As Senior Director of Product Management for Learn Course Delivery, Jim Chalex conducts research & guides the development of new capabilities to help instructors, learners, and staff get the most out of their online learning environment. He specializes in assessment, data visualization, and analytics.
Data is in, but you don’t us need to tell you that. It’s evident by the number of infographics that pop up every day presenting data in a compelling way on any number of topics; these past few weeks, it’s been all about which Olympic athletes are getting the most social buzz and how the winningest Olympic nations fare when it comes to education.
But, regardless of the topic, it’s what we do with data that really matters. The same can be said for integrating EdTech into the classroom.
We know that students are already grabbing their education by the reins and looking for ways to personalize every part of their learning process – from where they get content to the tools they use in the classroom – they are in control.
So why shouldn’t we give them the opportunity to evaluate themselves?
I was fortunate to attend an excellent panel discussion at Bbworld a few weeks ago entitled, “How to Build a Virtual School.” The panel was made of up five virtual learning experts, including Tambre Tondryk of Clark County Public Schools’ Virtual High School, Jack Hawkins and Doug Renfro of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ Virtual School, and Linda Schriver and Ruth Paine of Clay County Public Schools’ Clay Virtual Academy.
While each virtual school represented came about for unique reasons and through various state legislation, they all have a common denominator: “It always starts from the top.” Every panelist agreed that in order for a virtual school to be successful, the first step is to get buy-in from executive administration. From there, you’ll receive the financial, technological and institutional support required to get your program off the ground and running.
I’ve noticed that the term “outsourcing” has gained an unfavorable reputation. Rather than being a neutral word that describes the act of leveraging outside help for an aspect of one’s business, it’s become synonymous with “something bad.”
Much has been written on the topic in general, so I’d like to focus specifically on what outsourcing really means to the field of education. (As an aside, there are two great blogs posted by About.com that contrast the two opposing views: “Top 7 Outsourcing Advantages” and “Top 6 Outsourcing Disadvantages.”)
Win a $100 AMEX Gift Card by becoming one of the first Blackboard Sys Admin Superstars!
Did you know? 75% of students use course content from at least one of these four leading publishers: Cengage, Wiley, Pearson and McGraw-Hill. And the way students are consuming this course content is dramatically changing. In just the last 4 years, we’ve seen a six-fold increase in digital content sales in education globally and most experts suspect that we are still at the shallow end of the growth curve. Faculty and students increasingly want their course content, assignments and grades built right in to their Blackboard course in order to be more efficient, save time and focus on what is important to them – teaching and learning.
And YOU have the ability to make this digital content readily available to those who need it most this fall! With the publisher building blocks, faculty will have an opportunity to integrate digital content from Higher Ed’s leading publishers in to their fall courses. When you download these building blocks, we know you will be dubbed as a Sys Admin Superstar on campus and Blackboard would like to make sure you are recognized as a superstar and MORE!
To become a Blackboard Sys Admin Superstar and win $100, all you need to do is download and install at least 3 of this fall’s hottest Blackboard building blocks from our partner publishers: Cengage, Wiley, Pearson and/or McGraw-Hill. Then, fill out your name and email address here. The first 25 superstars will be awarded a $100 AMEX gift card because here at Blackboard – we know everyone in education is busy this time of year. And that’s not all! We will also celebrate your superstardom on the Twitter-sphere so that you are recognized by all of your peers! So make sure to follow our Blackboard blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Official contest rules can be found here.
Want more details on how to become a Blackboard Sys Admin Superstar? Follow these steps:
Last week we shared a few different ideas for some activities to keep your classroom of digital natives engaged – like encouraging them to take control with their own lesson plan or challenging them to work together to build a game. Here are a few more ideas to inspire your lesson plans with material to keep learning active.
- Crowdsource Your Quiz. Quizzes are considered a great way to get a quick measurement of what your students are getting from your lessons – but an even better way may be to get them to write the quiz themselves! Have your students get linked into Collaborate and ask them to work together to ask what questions they think they should be quizzed on. This kind of activity is an excellent way to build critical thinking skills while also moving them towards seeing the importance of self-assessment and analytics.