Last week, I had the pleasure to spend the morning with Leslie Fetzer, an Occupational Course of Study Biology teacher at North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS), who was in DC visiting the Department of Education
because she was recently named the iNACOL/SREB National Online Teacher of the Year. Leslie works in a blended model, partnering with a face-to-face teacher, to teach students with disabilities. She is also on the NCVPS team that builds all of the online courses from scratch and depends daily on Blackboard Learn
and Blackboard Collaborate
As a former teacher who loved walking in the door each morning to greet my classroom full of energetic second graders and hear their stories from the evening before, I am always curious why teachers like Leslie made the decision to teach online. Leslie strongly believes in the connection between students and teachers as well
. She thinks it is important to “watch what they watch, listen to what they listen to, and read what they read.” She also thinks it is important to engage them with the tools and topics that they respond to, which is what led her to using technology in her classroom.
Through activities like collecting polling responses through cell phones and sharing content through prezi, she noticed an increased energy and enthusiasm in her class. Leslie remembers one student acting up in class and another coming to her defense saying, “Don’t mess with the Fetz!” This loyalty enabled her to get her students excited about science. As technology options in high schools progressed, she began teaching part-time in an online school.
Leslie remembers clearly the moment when she decided to switch to teaching online full time. She was teaching a chem lab. Her class size had grown over the years, and in one moment, she looked across the room and noticed ~12 hands in the air. She knew each student had a different question, and she couldn’t get to each of them fast enough. She felt strongly that if she had been teaching online, she would have been able to give each of her students the personalized attention that they needed.
In today’s fast-paced environment, the key to a successful sales team is collaboration. Members of your sales team must be able to communicate with one another in real time, getting the information they need quickly, staying ahead of business trends, and exchanging best practices.
Blackboard Collaborate is an ideal solution to build a social enterprise by fostering teamwork and enabling knowledge sharing within your sales team. The numerous features of Collaborate can be leveraged to deepen these channels of communication and knowledge exchange, both of which are crucial to winning sales:
Web conferencing takes your online meeting capabilities beyond those of the average customer meeting or training. With the ability to show and share presentations and applications on your desktop, you’ll be able to demonstrate the value of your product quickly and easily.
The Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit has a lot going for it, including numerous opportunities to learn about our newest platform enhancements, including Blackboard Collaborate 12 with mobile capabilities, and to network with other Blackboard Collaborate users and experts, especially those who have already upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate.
By attending Connections, you can optimize your technology investment and have a voice in shaping future Blackboard Collaborate products and services. At the same time, what you learn here will enable you to take actionable steps within your organization to add value.
Are you as certain as we are that your participation will make a difference for you AND your organization? The next step is convincing your boss. So, here are some talking points that will help you do just that.
What you will learn …
Invest your time for immediate impact by:
What you will do …
- Building on the innovation of other Blackboard Collaborate clients to make your investment work even harder
- Participating in active demonstrations for first-hand advice and tips you can use right away
- Coming away with new ideas, refined purpose, and better product knowledge to make it all happen
- Getting a global perspective from a diverse group of speakers, cutting-edge topics, and interaction with community members
Designed for you and by you with opportunities to:
What you will change …
- Choose from 50 presentations by Blackboard Collaborate customers, thought leaders, and subject matter experts
- Participate in moderated peer discussions on partnerships, openness, and goals for building a better student experience
- Attend detailed technical sessions devoted to change management, scalability, upgrade paths, and the latest Blackboard Collaborate technology
- Find out where education technology is leading us and understand the road map to your competitive advantage
Share your ideas and impact future releases by:
- Brainstorming with your peers in the academic community
- Meeting with like-minded professionals and tackling challenges as a team
- Interacting with industry leaders and Blackboard Collaborate experts
- Taking part in molding “what’s next” from Blackboard Collaborate
We hope this helps you make your case for attending Connections Summit 2012. It could very well be one of the best decisions you and your boss make this year. We are looking forward to seeing you in July in New Orleans!
The following is a guest post from Mark Radcliffe, Director of Learning Management Technologies at blendedschools.net
Mark Radcliffe is the Director of Learning Management Technologies for the not-for-profit company blendedschools.net. Mark has worked in various K-20 education positions for the last 10 years including working directly with students and teachers on technology integration projects. At blendedschools.net Mark manages the instructional technology program, communicates directly with Blackboard on a daily basis and handles many aspects of the company’s professional development program. Mark is currently located in Norfolk, Virginia, USA but is originally from Manchester UK. He enjoys the city and loves music and the visual arts.
Get an insider’s look….
This year at BbWorld I’ll be presenting “Wimba Classroom to Blackboard Collaborate – Make the Switch,” which is probably one of my simpler session titles in a while. I usually try and cram as many buzz words into my titles as possible. My hope is that it will attract people who look for buzz words and also attract people that get the irony of session titles with buzz words. In the end I went with a simple title this year because I wanted to illustrate that the process of switching from Wimba to Collaborate should not be complicated.
Earlier this week, we were notified by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
that several of our products were selected as finalists for the 2012 CODiE Awards in both Higher Education and K-12 categories.
First time nominees, like Edline and CourseSites, were recognized as well as newly updated products like Blackboard Learn and Mobile Learn. The McGraw Hill/Blackboard Building Block also made it to the next round of judging. We are especially excited that educators nominated us after viewing product demonstrations first-hand. Being a finalist in all of the below categories affirms that Blackboard is helping to improve many aspects of education.
Finalist categories include:
Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, Service Pack 6
• Best Postsecondary Course or Learning Management System
• Best Postsecondary Instructional Solution
Blackboard Mobile Learn
• Best Educational Use of Mobile Device
• Best Cross-Curricular Solution
Edline Learning Community Management System
• Best K-12 Enterprise Solution
McGraw-Hill Blackboard Building Block
• Best Cross Curricular Solution
For a full list of the finalists in the Education Technology categories, vist the SIIA website
. If you’re a member of SIIA, don’t forget to vote from now until April 13! Congrats to all the finalists!