Upgrading is Not an Uphill Battle: How NIU Easily Transitioned to Blackboard Collaborate

In July 2011, Blackboard announced the release of Blackboard Collaborate™ 11 web conferencing, the first product that combined the best of both Elluminate Live! and Wimba Classroom. Drawing from the best elements of these two long-competing products, it boasted a new, modern interface that represented a tremendous leap forward. However, it also meant that schools using Wimba Classroom faced an upgrade process that was more significant than any upgrade before. Wimba Classroom customers not only had to learn the new user interface, they also had to learn a new administrative system as well. In this presentation at 2012 SLATE Conference, learn how the technology team at Northern Illinois University balanced other technology upgrade initiatives and staffing requirements in order to ensure a smooth-yet-quick upgrade to Blackboard Collaborate, and ultimately, enjoyed a much easier upgrade experience than they anticipated.

Northern Illinois University: Success with Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Mobile, and More

During this presentation at BbWorld 2012, my colleague from NIU, Vance Moore, and I were joined by Rajeev Arora, V.P. for Marketing & Strategy at Blackboard Collaborate, and discussed how NIU has harnessed the power of multiple Blackboard platforms to create a smooth-yet-powerful online learning environment.

We mentioned the following online resources (and included links in the provided slides) during the presentation:

Blackboard Collaborate Upgrade Panel at BbWorld 2012

Unsure about how to upgrade from Wimba or Elluminate Live to Blackboard Collaborate 11 or 12? I participated in a panel presentation at Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit along with Sarah Crawley, Dan Lim, Robin Smith, and David Tao where we shared our experiences about their upgrade processes.

Here are my slides from my portion of the presentation.

I mentioned the following available online resources during my presentation:

The Voice of the Active Learner

This video was shown to kick-off the Blackboard Corporate keynote at BbWorld 2012 and exemplifies the challenges and opportunities in serving active learners in the 21st century>

Podcasting online faculty development programs using Blackboard Collaborate MP4 archives

This session at Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit shared Northern Illinois University’s journey offering live online faculty development workshops using Blackboard Collaborate as well as making online workshop archives available for on-demand viewing either online, in iTunes, or on a mobile device. Emphasis was placed on NIU’s step-by-step workflow for using Publish! in conjunction with Blackboard Collaborate to create MP4 versions of archives suitable for viewing online as well as on mobile devices to deliver archived online faculty development programs in podcast form. The presentation includes considerations for hosting archives outside Blackboard Collaborate as well as the steps necessary to create a podcast RSS feed, submit to the iTunes store, and update the necessary files when a new MP4 archive from Blackboard Collaborate is generated.