By: Glenn Wiebe, The Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK)

Schools across the country are experiencing a variety of issues related to budget cuts – staff reductions, downsized curriculum and less tech support. But expectations for learning continue to go up and teachers and administrators are looking for help.

Part of the solution has been, and will continue to be, the use of online class management systems such as Blackboard. The Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK) consortium has delivered Blackboard access to K-12 schools for ten years. We currently have over 50 school districts with over 25,000 users in a wide variety of settings.

But in the last 18 months ESSDACK has worked especially hard to find new ways to help schools hit hard by the budget crunch. We’ve re-organized pricing models, hardware configurations, training models and technical support. We are also working to develop collaborative teaching models.

Part of this re-organization is our desire to provide mass customization – the specific branding of school districts while maintaining a single consortium Blackboard server. This allows each district to the ability retain its own look and feel but without requiring huge technical support on the backend.

Many school districts are struggling to find ways of providing quality instruction on a limited budget. Our BbWorld session will provide a quick glimpse into what our schools are doing to solve those problems. We’ll discuss consortium membership, hardware configuration, training models and vision for quality course design.

If you’re involved at the consortium level, you’ll leave with ideas for working with multiple districts. If you’re a district or building administrator, you’ll leave with different options for creating training and support. Instructional designers and faculty will walk away with an idea of how others are creating quality instruction.

See you in Orlando!

Session Info: 

Title: Managing a K-12 Blackboard Consortium in a Difficult Economy

Date: July 16, 9:30-10:15 a.m.

Room: Sun 3/4

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