At the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to join a research trip in Misiones, Argentina with a group from Stanford University
and Seeds of Empowerment
. We were field testing a mobile learning solution designed for the most remote parts of the developing world. The solution combines Blackboard Mobile Learn
software with specialized hardware designed to be portable, durable, and able to operate off a car battery where needed.
Over the course of the 10-day trip, we worked with more than 250 kids in 10 different middle and high schools. It was great to see the power of mobile devices in education first hand. At Blackboard, we talk about the importance of making the education experience interactive and collaborative, but seeing it in action is incredibly powerful.
On October 4, 2011 the following tweet from Mariette DiChristina (@mdichristina
), Editor in Chief of Scientific American
, appeared on my Twitter timeline. The message was simple:
After reading the short article Calling All Scientists
, I was inspired. Scientific American
magazine is calling all scientists who are willing to volunteer to advise on curricula, answer a classroom’s questions, or visit a school in their geographic area. Also, Nobel laureates at the Lindau, Germany meetings are extending a special invitation to its scientist attendees to be a part of 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days
initiative to get scientists involved with schools. This comes at a wonderfully appropriate time.
When our team of volunteers from Blackboard arrived at the Capital Area Food Bank
we knew we had a sweaty, dirty job ahead of us and we were excited about it. Before we rolled up our sleeves and snapped on our latex gloves we got an orientation to the mission and reach of this vital link in the welfare of the working poor in our nation’s capital.
Hunger and malnutrition in America is real. Some might find that statement oxymoronic, especially in light of the frequent studies about growing obesity in this country. Hunger and malnutrition isn’t always visible, it is all around us and rarely discussed. Hunger’s negative effects can be seen in schools, at work, and in homes. Children have a diminished capacity to learn; adults can’t work as effectively; and seniors are more prone to illness.
Guest post by Misty Hanks, Coordinator of Instructional Design, at Morehead State University in Kentucky.
Over the past several years, Morehead State’s
online course adoption (both hybrid and fully online) has grown considerably. In fact, nearly every course has an online component and purely online courses grew from 17% to 28% during the last five years. With the success of our online program, coupled with a limited budget, we had to consider the most appropriate learning management system (LMS) for our University.
When we started the evaluation process, we were using Blackboard Learn 7.3. We considered either upgrading to Blackboard Learn 9.1
or adopting Moodle with the overall goal to find a solution that would help faculty create interactive and engaging learning environments while remaining cost-effective. We spoke with other institutions and faculty about their experiences using both solutions. The feedback highlighted the overall simplicity of the updated Learn 9.1 interface, the inclusion of SafeAssign
™ (the plagiarism detection solution) and the ease of the upgrade. I’m thrilled to say that we are extremely happy with our decision to upgrade to Learn 9.1.
Guest post by Harold Powers, Project Manager, University System of Georgia, and a member of the Ask Dr. C program, a free question and answer service for Blackboard users. Harold flies gyroplanes and is building a Zenith 750 in his spare time, too.
As an LMS administrator, have you ever been asked about what you do at work? It’s pretty difficult to explain, right?
Although responsibilities vary from campus-to-campus, I think many of us have similar workflows and, with that in mind, I’ve divided them into three major categories. This might, once and for all, help explain what we do for a living!