I just returned from ISTE in San Diego where topics including personalized learning, embracing social media in the classroom, and BYOT made its way into almost every session presentation or conversation. Now it’s time to consider applying these key learning’s in the classroom come fall. The folks over at the Education Recoded blog also recommend using the summer reprieve for planning and new inspiration. The blog was launched back in October by Scott McLeod, John Nash, Justin Bathon and Jayson Richardson, the four directors of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), an academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators.
How did you imagine the future of online learning in K-12 five years ago? Did you think entire school districts would adopt digital textbooks? Or that 52% of school administrators would endorse online learning?
Welcome to 2012. Where the typical student interested in online courses is a middle school girl and where “Bring Your Own Device” is a controversial phenomenon. Also, “what’s your flavor”/personalized learning is the norm. Students no longer need to tie themselves down to technology that is only available to them in the classroom. Students wish to learn anywhere, anytime. In fact, nearly 50% of students from grades 9-12 reported interest in taking an online class.
Get to know the Blackboard Learn Experts in preparation for New Orleans.
BbWorld is so jam-packed full of great sessions, discussions, and fun times that it helps to plan ahead a little bit. The Learn team and I thought it would be fun to give you a roster of ‘who’s who’ on the team so that you can locate the right people for your needs at BbWorld. Many of these product experts will be doing cool product demos and min-sessions of favorite workflows in Blackboard Learn (even some future functionality). They will be available at the Blackboard Learn booth for discussions about software or to discuss the Amazon, VW Vans, and how King Edward II lost his wife! Let’s not delay – meet the experts who can give you answers to the questions you have about Blackboard Learn. (In order to not overwhelm you, there will be additional experts introduced in follow up posts – stay tuned)
To say that students today are demanding consumers is an understatement. Studies tell us that 60% of students say school does not meet their technology expectations and even more say higher education doesn’t provide a good value for the money. All institutions recognize that there is a new kind of student, teacher, and parent that we must service today in ways that are beyond current capabilities. When you have constituents that are used to the service levels they get from the Genius Bar at their nearby Apple store, expectations are clearly high. Facing a generation of students who grew up with information at their fingertips is a daunting task. These students have multiple devices and seemingly endless demands. They want to “plug in,” get instant information, and go about their day. When those needs can’t be met they go someplace else. Or they escalate their poor experience using mobile social networking applications to alert their friends and colleagues.
Case in Point: Embry-Riddle Worldwide
I’ve had the opportunity during my career at Blackboard to get to know our clients very well. I learned that just three years ago, the team at Embry-Riddle Worldwide was in this very position. Potential students with a passion for aviation wanted to know more about the programs available to them. They wanted information instantly. Having to wait on hold or in a line to talk to an enrollment or financial aid advisor simply wasn’t acceptable to them. For Embry-Riddle Worldwide, every Monday started with 40+ calls in their support office voicemail box and hundreds of waiting email inquiries. Student demand for information was at an all time high, but the institution’s ability to meet that demand was at an all time low. And the reality is that Embry-Riddle Worldwide was not alone in today’s education environment.