Guest Blog Post by Dan Lim, Ph.D., Vice President for Educational Technology and Distance Learning, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (linkedin.com/in/danlim01). Dan will be presenting “De-angelizing Synchronous Distance Teaching: Collaborate To Enhance Online Education Quality” at Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2012 on Thursday, July 12, 2012 from 2:50-3:45PM.
Once upon a time, it was popular to angelize. Now it’s time to de-angelize. At Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences (FHCHS), our plan to de-angelize is still on track though the ANGEL learning system has recently been put on indefinite life support. Although ANGEL has served us well, its unscalable chat tool has been the Achilles’ heel since the beginning when we used it in the synchronous distance delivery of our three distance degree programs.
The transition to Blackboard Collaborate this year is a timely and critical change. If your institution is experiencing various challenges in the quality of distance delivery, there are ten reasons why you need to attend our session, seven of which are on how Collaborate is a great solution to distance education challenges and three reasons why the transition has been smooth and quite painless.
As we are putting the finishing touches on this year’s BbWorld 2012
event, many Blackboard users are packing their bags and making the trip down to join us in the Big Easy. We are very excited and doing our best to keep our lips sealed as this year brings many big announcements and surprises. Of course, one thing we can’t help but shout from the rooftop as we gear up is the importance of text messaging for university and higher education institutions.
This past year, we have previously demonstrated the value of text messaging to campus communities. At BbWorld 2012
, we have arranged a handful of speakers to present their successful and effective uses of texting in the higher education environments. Brian Hipkin, Dean of Students at Regents College, has been especially successful and innovative in using the Blackboard ConnectTxt service (formerly known as txttools) to develop and deploy engaging programs to attract and retain college students.
Last fall, Brian served as the keynote speaker at the annual ConnectTxt user even in the UK, ‘Let’s Talk Txt.’ He’ll be bringing his eye-opening presentation to BbWorld 2012
to discuss the ways in which texting has come to serve as the underlying fabric of social connection. Having a solid understanding of texting as a viable and effective communication mode can help shape unique outreach programs and implement similar communication strategies on campus.
Don’t miss the session, “Doing More for Less in 160 Characters,” with Brian Hipkin on July 12 at 4:15 p.m. And stay tuned for more announcements regarding the Blackboard ConnectTxt service as we get closer to BbWorld 2012
Thousands of faculty, instructional designers and system administrators demonstrate their Blackboard Learn expertise every day, but only one can be named the winner of BbWorld 2012 Jeopardy (Blackboard Learn edition).
That’s right! This year, we’re hosting a live version of Jeopardy at BbWorld (think lots of Blackboard Learn questions and answers sans Alex Trebek…although we may have a pretty decent look-a-like) on Tuesday, July 10th from 6:30 – 6:40PM,
and we’re looking for 3 contestants
to compete in it and show off their Blackboard Learn expertise. The first place winner of Jeopardy will walk away with a brand new spankin’ iPad!
Here’s How You Become a BbWorld 2012 Jeopardy Contestant
- The first step is easy! Simply submit this form and enter to become a BbWorld 2012 Jeopardy contestant.
- Next, decide whether you want to record and upload a video to YouTube and tell us in 1 minute or less “Why You’re a Blackboard Learn Expert” OR upload an image that visually depicts “Why You’re a Blackboard Learn Expert” to your Facebook page.
- Then you’ll want to tweet about the contest and why you believe you’re a Blackboard Learn expert to @Blackboard using the BbWorld 2012 hash tag- #BbW12. Email email@example.com to confirm your entry was received.
There’s no doubt that the growth of digital learning content is accelerating. Multiple resources indicate that a higher ed world of blended and online learning is rapidly approaching, some resources even cite the “flip to digital” occurring in the next 5 years. Textbooks aren’t going away any time soon but their use in the classroom is declining steadily. And, expectations are that instructors will graduate from eTexts to the more sophisticated integrated learning systems being developed by publishers.
What does this mean for you?
Blackboard can be a channel for all this content and tools, helping faculty make sense of the numerous digital content options available to them. Blackboard offers a broad choice of content to choose from right within the Blackboard Learn course. I would like to take a moment to look at one of our newest providers of digital content: Cengage Learning.
For the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the Blackboard User Group
(or BUG) program and assisting a number of User Group Leaders to launch or support their groups. So I can confidently say that if you’re not an active member of a Blackboard User Group – unlike the more than 1600 of your peers that are – you’re missing out on a great opportunity to positively impact teaching and learning at your institution.
So, what’s so special about Blackboard User Groups?
They’re client-run groups that give you- its members- the opportunity to network, stay up to date on the latest trends and information, collectively give feedback to Blackboard management, engage with subject matter experts and share best practices with a community of peers. More importantly, it’s this new community of peers – dare I even say friends – that are leveraging technologies as you and have faced similar challenges or decisions, peers that you can now turn to for advice and ideas to help you successfully advance your institution’s e-learning programs.