I started at Blackboard one week prior to the launch of Blackboard Learn, 9.1. My first week was filled with a buzz that I couldn’t quite understand. All of my colleagues assured me that 9.1 contained some great new features, especially for K-12. As I learned more about the lesson plans and standards alignment and interactive tools that were a part of 9.1, I realized that the product changes really could make a difference to teachers and students.
This week, as details emerged about Learn 9.1, SP8, it took me no time at all to realize how exciting this release is for K-12 educators. From the moment you open a course, small but powerful differences catch your eye.
As the person who helps manage our upgrade resources and change management programs, I am pleased to say that in the past year, we experienced the largest migration of clients moving from older platforms to the latest version of Blackboard’s learning management system. Over 2,000 institutions are now using or in the process of moving to Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1. They are enjoying the benefits of improved workflow efficiencies for instructors and administrators as well as digital content integrations.
There are a few recent decisions that I want to take a moment to highlight. Both the State University of New York (SUNY) and Idaho State Board of Education recently selected Blackboard as a technology partner for online learning. This represents a trend in more decisions being made at the state-wide or system-wide levels.
Super Bowl XLVI got me thinking about an important annual event covered by the NFL Network in recent years. Since 2005, Rich Eisen (NFL Network Host) continues to try and set a personal record running the 40-yard dash.
Here’s my favorite coverage of his results from 2010:
I love how they start comparing Eisen’s speed to others by superimposing simultaneous 40-yard dash sprints of NFL favorites Tim Tebow, Terrence Cody and Jacoby Ford. Watching Jacoby Ford fly by Rich Eisen over and over again got me thinking about a metaphor associated with our latest release of Blackboard Learn.
If Rich Eisen represents the Blackboard Learn of yesterday (Release 9.0, circa 2009), then Jacoby Ford represents the Blackboard Learn of today (Release 9.1 SP8, circa 2012).SP8 is all about Superior Performance
Hands down, everything educators rely on their learning management system for is just that much easier and faster on Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 SP8. And being able to do things faster and easier across core workflows is where it really counts. That’s why the ongoing investments made in the design and functionality of Blackboard Learn focus on the tasks and activities that are used most frequently. Here are four short videos that demonstrate time saving additions to SP8 that will make instructors feel like they’re flying through common tasks: (as fast as Ford flies by Eisen.)
Delight in a modern experience with the SP8 Theme Get around faster with Task Based NavigationChange it once and it updates everywhere with Automated Regrading Edit files in one place with Easy Edit with Blackboard Drive
Now is your chance to start taking advantage of an improved experience with the same tools you love. Start getting things done faster, way faster, in SP8. So, what are you waiting for?
Learn more about Blackboard Learn’s latest release, SP8
I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Lynden from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, a 2011 Blackboard Exemplary Course Program winner. As we begin the 2012 Catalyst Awards season, I thought it was important to hear from the 2011 winners to find out more about what motivated them to enter their course and how the win has impacted their profession. This is the first of a series of blogs from each of the Catalyst and Exemplary Course Award Winners.
Guest Blog Post from Karen Lynden, Rowan-Cabarrus Community CollegeIt was an honor to be a recipient of a Blackboard Catalyst award, and a meaningful professional achievement. I can’t think of a better way to close out my tenure as Distance Education Coordinator and begin my new full-time faculty member role at the college!
When I submitted the course for review, I did not have an expectation of receiving the award. My goal was to receive feedback and gain ideas toward course enhancement. At the time, I was involved with a college initiative for redeveloping our online course template. If I was going to lead a council that influenced the foundation of our online courses, I wanted to be able to personally demonstrate best practices through the courses I developed and facilitated -AKA “walk the talk.” Though I will never know who they specifically were by name, I really appreciate all of the reviewers’ comments that were returned to me at the end of the review cycle. Their notes reinforced the positives and provided me with new ideas.