My co-blogger, Jan Poston Day, was interviewed as part of a story by KERA, a Texas public radio station, on the use of iPods in the classrooms of El Centro Community College in Dallas. El Centro, part of the Dallas County Community College District, uses the the Tegrity Campus Building Block with their Blackboard Learning System to provide enhanced podcasts to the students. Enhanced podcasts include images or video synchronized to the audio so both the visual and audio components can be played back on a photo- or video-capable iPod.
What’s the draw? Talking about El Centro echocardiology professor Catherine Carolan’s experience, reporter Bill Zeeble says:
These days, Carolan’s sold on Ipods and the portability they permit. Many students come from full-time nursing jobs, & have families, homes, & other responsibilities. For Sharla Scovel, who’s 52 and lives 30 miles away, the Ipod lets her study diagrams in the grocery store line, or listen to lectures while commuting to work.
You can read the entire transcript of KERA’s story or listen to the MP3 version.
The Instructional Technology gang at Keene State
College in New Hampshire has a relatively new
blog, KSC Instructional Technology. They recently wrote about some of their Blackboard successes:
Tracy Mendham, and adjunct professor who teaches ENG 101, learned how to help her students avoid some end of semester anticipation by using the grade book function in the Blackboard software suite. … Getting students to use Blackboard is relatively easy because they are interested in using the technology that’s available to them, Mendham said. But she does need to take some class time to introduce her students to the site. Students are far from the only people who need some time to get used to using Blackboard….once students get used to using Blackboard they start expecting professors to use it.
(There’s a lot more to the post. Read the whole thing.)
That kind of student influence is a story
we hear from lots of our customers. Many people in the educational technology
realm are familiar with the ideas in Everett Rogers’ work on diffusion of
innovations (especially as popularized in Geoffrey Moore’s 1991 book Crossing the
Chasm). In short, technology adoption occurs in a bell curve. And it’s
the back end of that bell curve where the students hold the most influence.
The Blackboard blog team is heading west – to San Diego, California.
We’ve packed our bags (plenty of logo-wear for the week). We’ve got our presentations loaded up on USB drives. We’ve set our Out of the Office email message (and pray that we don’t inadvertently spam the various listservs we couldn’t figure out how to unsubscribe to). We’ve got our cameras. We’ve got our cell phones charged and ready to go. We’ve got our schedules organized so we get to the right place at the right time. We’ve checked the weather.com for the forecast (see below).
We’re all excited about Bb World ‘06 because it promises to be the best Blackboard users conference ever! If you can’t join us, we hope you’ll enjoy our dispatches from the conference floor.
If you’re at Bb World ‘06 please stop by and say hello. I’ll be in the Building Blocks booth or hanging out in our wireless-enabled Developers Lounge right next door.
See you in San Diego!
I spent my Junior Year Abroad at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Thinking back to the friends I made, the crazy Aberdonian accent I picked up and the Northern Lights that brightened the long dark nights…my year in Aberdeen was the highlight of my undergraduate years. As a result, I can’t help but smile when I talk to Jerry Dowds on the phone and hear his fabulous Glaswegian accent.
Jan Poston Day: What do you do at Blackboard?
JD: I’m a Solutions Engineer for our European, Middle East and African clients.