We’re so excited that over 700 of you have already registered for BbWorld 2010. Those of you with the BbWorld 2010 and DevCon 2010 websites bookmarked probably noticed that we’ve just announced the client-led program! So many of you have raised your hand to participate in this year’s event – we have about 120 client led sessions on topics including planning for Release 9.1, engaging with Web 2.0 tools and meeting the mobile demand on campus.
A recent report of the top searches in many parts of the country showed that many students get to their local Blackboard system server by typing the name into their favorite search engine rather than typing in the URL. This got me thinking about how we can make the web browser and search experience more optimal for users.
Blackboard has recently launched an experiment to see if we can partner to improve the browser experience. Through a partnership, Microsoft offered us access to a toolbar platform. We worked with them to integrate our Blackboard Sync secure syndication technology into this toolbar platform. This toolbar technology works with multiple versions of Internet Explorer 6 and higher as well as Firefox 3.5 and higher on various versions of the Microsoft Windows platform. The Sync technology works with Classic Blackboard 7.3 and higher, as well as Blackboard Learn Version 9.0.
I am very fortunate to work with a community of more than 1,000 educational tool developers who recognize the important role technology plays in transforming the educational experience to connect students, instructors and researchers in new ways. Recently, I reflected on some of the ways that several client institutions have been working closely with Blackboard and Google to combine the power of our platforms for more productive teaching and learning experiences. For more information and examples of these integrations, check out my recent post on the Google Enterprise blog: Connecting Google Apps Education Edition with Blackboard If you have additional interest on how you, too, can use Blackboard’s open platform to connect with other systems used around your campus, please visit our developer web site, EduGarage.
You may have already heard through the grapevine, or via a recent listserv email, that Mark O’Neil has left his post at Dartmouth College, where he worked for the past 12 years as the Blackboard Curricular Systems Engineer, to join Blackboard as a Technical Product Manager on the Product Management team.
We are very excited to welcome Mark to Blackboard! In his new role he will become a champion for the Blackboard community of developers, actively engaging and building relationships with that community, as well as overseeing and executing programs designed to engage Blackboard developers throughout all aspects of the development life-cycle.
For more about Mark’s career and experiences at Dartmouth and his recent transition to Blackboard, check out his post on the Dartmouth Curricular Computing blog and a post from Inside Higher Ed’s Joshua Kim: Blackboard's Smartest Decision.
Look for Mark to become an active voice here on Blackboard Blogs (he’s got some great stuff to share) and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @mark_oneil.
The User Experience team in Product Development is tasked with being the advocate for you, Blackboard users. So how do we do that? We ask questions, we watch you use Blackboard software, we read your enhancement requests, we read your bugs reported, we listen to your ideas, we try to replicate what you do in your Blackboard system. With every project we tackle, we aim to increase the amount of user research that serves to influence the design of what is delivered in the product. Here are the types of things we’ve done with you this year: