I recently learned what the word potable
means, as did many high schoolers who attend Lucy Hammel’s virtual English class. Hammel, a teacher for K12, Inc. who blogged about So What Does a Virtual Classroom Look Like,
explained how she uses Blackboard Collaborate to connect with her kids on a more powerful, personal level, which helps them succeed via high-touch interaction. In this particular instance, she explained that most students are not familiar with the word “potable” and they think it is difficult to remember. So, by engaging with them via Blackboard Collaborate, she was able to tell them a funny story about how her daughters learned the meaning of the word when they visited her parents in Florida last summer – and the definition stuck.
Earlier this week, we were notified by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
that we were selected as finalists for the 2011 CODiE Awards. Blackboard has been selected as a finalist in a number of different categories, including six Education Technology categories and one Business Software category, with representation from many of our platforms including Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Mobile and Blackboard Collaborate. With the voting underway, we’re hopeful that we’ll bring home a few trophies when winners are announced in late May.
A little over a week ago Rob Fay and I had the opportunity to speak about the work we’ve been doing around “Design Principles
” at a conference in Denver CO called the IA (Information Architecture) Summit
. This was an industry conference focused on things like user experience, design, content strategy and, of course, information architecture. At this conference I sat in on a session called “The Stories we Construct
” given by a man named Stephen Anderson
. Stephen talked about how the stories we know or tell about the things we encounter and interact with impact the value we place on the object, the experiences we associate with them and the memories we shape around those experiences.
When the Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2011
team began planning for our annual conference this summer in Las Vegas, we held a group brainstorming exercise in hopes of picking the perfect theme. We threw out some fun ideas such as “Viva Collaboration” and “Collaboration: A Safe Bet” and some real clunkers too, like “Cirque du Collaboration.” But after the brainstorming session ended and we had some time to take a step back to truly reflect on the goal of this year’s conference, the real theme hit us like a blackjack savant hits on a 16 – the theme obviously should be one of coming together.
If you find that conversational organization of your email makes your inbox a little easier to deal with, then you likely switched from your previous email client to something like Gmail. If you find that sitting high above the traffic gives you a sense of security and comfort on the road, then you are likely still driving that SUV, even with gas prices rising. If your day begins just a bit more pleasant at the local coffee shop than the more convenient one on your morning route, you are probably still walking that extra block to go there before work, even on a busy day.