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The following is a guest post from Mark Radcliffe, Director of Learning Management Technologies at blendedschools.netMark Radcliffe is the Director of Learning Management Technologies for the not-for-profit company blendedschools.net. Mark has worked in various K-20 education positions for the last 10 years including working directly with students and teachers on technology integration projects. At blendedschools.net Mark manages the instructional technology program, communicates directly with Blackboard on a daily basis and handles many aspects of the company’s professional development program. Mark is currently located in Norfolk, Virginia, USA but is originally from Manchester UK. He enjoys the city and loves music and the visual arts.
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This year at BbWorld I’ll be presenting “Wimba Classroom to Blackboard Collaborate – Make the Switch,” which is probably one of my simpler session titles in a while. I usually try and cram as many buzz words into my titles as possible. My hope is that it will attract people who look for buzz words and also attract people that get the irony of session titles with buzz words. In the end I went with a simple title this year because I wanted to illustrate that the process of switching from Wimba to Collaborate should not be complicated.
Guest post by Eric Kunnen, Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies, Grand Rapids Community College, and a member of the Ask Dr. C program, a free question and answer service for Blackboard users.
The use of technology like Blackboard often boils down to awareness and, in the end, communication is key. Often, faculty need to know “why” to use a certain tool and, from there, the “what” and “how” of features can follow.
This post is intended to provide some ideas and strategies to communicate effectively with faculty at your university or college.
Step 1: The Message
The first step to enhancing adoption of any technology is to spend some time thinking through what topics, techniques, and tools are important to the teaching and learning process. This can include your own perspectives, things you have learned at conferences, like Blackboard user groups or BbWorld. It can also be as simple as asking faculty what technologies are useful to them and what kinds of training they would like to see offered. To get a holistic view of faculty perception, I often recommend deploying an online survey to collect feedback from instructors.
As I shared on Friday, the BbWorld 2012 conference will include presentations from well known leaders spanning the education landscape. To kick-off the conference and the theme of Social Learning, I am very excited to announce Eric Sheninger, Principal at New Milford High School in Bergen County, NJ and his presentation, “Harnessing the Power of Social Media.”
Eric, affectionately known to many as @NMHS_Principal, is a K-12 administrator who has adopted social media and web 2.0 technologies to engage students, improve communications with stakeholders, and help educators grow professionally. He is passionate about establishing and fostering learning environments that are student-centered, collaborative, flexible, and prepare all learners to succeed in the 21st Century. We are thrilled that Eric is able to join us this summer; check out this video message he shared about his upcoming presentation.
Did you know that at BbWorld 2011, the team from Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) blogged more than 40 times in 3 ½ days?! This hard work deserves some recognition.
We know that many of you have booked your flights and are already thinking about how you’ll capture the sights and sounds of this year’s BbWorld. So this year, if you’re planning to blog, we want to make it a little bit more enticing: register here to be an official BbWorld Bloggerand let us reward all your hard work!
As an official BbWorld Blogger, your peers will recognize you as a thought-leader, sharing a personal perspective and reflecting on all aspects of the event. You’ll get reserved seating in all keynote presentations, a blogger badge that you can add to your personal blog TODAY, and a BbWorld Blogger t-shirt (rock your t-shirt at the Client Appreciation Party). We’ll also feature some of the posts on Blackboard Blogs during the week of the show, July 9-13. More details will be shared in June; keep an eye on your email.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
For three exceptional bloggers, we’re giving away three FREE passes to BbWorld. Starting today through Friday, May 4, you can enter to be a BbWorld VIP Blogger. Here’s what you need to do:
We’re heading to New Orleans July 10-12 for BbWorld. And this year, the conference will be more than just an annual user’s conference. While the event will include the same incredible opportunities to network with peers, share best practices and meet with experts from Blackboard and neighboring institutions, the conference has evolved into a true education technology gathering. Not to mention some hot weather and spicy Creole.
This year, we’ve expanded the program and are so excited to bring together outside leaders from across the global Higher Ed, K-12 and Professional Education community to share their perspective on key education topics, directions and trends. The 2012 program is centered on a few key themes, which were introduced during the CFP process; here they are again: