The following is an interview with Terry Patterson on how he super-uses LMS, Blackboard Learn. 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.
What tools do you use that quickly improve the quality of Blackboard as an LMS?
Building blocks are essentially extensions of the Blackboard Learn environment and play an important part in Blackboard at the University of Missouri. I use Building Blocks to connect Blackboard Learn to third party tools like Blackboard Collaborate, Tegrity, and Kaltura. I also use administrative Building Blocks like the Admin Console, Impersonate, and BbStats in my daily work.
Playgrounds and roller coasters are just for fun. Social Learning is fun too, but it serves multiple educational purposes and has tangible benefits for both the students and the institutions involved. In today’s classrooms, the idea of social learning is taking hold in a variety of ways. Educators are seeing that social learning may include external elements that could be regarded as ‘just for fun,’ like Facebook, Twitter and blogging, but that really these are beneficial to the learning experience. Experiencing it firsthand demonstrates how the interconnected, interactive nature of social learning amplifies the rate at which content can be shared and digested.
Take a look and see how social learning plays a significant role in the serious endeavor of educating today’s students for Duke University professor, Cathy Davidson. Are her techniques just ‘fun’ or important enhancements to the educational experience?
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on: Social Learning Is Just for Fun
We all know that people learn in different ways, at different paces, and with different strengths. Classroom teachers work hard to incorporate all of these differences into their plans and create successful personalized learning experiences for each student. Now, more and more students carry with them a tool that can help teachers with this challenge. Students are not the only ones who are more likely to be using mobile devices to accomplish tasks – parents, teachers, and administrators are too.
Right now educators are back in the swing of school, whether it is the Fall or Spring semester in higher education or the beginning of 2012-2013 school year in K12. Around the world teachers are busy teaching with Blackboard Learn™ as a vital tool.
At Blackboard we are also busy working with institutions on testing and improving our software. I have blogged in previous posts about Blackboard’s beta programs in which clients have the ability to try out the software and provide Blackboard valuable feedback before it hits the market. We have so many exciting initiatives going on at Blackboard – our upcoming release of Blackboard Learn has already hit test servers across the world and is planned to be available for clients to use as early as their next academic term. Eighty-five client institutions are involved in testing the release through the beta program. This also includes our amazing Blackboard developers and partners who are testing their building blocks to ensure everything works smoothly when clients put it into production.
Are French fries the same as French toast? Is chocolate milk the same as chocolate cake? Just because two items share similar names (and are delicious), does not make them the same.
Such is the case with Social Learning and Social Media.
I agree with @dpeter who tweeted:
Why does this matter in the classroom? Social learning and social media can exist separately in the educational setting, or can co-exist in support of social learning, but they are not one in the same. Want to dig a bit deeper into the world of Social Learning? Here are some good resources to get you started.
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on: Social Media Is the Same as Social Learning