Companies tend to say “new” a lot, even when there is not a lot new or different in their product. To me, it is a bit like the boy crying wolf. Blackboard’s new innovation plan is quite new, however. Instead of building new features that would help administrators, teachers, and students 2x/year, we are now doing it every month. That way we can get you what you need faster.
There are several new features in Learn SP10 that are particularly exciting for me as I think about how our K-12 clients are using Learn.
At Blackboard, we believe that System Administrators are the key to implementing new technologies at their institutions. They are always on the forefront of adopting tools to extend the Blackboard Learn platform to make the lives of instructors easier. But did you know? System Administrators can impact students learning beyond the classroom by giving them easier access to internships?
Give your students access to more internship opportunities this year
It’s no secret that students are concerned now more than ever to find a job after graduation. In a 2010 survey report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 73 percent of employers stated the desire for higher education to put more emphasis on “the ability to apply knowledge and skills to real-world settings through internships and other hands-on experiences.” [The Chronicle, April 24, 2011] But, finding an internship that is the right fit for a student can be a struggle in itself. Blackboard System Administrators can help connect students to internships within their Blackboard Learn environment.
We all make decisions based on factual information. We get factual information from research and data. And when it comes to data on education technology, the numbers say a lot about the growing demand for technology in the classroom.
Recently, Blackboard partnered with Project Tomorrow to delve deeper into demands for online education. The findings? More than two thirds of administrators and almost half of students in grades 6-12 (45 percent) and their parents (46 percent) voiced support for requiring high school students to take an online class in order to graduate. And there’s more:
- 84 percent of principals who endorse devices in the classroom believe they increase student engagement in learning
- 87 percent of parents say that the effective implementation of technology within instruction is important to their child’s success (50 percent label it as “extremely important”).
The following is a guest blog post with Terry Patterson. Terry is the Blackboard Learn system administrator at the University of Missouri. As a seasoned Blackboard Learn veteran of nine years, he started a blog called Blackboardguru.com where he provides valuable insight to other Blackboard Learn system administrators.
Whether you’re just getting started as a Blackboard System Administrator or are a veteran like myself, here are three pieces of information to take with you on your LMS journey:
- Learn by doing. When I started my work as a Blackboard admin, I never attended official training for the first year or so. While I highly recommend getting training, it’s the time and effort that you spend learning about Blackboard that will make you a lifesaver to a faculty member or student. It’s been almost 10 years since I first logged into Blackboard and everyday I’m still learning something new about it.
Just because something is getting a sudden burst of attention, does not mean it’s a passing fad. And that’s what we’ve tried to prove about social learning over the past few weeks. (Ex: Myth 1 – Social learning isn’t new!)
So, what gives social learning this broad appeal and staying power? Multiple studies and stories confirm students’ increased immersion in technology gives them the experiences, relationships, and stimulation that helps them stay better engaged in their learning experience, plus these technologies are something they are increasingly unable to live without.
Social learning is not going away, and in fact, it will continue to be bolstered by technology and students’ adoption of it.
Our fourth and final myth busted here: Social Learning Doesn’t Have Broad Appeal