Guest Blog Post from Joe DiPietro, Instructional Designer at George Mason University. Joe shares his the story of an unforgettable teachable moment that he had experienced in a peer-to-peer setting.
A growing program at my university was seeking options to best support scaling and growth. The greatest concerns for key stakeholders and policymakers was that any selected option must provide equivalent educational experiences and academic rigor while concomitantly maintaining the same overall quality of instruction as the face-to-face courses generating the initial buzz.
Ever wish you could get a pulse on how new technology will actually affect you before you adopt it? Well, here’s your chance! Chris Bray, Blackboard Administrator for University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, was a part of the beta program to test and provide feedback on the latest release of our flagship LMS, Blackboard Learn. Through the beta, Chris had hands-on experience with testing the upgrade process on his local test server and playing with new features, such as the content editor (formerly known as the VTBE), before the official release of Blackboard Learn Service Pack 10 a week ago today.
Maybe you’re interested in upgrading to the newest release of Blackboard Learn and looking for some answers as to what your institution should expect. Or, maybe you’re a fan of Chris’ blog or you follow him on twitter @zenandjuice. Either way, we hope this Tweet Chat will give you the opportunity to ask a few questions of a peer. Or get you one step closer to understanding Blackboard’s clients have influenced the future of technology.
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”).