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.

Each time I have the opportunity to join other Collaborate customers, I always learn something – and this session was no different.  I have long quoted Cory that Collaborate tools give faculty “their own personal recording studio.”  While we don’t face quite as much snow in Indiana as the folks in Utah – we also rely on the Collaborate tools for contingencies like weather and other emergency planning.

I loved Phil’s perspective that “Saved Time = Reduced Dollars.”  This is such a powerful element of the Collaborate tools – whether you can instantly answer a student’s question with Blackboard IM – letting that student move ahead in their studies without having to wait a few hours to a day for your email response, or you use Collaborate for a meeting across campus to save the time in moving from one place to another.

And, finally, I love hearing Mike’s passion about the use of Collaborate tools in instruction – and the students’ love of the tools for instruction.  I don’t think that anyone expresses the power of Collaborate in the student experience better than Mike.

It was a pleasure to present with my colleagues, get a chance to meet and take questions from the folks in the room and online, and have a chance to share a little bit about our story and use of Blackboard Collaborate tools.

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