It is less than three weeks until BbWorld ’06; welcome to the Blackboard blog. This blog is your launch pad for Bb World ’06 – providing a window into the various activities planned for the 8th Annual Blackboard Users Conference, and we plan to continue posting afterwards as a way to connect with you, the people who are passionate about education and the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning and campus service offerings. We will share our thoughts and visions and look forward to hearing yours too.
While Bb World ’06 is currently the focus of discussion on the blog, it is not the only or main subject we will focus on here. We will aim to generate conversation around the latest trends, innovation and pressing issues related to education and technology, and will look for your feedback and suggestions to enhance these discussions.
Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails will be read and some will be used as topics for future blog posts.
For the first posting to the blog, I’d like to take a few moments to share some observations about what sets the upcoming Bb World conference apart from other events, including previous Blackboard conferences.
The recently approved merger with WebCT is of great interest to members of the education community. At Bb World ’06, we will discuss our thoughts and goals for the integration of the two companies and why we think, together Blackboard and WebCT will provide so much more than the sum of their parts for the future of teaching,learning and campus service offerings.
- The time is ripe to seriously consider how open source and packaged software can co-exist and benefit each other. Learn more by attending the panel session, "Open Source and Blackboard" with panelists from Princeton University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Over 150 sessions in total – most led by academic institutions – twice as many client-led sessions than last year’s Blackboard Users Conference.
- Over 1200 attendees – your peers, to meet, connect and exchange contact information with and keep in touch with year-round.
- Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Blink will deliver the opening keynote.
- A live broadcast of the award-winning Ready2Net program on the future of e-Learning featuring a panel of education industry experts such as Susan Patrick the President of NACOL, Craig Swenson, the Provost of the University of Phoenix and David Ernst, the CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology at California State University .
- Robust K-12 Program – this year’s event strives to provide our most robust K-12 program to date. We will offer three times the number of K-12 client-led sessions as in years past. I have the special privilege of giving a separate keynote highlighting Blackboard’s plans for supporting the educational outcomes important to our K-12 clients. We’d like to offer you all the advantages of a large conference in terms of social events, amenities, and speakers, without sacrificing the integrity of the smaller group.
- New Commerce Suite training sessions and a Commerce keynote presentation on Advanced Technology for Identification from recognized leader in the field, Jeff Staples, the Editor of CR80 and founder of Avisian.
I truly believe that nothing can substitute for the experience of taking time, once a year, to engage in person with hundreds of other Blackboard users. For our institutions. For our colleagues. For our profession. And for ourselves as professionals.
If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. Don’t wait! I look forward to seeing you in San Diego!
Chairman & Co-Founder