I met Paul Lefavi at BbWorld three years ago, so it’s only fitting that he would share his reasons for attending BbWorld 2012 with me and the rest of the ANGEL community.  Since our first meeting, I have relied on Paul’s perspective many times and appreciate his involvement in the ANGEL community programs.  Thanks, Paul, for contributing your thoughts, and I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Guest post by Paul Lefavi, Director of eLearning Technology, Indian River State College

As I make plans to attend BbWorld 12 in New Orleans, I have been asked by a couple of colleagues why I make a point of going to this conference each year. Is it the fun and exciting places, Orlando, Las Vegas, and now the Big Easy, where the conference has been held the past few years?  Is it just the allure of getting out of town?  While both reasons would most likely crop up in a bulleted list of motives to attend, BbWorld is so much more than a few days away at a fun destination.

It is a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues and discuss best practices; it is a wonderful opportunity to attend workshops on practically every relevant, on-line learning topic under the sun; it is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Blackboard Team.  This last point should not be overlooked.  At BbWorld there are many opportunities to engage with Blackboard’s executive team and see the human face of Blackboard, and I’ve come to find that it’s a very nice face.  It is in these sessions that I have realized that Blackboard is not the Evil Empire at all, but instead a group of brilliant and pleasant professionals who take their craft very seriously. It is these, and other sessions, in which you realize you are a partner with Blackboard, and not just a client.

So to answer my colleagues: if you are interested in the present and future of online learning and are using, or considering using, a Blackboard product, then BbWorld is the place to be. The fact that it is in an exciting destination with hundreds of likeminded colleagues makes it a no-brainer.

Thanks and hopefully I’ll see you all in Nawlins!!

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