Ever wish you could get a pulse on how new technology will actually affect you before you adopt it? Well, here’s your chance! Chris Bray, Blackboard Administrator for University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, was a part of the beta program to test and provide feedback on the latest release of our flagship LMS, Blackboard Learn. Through the beta, Chris had hands-on experience with testing the upgrade process on his local test server and playing with new features, such as the content editor (formerly known as the VTBE), before the official release of Blackboard Learn Service Pack 10 a week ago today.
Maybe you’re interested in upgrading to the newest release of Blackboard Learn and looking for some answers as to what your institution should expect. Or, maybe you’re a fan of Chris’ blog or you follow him on twitter @zenandjuice. Either way, we hope this Tweet Chat will give you the opportunity to ask a few questions of a peer. Or get you one step closer to understanding Blackboard’s clients have influenced the future of technology.
We use the Internet to read news, to gather research, to socialize, and more, but some are still skeptical about the ability to teach an engaging and successful course online. Achieving success in an e-Learning environment is actually quite attainable and each year, more instructors make the move. Today, I’d like to focus on one individual who recently made the move online. Dr. Angela Green is the Director of Nursing Research at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She and her team won a 2012 Catalyst Award for Staff Development. This award honors those who use Blackboard solutions to support and enhance faculty and staff development skills that provide a better learning experience for students and faculty themselves.
Guest Blog Post from Eric Kunnen. Eric is the Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Many of you, like me, proudly work at a Community College and together we serve over 13M students [American Association of Community Colleges] across the country. That number is impressive and it’s growing, fast. When we dig into the numbers we see a community of students, educators and administrators who face a unique set of challenges. 45% of our students are between the ages of 22-39. They are working, raising children, and serving in the military, while furthering their education. At Grand Rapids Community College, we see innovative technologies as an important resource in creating a connected and personalized learning environment for a population of students that is highly mobile.
Being part of the Blackboard Idea Exchange (BIE), I had the opportunity to be part of the development of the latest release of Blackboard Learn. As I saw the new features, I realized that many of them hit on two of the five benchmarks of effective educational practices for Community Colleges: Active & collaborative learning and student-faculty interaction. As a follower of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, I couldn’t help but share how the enhanced Blackboard Learn helps engage Community College students – especially through a new feature called My Blackboard.
Companies tend to say “new” a lot, even when there is not a lot new or different in their product. To me, it is a bit like the boy crying wolf. Blackboard’s new innovation plan is quite new, however. Instead of building new features that would help administrators, teachers, and students 2x/year, we are now doing it every month. That way we can get you what you need faster.
There are several new features in Learn SP10 that are particularly exciting for me as I think about how our K-12 clients are using Learn.