Virtual Career Fair is one of my absolute favorite use cases for Blackboard Collaborate’s breakout rooms. The following is another of my bright ideas and has happened in my imagination only, so far! Imagine with me, if you will…you’ve been invested financially, emotionally, educationally and personally in obtaining your degree for 4+ years and graduation is rapidly nearing. The economy…well the economy sucks! Word around campus is there are a very limited number of jobs for me in my field and they are hugely competitive given the number of unemployed in my geographic area.
It’s not often in life you see tangible or direct results. So many times projects are diluted, the original intent or scope changes or things beyond your control take over. Well, today I got to see an amazing result of our work which gave me goose-bumps. I manage the Blackboard Catalyst Awards and I love this program because I get to see the outstanding achievements of Blackboard clients that results in acknowledgment by our company. But what I *really* get excited about is when a client I know who is very deserving, receives accolades from their institution or organization.
As many of you know, ever since I started working at Blackboard Collaborate (then Elluminate), accessibility has been one my most important priorities when it comes to designing our collaboration software for education. From the old Elluminate slogan of ‘No user left behind,’ to leading accessibility forums throughout North America, I’ve felt that it’s not only our legal obligation to make accessible software, but it’s also, simply, the right thing do. With so much of the educational experience happening online – in virtual classrooms, through collaboration, formal meetings and informal get-togethers – it was especially important for those of us involved to develop software that enables online education and make sure that our products work for everybody. After all, every person, regardless of (dis)ability, is entitled to equal access to an education.
When we announced the “Collaborate for Good” contest, I’m not sure we had any idea of the quantity or quality of submissions that we would receive. Over 500 people joined the WeCollaborate.com site to either submit a proposal on how they would use a 50-seat Blackboard Collaborate room for one year to make a difference in the world, or to vote on the other proposals. Proposals came in from all over the world for incredibly noble work: a poverty awareness program in Haiti, a Greek social learning network, video conference medicine training from India, youth community groups in Nigeria, global connecting from Nepal, student tutoring in Nicaragua, search literacy training in Lebanon, environmental training from Alaska, a global music project, and on and on and on. In a word, this has been stunning.
Guest post by Cali Morrison, Manager of Major Grants, WCET
A few weeks ago, WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies)
joined with the U.S. News and World Report team to host a webcast about their upcoming ranking of online education programs.
Many of our members, through both our discussion board and Twitter, raised questions regarding the ranking, survey procedure, and ranking methodology. We proposed a collaborative webcast to Bob Morse, the Director of Data Research at U.S. News and his team to help answer our member’s questions and provide feedback to their team working on this new project.