Honored to Accept 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award on Behalf of My NIU Colleagues at BbWorld 2012

One of the many highlights for me from BbWorld 2012 was to accept on behalf of all the colleagues I work with at NIU, the 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Community Collaboration. This award recognizes leaders within the Blackboard user community who encourage collaboration, and share advice, insight, content, and effective practices with fellow educators outside their own institutions.

Accepting the award from Ray Henderson
Accepting the 2012 Blackboard Catalyst Award from Ray Henderson, President and Chief Technology Office, Blackboard

Our center was recognized for its long history of collaborating with others in the support of teaching with technology, sharing advice, insight, and best practices. This was the second year in a row our Center was recognized with a Blackboard Catalyst Award, with last year’s award being for excellence in professional development.

I am indeed blessed to work with an amazing team of colleagues at NIU and look forward to the future as we together we continue to make every effort at being “catalysts” in support of the the teaching mission of NIU.

BbWorld 2012: Day 2 Recap

Recap and a few highlights from day 2 of BbWorld 2012, June 11, 2012

LMS Upgrade: Roadmap for Successful Implementation

The upgrade to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 at Northern Illinois University from Release 8.0 has proven to be very successful and has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from faculty and teaching staff. This session I led at Blackboard World 2012 on Thu, 7/12/12, 8:45AM-9:15AM, Digital Content and Upgrade Center shared the strategies and practices that made the upgrade a success and can be applied to any upcoming LMS upgrade.

Join in the conversation on Twitter using session hashtag #niulms and find online interactive handout, including links to download plan source files, at j.mp/niuplan

This session was recorded and the link to view the archive will be added here as soon as it becomes available.

BbWorld 2012 Keynote Takeaways

Over the past several days at BbWorld 2012, I’ve been able to attend a variety of keynote presentations, hearing product roadmaps and exciting new product developments from Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Mobile, and Blackboard Learn. As others like Eric Kunnen have already done a stellar job of summarizing the major announcements from the keynotes (see Eric’s detailed summary from the Bb Corporate keynote), I figured I would simply compile the biggest takeaways for me personally from the keynotes presentations I’ve viewed.

Blackboard Collaborate

On Tuesday afternoon, Bb Collaborate President Maurice Heiblum kicked off the series of BbWorld keynotes with the Bb Collaborate keynote, highlighting the new features available in Bb Collaborate 12.

Announcements I found most exciting included:

  • Storage space for hosting of archives will be increased from 5GB to 500GB for each institution at no additional cost!
  • Echo cancellation now included in Bb Collaborate 12…no more headsets needed!
  • Bb Collaborate mobile app to be released by fall 2012 will be available to current Bb Collaborate customers at no additional cost as well!

Blackboard Mobile

Immediately following the Bb Collaborate keynote, I made it into the standing room only Bb Mobile keynote session. Kayvon Beykpour gave an inspiring talk, discussing “disruption” in our society today and how mobile is facilitating these disruptions at an even faster pace.

The amazing sketchnote artwork is from Gerren Lamson.

Announced the following day as part of the Blackboard Corporate keynote, Kayvon also announced:

  • New “end user licence” of Bb Mobile Learn – students will be able to purchase (for iOS or Android) either year-long ($1.99) or unlimited ($5.99) access for Blackboard Mobile Learn
  • Augmented reality being added to Mobile Central apps

Blackboard Learn

Michael Chasen on sharing content during Bb Corporate keynote

The Wednesday morning Blackboard Corporate keynote featuring Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen and Blackboard CTO and President of Academic Platforms Ray Henderson recapped the advancements that Blackboard has made in the past year and shared some exciting announcements concerning Blackboard’s roadmap for the next year, including:

  • Project XP – beginning with xpLor, cloud based cross institutional learning object repository for sharing course content and discussion boards, being released in beta Fall 2012. Khan Academy will be part of the content AND you can create new content to share – no matter the platform. Project XP also to eventually include open calendar and discussion tools.
  • Enterprise course evaluation surveys coming to Blackboard in SP10 – FREE
  • SMS system notifications coming to Bb Learn – FREE
  • Blackboard Social coming Fall 2012 – FREE for institutions w/ Bb Community license

Ray Henderson announcing that free enterprise surveys are coming to Blackboard in SP10

Ray Henderson announcing that SMS system notifications coming to Bb Learn as free new feature

Ray Henderson announcing Blackboard Social to be released Fall 2012, free for institutions with Bb Community System

What were the biggest takeaways for your from the BbWorld product announcements? Feel free to leave a comment with your reflections and key takeaways!

**Update 7/28 ** The complete Blackboard Corporate Keynote is available for viewing here.

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: