BbWorld’08 – Notes and Highlights from the Conference

BbWorld’08 – Blackboard Users Conference

Las Vegas, NV
July 14-17, 2008
The Palazzo Tower at the Venetian
Conference Website

NEW! Conference Presentations and also the Developers Conference

Monday, July 14

Monday is the start of the Blackboard DevCon (Developers Conference), which is focused on Blackboard developers, vendors, and institutions that customize and create external applications that integrate through Blackboard’s open APIs. Monday also includes preconference sessions on a wide array of topics. I wasn’t able to attend the keynote of at this conference as I was prepping for my preconference session with Kevin Reeve from Utah State University. Luckily the Mike Wesch’s keynote was captured on video. (It was captured using the Echo360 technology.) Here is another version of the keynote that was delivered at the University of Manitoba “A Portal to Media Literacy“.

Monday also included a collection of BbWorld preconference sessions.

Preconference Session: Podcasting – From the Desktop to the Enterprise

Kevin Reeve, Utah State University
Eric Kunnen, Grand Rapids Community College

In this interactive “show and tell” session, we will explore podcasting with a focus on providing a look at desktop and enterprise solutions for the creation, management, hosting and delivery of podcasting. Portable Audio Recorders, Microphones, and USB audio devices will be used to demonstrate how several software programs can be used to create podcasts.

Enterprise systems that integrate with Blackboard products will also be shown. We will explore Enterprise Podcasting and Course Casting Solutions like Podcast LX, TechSmith Camtasia Relay and Wimba. Participants will learn the format for creating the RSS (Syndication) feed using XML and will leave with a 30+ page resource guide for podcasting.


  • Kevin and I created an online resource ( that we referred to during the session.
  • We also provided a 45 page booklet to the participants that covered many of the live demonstrations and products that we discussed in the session.
  • I noticed a participant blogged about the session on her Blackboard World Tour blog… I hope it was valuable! 🙂
  • Here is our opening Powerpoint slideshow we used for the session:

Tuesday, July 15

Tuesday is the second day of the Blackboard DevCon conference. Preconference sessions continued on Tuesday. The main BbWorld conference began in the evening with a keynote speaker and opening reception in the vendor hall. The reception also included a display of conference poster sessions. Bill Vilberg from the University of Miami recorded some of the poster session presenters, among other conference highlights in his LMSPodcast.

Innovations in the Greenhouse Grant Program – Panel Session

Project ASTRO

Project ASTRO, Advanced System Tracking and Reporting
Eric Kunnen, Grand Rapids Community College


  • Goal – To build an open source community based advanced reporting tool and Blackboard Building Block that will empower institutions to become more accountable and able to use data-driven decision making to enhance, optimize, and advance Blackboard Academic Suite usage in teaching and learning.
  • Purpose – To collect system activity information and provide reports on how Blackboard is being used by faculty, staff, and students which will inform stakeholders and provide data to improve the engagement of end users, increase adoption, and encourage deeper use of the Blackboard Academic Suite by faculty, staff, and students.
  • Key Functions
    • Track – Automatic tracking (via Blackboard Building Block) of system activity including courses, organizations, users, and tools.
    • Report – Easy point and click access to advanced reports.
    • Discover – Ability to measure trends and analyze usage.
    • Share – Capability to embed data, share reports, and inform key stakeholders.
    • Act – Features to identify, target, and engage users via email notifications.

Integrating Social Software into Windows Vista

Naomi Augar, Deakin University


  • Goal is to pilot and evaluate social software for teaching and learning.
  • Integrate appropriate tools into Blackboard Vista using PowerLinks.
  • Awarded 2007, pilot already underway.
  • Focus of grant was to code develop and implementation of MediaWiki and Drupal-SMF integration.
  • Developed a script to work with Stephen Vickers’ Login2 WebCT PowerLink.
  • MediaWiki and Drupal-SMF integration went live on July 2.
  • Review of integration scheduled for December 2008.
  • Production support for Gallery2.
  • Development server for future research.
  • Demo: MediaWiki, DSMF

Blackboard Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds

John Fillwalk, Ball State University


  • SecondLife for virtualization.
  • The aesthetic camera is the unit/curriculum that would be the focus for leveraging a virtual environment.
  • Design and produce a virtual filmmaking technology that mirrors functionality in real life.
  • Hands-on instructional equipment.
  • Streamline student experience in both SL and Bb. SL orientations would take place on university islands, plan to use Bb Adaptive Release, and ensure secure and automate course management and assessment.
  • BSU virtual campus in SecondLife had to be built.
  • Build all the equipment first and had to program the usage of the equipment.
  • Provide both asynchronous and synchronous interchanges.
  • Associate Bb and SL authentication information.
  • Develop a strategy to eliminate the navigation frame loss in Blackboard upon switching back and forth between Bb and SL.
  • Maintain security while passing information handled by a custom Bb Building Block.
  • Create a best practice model for instructional design within virtual worlds.
  • Generate best practice land management model and community standards.
  • Building Block to include class enrollment object (LSL avatar sensor script will collect and associate SL avatar names with actual student names automatically transmitting it to Bb and pairing them within Bb.), and SL class list administration. (Access Avatar name from within Bb, LSL script to query for authentication to confirm and sync SL avatar course enrollment information.)
  • Public chat capture and archive. Records public chat typed passes archives file to tagged Bb discussion.


BIE Steering Committee Meeting


  • Covered by NDA and therefore unable to be posted.

Keynote: Steve Wozniak

Venetian Ballroom

Steve Wozniak is a silicon valley icon and philanthropist for the past 3 decades, he helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products and influenced the popular Macintosh. For his achievements at Apple Computer, Steve as awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, Mr. Wozniak was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for “single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.”

Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, Mr. Wozniak “adopted” the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teacher with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. Mr. Wozniak founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet, and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. Mr. Wozniak’s autobiography iWoz: from Computer Get to Cult Icon, was published in 2006.


  • Michael Chasen opened the conference.
  • The goal is to improve education by leveraging technology in teaching and learning.
  • There are 1800+ in attendance with over 208 attendees at the Blackboard Developers Conference.
  • Steve road in on a segway.
  • Raw power isn’t the most important thing. Human intellect is.
  • He would build a computer and rebuild a computer trying to use fewer parts, make it better, make it faster. Need to make the most out for the least in.
  • He would read every computer book or magazine he could.
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation… Just enjoyed investigating computers.
  • Did some work in Fortran.
  • He built a television jammer out of a transistor purchased from Radio Shack. He used it in his dorm as a practical joke.
  • A friend of his had a key to the lab and used to run programs in the middle of night.
  • He did everything he could to work with computers. Also tried to do more.
  • Worked for a year and programmed a computer. He would go in at night and run programs.
  • He kept getting put down exploring and developing his own capabilities. One day he told an executive that he designed computers in high school but could never afford to build them. Then he meet Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs talked about making clay action movies in high school, he always envisioned himself doing something that makes a difference.
  • HP35 scientific calculator, the first one that replicated the slide rule. And every engineer needed one. Something like $3,000 in today’s money.
  • Steve then started working on designing calculators at HP. He was involved in dreaming up products. Bottom up driven not marketing driven.
  • When he came home from work he would work on his own projects. He started a dial a joke service in the bay area.
  • Bowling alley he went to and he say a game called Pong. And he went home and made his own game.
  • Steve Jobs didn’t go to any of the pre-reqs at college. He went do to some work at Atari. Atari wanted to by Pong from Steve. He designed a game called Breakout. He stayed up 4 days and nights and they developed the popular Breakout game.
  • Steve Jobs and him went to visit a friend to work with a teletype system of a guy that was playing chess on a computer across the country. This was ARPAnet. Steve went home and designed a system to place letters on the TV screen, he built a modem and ended up selling his teletype like system because it was smaller and cheaper than existing teletypes.
  • He used his knowledge of the calculator programming to create the interaction of the keyboard with a processor… all other computers at the time had switches that had to be set for 1’s and 0’s.
  • He gave the plans to the club. Steve Jobs came along and noticed his schematics. Then he said these people don’t have the time to use blueprints to create this… so Jobs said let’s build a board with all needed parts. Then Steve went to HP and they said they weren’t interested.
  • Newton under the Apple tree.
  • HP turned his design down 5 times.
  • First computer where you typed on a computer and you saw your words on a TV screen.
  • Apple 2 was more than anyone expected. Nobody expected graphics. Nobody expected sounds, colors.
  • They talked to Commodore and Atari turned them down.
  • He wanted to stay at HP and finally he decided to leave and they started Apple.
  • Later that year they went to the Las Vegas consumer electronic show. He worked everyday to create a floppy disk because a cassette tape was too slow.
  • Ted Wraskin was a humanist that you can design a computer to make it easy to use. The human is more important than the technology… so you don’t force the human to change their behavior.
  • Eventually he had a family and did some work with schools and computer labs… give yourself and your time to something you believe in. Main class goal… didn’t want to teach about how to build computers… but to how to apply and solve it with a computer.
  • A student should have a computer they can use at school and at home.
  • Networking was also an interest. See a server. AOL was around and the kids would start talking to others around the world.
  • Bring fun in with the work… you will appreciate the work that much more.
  • Photos and videos in the class.
  • Teachers didn’t learn quickly like the kids. The teachers were a little bit slower… he wishes he would have taught teachers more.
  • If students didn’t get a concept he would reteach it.
  • In a large class he was disappointed because he could reach 19 well but not 30. What if students could teach…
  • The more a computer seems like a human the more attracting it is to kids… it’s a friend.
  • Early Internet came… he wanted to create a Blackboard like software, he is glad to be a part of it.
  • Steve always felt the 1 to 1 is the right way to go.
  • It’s not as important WHAT you teach but that you MOTIVATE them to learn… so if using the computer is moving to a student. Motivation is more important than content.
  • Testing methodology… ask a question and the right answer is only 1 thing. It because like intelligence is agreement less than individual thinking to solve a problem.
  • Why don’t we give a problem and then asking why is this answer wrong… instead of what is right.
  • Schools have a big problem with money… too little money… Propostion 13… more taxing for better schools.

Welcome Reception and Poster Sessions
Exhibit Hall

Project ASTRO

Eric Kunnen, Grand Rapids Community College
Santo Nucifora, Seneca College

Wednesday, July 16

Wednesday was the first full day of the BbWorld conference with an opening keynote, following by an entire day of breakout sessions.

Take the Mystery out of Digital Content Management

Content Sharing, Communities

Embarking on a digital content management at your institution with the Bb Content System? Working on maximizing its adoption at your institution? Take away the mystery of how to leverage a content management solutions and learn how your colleagues have paved the way for success. Join us for a lively and informational discussion about the Bb Content System and how it can benefit faculty, students, and staff. You will leave with lots of good ideas to put into action.

Rob Bobeldyk, Calvin College
Erik Dearholt, Tulane University
Wayne Twitchell, Grinnell College


Challenges and Needs

  • Education department and the need for accreditation and eportfolios
  • Faculty using learning objects in multiple courses.
  • Downloading and modifying files in content areas.
  • ePortfolios needed to be tied to the learning system.
  • Versioning is a needed tool.
  • Access to content without email attachments.
  • Network storage and access to resources remotely and web-based.
  • Reusable and shareable content.
  • Workflows are needed.
  • Permissions can be managed by end users.
  • Mapped network drives enabled quick content updates in courses.
  • Calvin is using the ePortfolio for transcript, teacher evaluations, recommendations etc. sharing with external potential employers.
  • Collaborative learning and teaching. Enabling the ability for faculty to easily share files and content with each other.
  • Ability for faculty to upload once and update once by linking to a single instance of content.
  • WebDav – Xythos Drive is what Grinnell is using. – WebDrive is what Calvin is using.
  • Institutional content includes a folder for each department. User directories. Department/Division/Program folder. Roles can be used also for permissions from an SIS.
  • Student web space and public urls, My Website Building Block
  • Student services for special needs. Staff can place files and share them.
  • Reduce load on IT department.
  • Florida State – is using the system administratively a lot.
  • University of Cincinnati is using the BbCS ePortfolios for faculty tenure, promotion, and performance review. In addition for composition classes to assess student work in developmental writing programs.
  • Can access campus files remotely. Using the web as the network.
  • *** Tulane has a Flash Video on benefits of the Content System.
  • Archives? Library? Learning Objects? Training/Adoption for Students?

The Power of Web 2.0 Used within Blackboard Software

Innovative tools for learners, student engagement.

Stacey Campo, Poway Unified School District

Join us to explore free interactive internet tools, which are used to empower and engage learning beyond the classroom walls. Using the resources of Web 2.0 technology, the ISTE National educational Technology Standards for Student (NETS) and good teaching practices, participants will embark upon a learning journey that weaves standards, technology and the love of learning together to expand the learning process beyond the bell. You will receive a list of Web 2.0 tools that are compatible with your Bb system, as well as curriculum ideas for implementation.


  • ISTE – Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools Book
  • What is Web 2.0 – Web-based tools, interactive, social, rich navigation, unique apps, creating, connecting, potential and profound impact on Education.
  • Use (concept map) in class to capture ideas quickly, brainstorming, etc… immediately place in Bb.
  • Received a Web 2.0 Youtube clip while in the session via Twitter from @gbrand:
  • Steve Hargadon ( 1) New Publishing Revolution, 2) A tidal wave of information, 3) Everything is becoming participative, 4) The New Pro-sumers, 5) The age of the Collaborator, 6) Explosion of Innovation, 7) flatter world, 8) Social World, 9) Long Tail, and 10) Social Networking.
  • What should you do? Learn IT, Lurk in IT, Participate in IT, Digest IT, Teach IT, Talk about IT, Help Build the New Playbook.
  • Communication, Collaboration, Create
  • Here are the presenters resources: (No handouts… on purpose!)
  • PageFlakes – Public collections of feeds and widgets
  • Google Pages – Easy create web site
  • – Cartoons
  • Student Communication – Blogs via
  • Student Collaboration –,,,
  • A lot of K12 schools use messages feature in Bb because of email liability with under age kids.
  • Microsoft Photostory – Still images and music in a video clip.
  • Audacity – Audio recording tool.
  • TeacherTube – California Gold Rush was created with Photostory and it was a composition of stills and had student voice overs.
  • – Graphic tool for creating banners and graphics for Bb.
  • – Good banner creation tool for Bb.
  • Adobe Photoshop Express – editing photos.
  • Jeopardy game in PPT, “Tech Fortress Teacher Technology Blog”
  • “Web 2.0 for the Classroom Teacher”

The New Wimba Pronto – Eric Kunnen, Grand Rapids Community College

Exhibit Hall

  • Discussed how Pronto can meet the needs of educational institutions by better connecting faculty, students and staff.
  • Challenges:
    • 15,000+ students that all commute, study, have jobs , and in many cases families.
    • Tutorial lab hours are limited.
    • Scheduling conflicts occur for out of class experiences and student group activities and assignments.
    • Students cannot regularly attend face to face faculty office hours.
    • Effective and timely library support and other campus student services for students is difficult with a geographically disperse campus.
    • Student engagement and retention are top institutional concerns.
  • Opportunities:
    • Blackboard and Wimba Pronto is an effective way for faculty and students to remain in contact, collaborate, and to build online community.
    • Online tools can provide: motivation, flexible scheduling, repetition, confidence through practice, an increase on time on task outside of the classroom, individualized active learning experiences, more effective use of class time, saves time, and new capabilities such guest speakers from around the world.
  • For Faculty and Students
    • Video Conferencing
    • Application Sharing
    • Queued Chat for Tutoring and Office Hours
  • For the Campus
    • School Tab with Help Desk Functionality
    • Institutional Notifications
    • Reporting
  • Fall 2008 Rollout Planned

M-Learning: The Use of Podcasting to Enhance Online Academic Instruction

Texas Tech University
Health Sciences, School of Nursing

Innovative tools for learners, student engagement

Mobile learning through podcast technology enhances student learning experiences and shortens the miles in distance education. With the help of this innovative technology, academics bring the classroom to the student. M-learning assists educators to promote direct lines of communication through streamed audio and video-casts. Methods of podcasting, benefits, barriers, and hints of enhancing deliver across the generation gap will be shared with participants.


  • Podcasting definition – rss enabled access to digital files, on the go technology
  • 2000 Adam Curry pioneered podcasting.
  • 2003 Broadcasting
  • 2004 Podcast domain registered
  • 2005 iPod video, oxford dictionary, podcasting books
  • 2005+ growing and exploding
  • Legal implications and intellectual property, fair use, etc.
  • Microphones – built-in, 1/8 inch, USB, dynamic, condenser. (Samsung USB mic)
  • Garage Band
  • Articulate Presenter
  • Positive Elements of Podcasting: future integration – use audio/video resources again, flexibility for students and faculty, time friendly, green friendly, repeat information, enhancement, transformation, discovery learning, distant students
  • Need to consider how long a podcast runs…chunking content.
  • Visitor lectures…



  • Sat next to Michael Chasen’s father and had some good conversations of the impact of elearning in higher ed, synchronous tools, teaching, etc.
  • Discussed various projects with Szymon Machajewski around new Building Blocks that we would like to develop. From trend data and whos online like functionality via the activity accumulator as well as strategies to link Peoplesoft and Bb Gradebooks.

Keynote: Blackboard’s Next Generation

See: for a series of videos covering the direction of the next generation of learning via Blackboard.

Michael Chasen, Chief Executive Officer, Blackboard
Russ Carlson, President, North America Higher Education, Blackboard

Join Blackboard co-founder and CEO Michael Chasen and Russ Carlson, President North American Higher Education for an update on all the news from Blackboard, headlined by a live preview of Project NG, our multi-release effort to build the next generation of Bb’s teaching and learning platform. With its emphasis on an improved, Web 2.0-sinpired user experience, expanded openness, the best of Blackboard and WebCT and more student-centered tools, Project NG promises to deliver Bb’s most powerful, yet intuitive and easy to use, solution to date.


  • Approximately 1,800 clients and 400 Blackboard staff in attendance at the conference.
  • Opening video like a mac… the old Bb and Project NG.
  • [Michael Chasen]
  • Michael Chasen is on Twitter. – he will twitter while delivering the keynote.
  • Today’s Discussion
  • 1. Evolving Together
    • 2200+ attendees – 28 countries – K12/HigherEd/Corporate/Professional Education
    • How to bring a traditional course… fast forward… support the entire ed experience with technology.
    • eLearning (Academic Suite), Commerce (Commerce Suite), Communication/Connection (Bb Connect)
    • Blackboard Learn | Blackboard Transact | Blackboard Connect
    • New Mexico selected Bb to support K12 statewide
    • University of North Carolina and the NC Community College system announce statewide selection of the academic suite.
  • 2. The Client Experience
    • [Russ Carlson]
    • Advancing e-education initiatives and strategy.
    • Dr. Joel Hartman at UCF – 10 years of assessment data and the impact of student success, satisfaction, faculty and student… need less classroom.
    • Dr. Jon Mott at BYU – Mature deployment, large courses and faculty using Bb, assessment engine used for realtime comprehension and maximize classroom time.
    • Chris Folkerson at ELON – Online courses throughout the summer at-a-distance for student retention, success, less housing needed.
    • SENA – Government of Columbia – Workforce training is delivered through more than 1,000 municipalities with learning labs with satellite.
    • Better Support – Tire 1 support, well trained, tenured support staff, Southerland Global Services. Tire 2 team
    • Expanded Hosting Infrastructure
    • Proactive Client Success Services – AP2 Upgrade Team, Back to School Program, BIE
    • More Community Engagement – CommunityLINK 3,500 global institutions to help clients find each other through profiles.
  • 3. Project NG
    • Another neat apple type video… with the OLD vs new Bb. See:
    • [Michael Chasen]
    • Web 2.0 – Engaging User Experience,
    • Best of Both WebCT and Bb
    • Open Platform
    • Multiyear, multirelease effort. Release 8 Grade Center, SafeAssign, Bb Scholar
    • Release 9 will be the first combined codebase.
    • Blackboard X
    • NG
    • Institutional portal page, prospective students, drag and drop modules, alumni, fully customizable.
    • Bb Themes, Bb classic, Bb Vista, etc.
    • Add modules and tools or even external modules like facebook, other rss feeds.
    • Courses Tab – Dashboard view of all courses, tasks, announcements, calendar, what’s new, aggregated view, subtabs (courses homepage, instructor dashboard, student dashboard).
    • Opened up APIs for Sakai, Moodle so you don’t have to have separate username passwords or whatever backend system that powers their courses… the APIs allow a central access point.
    • Instructor Dashboard – What’s New (discussions, announcements, etc.), Needs Attention (ungraded assignments), Alerts (past due, late homework) – email or sms alerts.
    • Student Dashboard – What’s New, To Do.
    • Course – Welcome to your Course (first time welcome message wizard, tools, buttons, links, textbook content (pre-filled content)
    • Course Homepage – Announcements, course updates, course menu, discussion activity, instructor area = control panel, my groups/student study groups, folders, items, lesson plan, materials, self and peer assessment, video, “edit mode/read mode”, Build/Assess/Communicate/Mashup (YouTube, Digg, Kadoo, TeacherTube, Flickr) and Discover Content(resusable objects via Content System).
    • Items have dropdowns… for quick editing, rubrics, adaptive release, standards can be linked to (Bb will ship with all the state standards and/or add your own standards, teachers can add their own standards and get reports from the system)
    • Quick change of content and course themes (Bb classic, NG, brushed metal, K12, and custom)
    • Drag and drop menu and content items. But the application is still accessible for Section 508.
    • Blogs – Project NG create course level, groups can have blogs, and users can have personal blogs, subscribe to blogs.
    • Journals – One to one dialog and reflection, can exist outside of the course. These tools could be run in Sakai, Moodle.
    • Groups – Dedicated spaces for students, which include group project workflows.
    • Instructor area / control panel – drag and drop reorder, 20 question types, insert visual elements (section breaks, etc.). Evaluation section includes the new Grade Center, “Switch Grade Center” button.
    • Built-in plagiarism detection.
    • K12 lesson plans include standards, lesson time, activities (pre-populated content according to the lesson), assessment procedures, resources and they can be shared between teachers or across the institution.
    • 15 languages are built-in, with a Language Pack Editor
    • Community – social learning spaces (students can create their own groups), Facebook, Merlot.
    • Content – share files, collaborate, virtual hard drive, versions, comments, workflow, institution content area, library rules or policies to manage copyright, double down arrow for quick actions.
    • Portfolio – best of both portfolios, comments, artifacts, reflections, sharing, link to assignments.
    • Outcomes – institutional level assessment, plan/measure/improve at all levels of the institution, survey is deployed from the course but it is viewable by system wide.
    • Scholar – faculty and student connect over resources.
    • Bb Connect – outreach, survey, emergency messaging, target messaging via map or other parameters. [This was sent live to all participants.]
    • Transact – student ID card, students can within a single login, commerce online, balance.
    • Admin – drag and drop modules, eduGarage direct links, behind the blackboard.
    • My Places – quick link to courses.
    • Sync – allowing students to access notifications, alerts, and updates in Facebook. Keeping students informed and engaged.
    • Bb for iPhone – Under development a custom view of Bb courses.
    • Bb for Cell Phones – SMS and other technologies for cell phones will include crisis messaging
    • Bb for MyYahoo – updates inside of Yahoo.
    • Bb for iGoogle – updates inside of Google.
    • Another video…old and new Bb and Sakai and Moodle “friends”.
  • 4. Final Thoughts

Camtasia vs Captivate Smackdown

Patrick Crispen, California State Unversity Long Beach.

  • Bb LS, CS, Community – 9,700 courses per semester, 37,000 users.
  • Presentation available at:

Thursday, July 17

Thursday was the last day of the conference with an entire day of breakout sessions, followed by a closing client appreciation party.

Keynote: Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami


  • We are all fellow revolutionaries, everyone that is working with Bb is on the cutting edge, we are shaping the university of the future, we are not sure how the journey will turn out
  • Now and in the future we (technologists) have a lot to do with the quality of the education
  • Lead and transform institutions that are not rationale
  • Universities are very complex to lead since there are not as hierarchical
  • Higher ed leadership is not for control freaks
  • Tug boat captains… pulling the huge institution along
  • Harvard dean quoted – changing the curriculum is like moving a cemetary…
  • U of Miami, Bb have been partners since 2000.
  • Donna uses Blackboard as a faculty member. She is using chat rooms, podcastings, discussions, and blogs.
  • Donna uses Bb to transform the class into a “living” document and resource. She doesn’t give student hard copies of course information, syllabi, etc. The students realize that the syllabus may change and it is dynamic.
  • The course is interactive… they are not required to come to class but they never miss a class.
  • Students can be up-to-date easily.
  • Bb allows us to improve the student centered learning goal. Bb allows colleges to be student-centered.
  • Donna has students ask questions online through discussions create a more rich and collaborative face to face sessions.
  • Assessment is a big challenge in higher ed.
  • In higher ed, what we are doing is critical to the country… we need to be creative and willing to change.
  • We need to be on the cutting edge in shaping our institutions, we are challenged to prepare students for their 3rd job, not their first job. Ensuring students can learn to change, adapt, and learn.
  • The test of a great education is whether or not they are prepared for their 3rd job, ability read/write well, adapt, change, work with technology.
  • We are 3 to 5 years away from massive technology adoption.
  • Integration of social networking into educational products.
  • What the students do with each other through blog assignments by correcting each other and make fine tuned adjustments… sort of like a coach. A coach doesn’t worry about the semester, they each day, make small adjustments.
  • The student experience is going to be increasingly team based.
  • Donna’s students send me emails in the middle of the night, I send them back in the middle of the night and the students are shocked.
  • Donna’s central interest in the classroom, and that will be improved with social networking.
  • Institutions will shape the views of themselves using YouTube, MySpace, Facebook. Yale University is an example. This is where students are. Blackboard is integral in helping us get there… to a student centered campus.
  • We are all content producers and publishers.
  • We need more leaders and administrators at institutions IN the classroom, teaching.
  • Hybrid looks likely as the classroom of the future, with the transformation being online resources and connection through Blackboard along with effective face to face professors, lectures, and interactions.
  • Donna says K12 needs to prepare kids for higher ed by using more technology in teaching, interaction, and learning.
  • Using Bb is more than just throwing up your syllabus… as opposed to seeing it as an opportunity to create and interactive and collaborative course.
  • Donna has an iPhone… and is interested in all new technologies. A president’s got to have the gadgets, tools, and technologies that provide modeling, extend leaderrship, connect with students, etc.

iTunes U and Blackboard

University of South Carolina

The team at USC is implementing iTunes U authentication with an established implementation of the Bb LS. This session will showcase integration and offer several possible scenarios that include internal coding solutions and vendor-based or collaborative Building Blocks. Public viewing and private login concerns also will be addressed.


  • USC Podcasting past included a series of web sites without categories.
  • iTunes could offload content and bandwidth from campus.
  • Private and public views of content.
  • Mac use has doubled on campus.
  • Usage reports from iTunes U
  • Access requires iTunes client, however, an iPod is not required.
  • Building Block from Vanderbilt is being used by USC.
  • Credentials – Admin and Instructor (details in PPT)

Exhibit Hall

Client Appreciation Party


About ekunnen
Eric has a passion for, works to lead, support, and coordinate effective uses of technology in teaching and learning. He is an Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan. His primary role focuses on collaborating and supporting distance learning initiatives at the university while exploring future trends in emerging technologies in teaching and learning. He also collaborates to research and support academic technologies used in the classroom and in eLearning. Previously, Eric was the Emerging Technologies Coordinator at GVSU and a Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eric has a background in teaching Computer Science and Biology at the secondary level and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. I'm on mission to advance teaching and learning through the integration of emerging and innovative instructional technologies... More

14 Responses to BbWorld’08 – Notes and Highlights from the Conference

  1. ez says:

    Nice post. I just glanced through it. Maybe I can really read it later.

  2. Jon Mott says:


    You’re the man. With a summary like this, I didn’t even really need to go. Seriously though, your notes cover a lot of the territory I missed. (Like you said, too much to take in in a few days.) Thanks!


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