I just returned from a series of meetings and workshops with top K-12 school administrators. Education Research Development Institute (ERDI) is an organization of superintendents across the country that meet twice a year to work with vendors on partnerships and innovation to support student learning. Blackboard has been a member of ERDI since 2007. I also attended the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) conference, a gathering of top level K-12 administrators.

What struck me were the common challenges and passions these educators share. First, they all share a deep passion for the role education plays in the success of this country and a pathway to a better life. They also share the common passion that every child deserves an opportunity of a great education. They also share the common challenges of planning, leading and implementing innovation and reform efforts in their schools to meet the expanding needs of their students, staff and communities. These challenges are compounded with the fact that they must accomplish this work with limited and reducing budgets and resources.

Blackboard has been, and continues to be a valued partner in this work. Education leaders that I worked with commented that Blackboard is focused on providing solutions to help them meet these challenges. One superintendent commented, “Blackboard does not do the teaching and learning, they just make it better.” Others discovered how they can use the wide range of Blackboard products, resources and services to not only address the needs of communication, digital learning and professional development, but can do so while reducing budgets and processes of old practices. While educators strive to meet the needs of innovative teaching and learning, Blackboard is a partner they can rely on to support them.

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