake off the jet lag (I live 9 time zones away in Portland, Oregon) and enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes of Antwerp – a beautiful northern European city known for chocolate, strong beer and diamonds.
On Monday I moderated the first ever Blackboard Collaborate Forum and Workshop at this conference. The aim of this session was to provide attendees with a fundamental understanding of the Blackboard Collaborate platform
, hear success stories from a couple of clients, have a go at using the software and of course, ask questions of the team. We had a broad range of attendees – representing Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
In the initial overview session we talked about Blackboard Collaborate’s capabilities and use cases, and we spent a good deal of time talking about LMS or VLE integrations. Blackboard Collaborate provides seamless, open integrations
across all of our capabilities – web conferencing
, enterprise instant messaging
and voice authoring
to enable greater student engagement and expand access to programs for students who may not otherwise be able to attend class. I felt this message rang true with the audience, as many of our European clients are looking for ways to expand the reach of their academic programs beyond the physical bounds of their classrooms.
I met Paul Lefavi at BbWorld three years ago, so it’s only fitting that he would share his reasons for attending BbWorld 2012 with me and the rest of the ANGEL community. Since our first meeting, I have relied on Paul’s perspective many times and appreciate his involvement in the ANGEL community programs. Thanks, Paul, for contributing your thoughts, and I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!
Guest post by Paul Lefavi, Director of eLearning Technology, Indian River State College
As I make plans to attend BbWorld 12 in New Orleans, I have been asked by a couple of colleagues why I make a point of going to this conference each year. Is it the fun and exciting places, Orlando, Las Vegas, and now the Big Easy, where the conference has been held the past few years? Is it just the allure of getting out of town? While both reasons would most likely crop up in a bulleted list of motives to attend, BbWorld is so much more than a few days away at a fun destination.
I am proud to announce the 2012 Catalyst Award Winners.
The Blackboard Catalyst Awards
honors those who push the boundaries of their educational programs and technology in order to deliver innovative and effective learning experiences. This year we had 61 submissions for the Catalyst Awards and 151 submissions for the Exemplary Course Award. This represented over a 50% increase from last year’s submissions. We changed the award structure slightly; there are Platinum and Gold Winners. For the Exemplary Course Award, there were a total of 37 courses rated as exemplary but 6 winners will be awarded the ECP Director’s Choice for Courses with Distinction.
We are excited to honor the winners and their achievement at the Catalyst Awards luncheon at BbWorld
in July 2012. Please stay tuned as we highlight the individual winners in an upcoming blog series.
And the winner are…
My Tech Team."On the count of three, who do YOU think was closest to a nervous breakdown this summer?"
Hello. My name is Traci House and I am the Director of Technology at Joplin Schools. Before my 18-year tenure with Joplin Schools, I served 10 years as an IBM K-12 Education Specialist. Recently I have had the privilege of contributing to the following articles:
How A Tornado Inspired Innovation In Joplin, MO Schools
Joplin Takes Digital Approach to Rebuilding Education
Joplin, Missouri, One Year Later
Emergency notification systems add features to better spread the message.
How Laptops Helped Save Joplin High School
Though I have shared our Joplin Schools story on numerous occasions about vast devastation and a remarkable rebuild effort, it is especially poignant to be giving this presentation in a city that was dealt a similar devastating blow in 2005. Comparisons between Hurricane Katrina and the EF5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011 are inevitable, as recovery efforts will continue in New Orleans and Joplin for years to come.