Guest post by Paul Roberge
I’m very excited to head to Indiana to attend the Virtual School Sympsoiusm (VSS) next week
. For virtual schools, Blackboard Collaborate serves as a replacement for the physical buildings and infrastructure. Everything that a brick and mortar school does – from teaching, parent visits, conducting exams, to guidance counseling – can all happen online in Blackboard Collaborate sessions. Blackboard Collaborate is an education friendly, interactive, extensible and reliable virtual classroom environment that provides a student experience chalked full of collaboration and peer-to-peer interaction.
As a Blackboard marketing professional, I often communicate the virtues of virtual collaboration. What resonates most these days as it relates to virtual collaboration are the cost savings that can be achieved from travel avoidance. You can save a lot of money by shifting learning and working online using real-time communication tools like web conferencing, IM, and Skype. Some of our Blackboard Collaborate
customers have measured it as $2,000 per meeting. The annualized savings is quite impressive.
Based on our customer stories and my own experience as a remote, home-based worker, I am convinced that live online collaboration can result in solid outcomes – more learning, increased productivity, improved focus, and solid relationships with people in your virtual community, whether colleagues, bosses, or like-minded professionals. So why would you work or learn any other way?
After 10 years of using Blackboard Inc. applications, Kingston University
experienced tremendous growth, usage and adoption. In fact, over 95% of students and more than 80% of academic staff use Blackboard Learn™ as their virtual learning environment (VLE). As the years passed and adoption grew, the time came for Kingston to re-evaluate their learning technologies.
In consultation with faculty and students across all disciplines, the evaluation committee engaged in a year-long review which included a functional assessment of Blackboard Learn, ™ 9.1
and other open source alternatives. The evaluation was prompted by a variety of reasons but alignment to the University’s new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy
was especially important. To learn more about Kingston’s evaluation experience, we spoke with Dr. Tim Linsey, the Director of e-Learning at Kingston University, who identified the primary factors that contributed to their decision to select Learn, 9.1
The rise in popularity of the major social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, has caused a shift in the way higher education institutions communicate with campus stakeholders. Many colleges and universities are using social media, in conjunction with other multi-channel communications, to engage and exchange information with current and former students alike.
Although it has been in existence longer, the text message continues to change the way people communicate. It comes as no surprise to hear that 31 percent of adults prefer to be contacted via text
, as reported by the Pew Internet and American Life Project
. Not surprisingly, young adults (aged 18 – 24 years old) were found to be the most avid texters, exchanging an average of 109.5 messages
on a normal day. With such proclivity for texting, our college and university clients have found the ability to send out text messages with timely information and notifications
to students and the surrounding campus community is to be increasingly vital.
Four of our clients recently participated in a panel discussion at EDUCAUSE 2011 in Philadelphia to share top ways they use collaboration technologies to improve learning and increase efficiency on campus. I’m happy to share a recap of that session, Four Reasons to Integrate Collaborative Tools into Your LMS, from one of our panelists, Kara Monroe, Assistant Vice President for the Center for Instructional Technology at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.
Guest post by Kara Monroe, Assistant Vice President for the Center for Instructional Technology, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
One of the things that I love about being a customer of Blackboard Collaborate
is the sense of community within the client base. I love talking with other clients and potential clients about the products and how they can transform teaching, learning, and work at an institution. Therefore, I was so pleased to get the opportunity to speak on a panel with other Blackboard Collaborate clients at EDUCAUSE: Cory Stokes from the University of Utah, Phil O’Hara from Dalhousie University and Mike Scheuermann from Drexel University.