On behalf of the Blackboard K-12 team, I’d like to thank folks for sharing your passion for online teaching and learning and your experiences with us during NECC earlier this summer.
At the conference the Blackboard K-12 team offered an exciting opportunity to NECC attendees: Any teacher who shared how they plan to use online learning to teach during the coming year received a free individual license of Blackboard software for the Academic 2007-2008 year.
The winner of the Blackboard True Stories video contest is Minnetonka Public Schools!
Thanks to everyone who submitted a video for the contest. We received great submissions, which made the decision process difficult but extremely fun for the Blackboard K-12 team. Ultimately, we chose Minnetonka Public Schools for the creativity of their video, their engaging and effective use of Blackboard software, and the positive impact of e-Learning across their district.
The Quiet Anniversary
BbWorld ’07 marked the first 10 years of Blackboard as a company, and more importantly the first decade of course management systems being used across campuses, in schools, and by organizations and government agencies. Learning using electronic technology certainly occurred before 1997, but only became systematic and widespread 10 years ago.
Many important accomplishments in the education technology have occurred during those 10 years, and last week the rooms and hallways of the Hynes Convention Center were filled with quiet pride. It was apparent to me that the education technology pioneers, experimentalists and entrepreneurs in attendance had established themselves on their campuses around the world. They and the use of education technologies are no longer considered odd; they are firmly part of the education strategy.
We are on the cusp of further industry advancements in which the traditionalists (the place-based people), those who cannot or will not employ technology to extend, deepen, and make more relevant curriculum, disciplines and community online, are becoming the odd ones out. Unless traditionalists join technology proponents, they are on the verge of becoming the black box technology people we once were seen as.
BbWorld ’07 in Boston was a memorable event for me and, I think, historical when viewed in a larger context. In this post, the first of a two-part series, I’ll share a few key memories:
With 2,500 hundred educators, technologists, vendors and staff in attendance, the annual Blackboard users conference held last week bubbled with activity. The gathering was particularly striking to me because e-Learning experts met and talked in person (exchanging business cards), and attended sessions designed to cover the best uses of the Internet and computers to teach and learn, train, build community, and measure and report outcomes across every sector of education.
Conference attendees included representatives from K-12 schools (some where kindergarteners logon to Blackboard software) to university systems comprised of hundreds of thousands of users with 24×7 access to Blackboard systems, to government agencies that train personnel in war zones. All these users met in Boston to discuss similar goals: accelerating learning, opening access, accounting for progress and improving quality.
Like many people working with education and technology, at Blackboard we’re using more Web 2.0 tools to share information with members of the Blackboard user community.
Recently a colleague and I made a very short video invitation to attend our upcoming annual users conference in Boston, July 10–12; the video is called “BbWorld ’07…OF COURSE!”
We just grabbed my colleague’s small digital camera and walked around our offices here in D.C., asking several Blackboard team members why they’re attending BbWorld ’07. She then edited the clips together on her laptop. So quick, simple, easy. Why haven’t we been sending all of our event invitations, messages about software upgrades, etc. in short video clips?
And here again is Adrian Alleyne’s short video titled “Adventures in First Life” – his humorous spoof on Second Life, one of the virtual worlds which several education institutions are exploring to extend their in-classroom experiences. Check it out.