BbWorld12 Conference Highlights & Summary

Cheryl Kautz (Computer Applications Professor), Meegan Willi (DLIT Instructional Designer/Technologist), and Eric Kunnen (Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies) had the opportunity to attend the 14th national BbWorld 2012 conference that was held at the convention center last week in New Orleans. (See also the blog post and recap of “GRCC at BbWorld12” for the highlights and notes from Cheryl, Meegan, and Eric.)

BbWorld’12 offered a wide array of over 175 client-led sessions at this event that covered topics from teaching to the system administration of Blackboard.  The focus tracks this year included: digital content, social learning, analytics, and mobility.  Keynote sessions were delivered by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Sal Khan, creator of the Khan Academy.  There was also a Blackboard keynote by Michael Chasen, President and CEO and Ray Henderson, CTO and President of Academic Platforms.

BbWorld12 was the largest Blackboard conference to date with over 3,500 attendees from over 1000 institutions and over 280 Bb partners.  This event was a huge success and provided the outstanding opportunity to:

  • Connect with other Blackboard users and colleges from around the world.
  • Network with peers who share in building, expanding, enhancing and improving the use of Bb in teaching and learning.
  • Discover best practices and emerging technologies and teaching techniques.
  • Explore and identify new products and services that can advance the services we provide at the college.
  • Engage and participate in informal discussions and panel sessions around key themes and topics impacting education.
  • Hear inspiring keynotes from thought leaders on the intersection of technology and education.
  • Learn from innovative speakers that approach the next generation of teaching and learning with technology.

The top highlights from the BbWorld conference included:

  • Keynote by Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County on “Innovation in Higher Education: Leadership and the Role of Technology

    The university’s president started out with a simple statement: “Education is becoming something you can get anytime/anywhere… Things are a changing…”.  President Hrabowski’s engaging keynote was inspiring and provided goals that all educators and institutions can aspire to.  We need to focus on “Academic Innovation” which allows education to becoming much better than we are currently.  Rather than focus on the notion of “access” – we need to focus on access AND success in the same sentence.  Online learning and hybrid courses can lead to better results than face to face courses and

    “We must believe that we can make a difference in the world.  America is great and can be greater than ever before.”

  • Keynote by Michael Chasen (President and CEO of Bb), Ray Henderson (CTO and President of Academic Platforms) on: “Blackboard Corporate Keynote

    This session opened with a thought provoking video of “The Voice of the Active Learner“.  Also highlighted was Blackboard’s innovative vision, a focus on the fundamentals, and several new services and a mobile showcase.

    Bb announced “Projectxp” which will bring several new innovations that include a new: discussion board, calendar, and an exciting new way to share learning content within the institution and beyond through “xpLor” which is a new learning object repository coming later this year.

    Support was also discussion with 89% of tickets resolved within 1 day and an 8X improvement in extensive product testing.  Client satisfaction is at an all time high and Bb is committed to quality at all levels of the platform.

    In addition to “xpLor” mentioned above, new features include: improved item analysis for assessments, new interface with easy global navigation, new enterprise survey tool included at no charge, improved text messaging support also included, enhanced 2 way SMS text messaging for Bb Connect, a brand new Analytics platform for reporting and student insights from courses, the live Bb Collaborate tool now has integration with the gradebook and mobile features, and finally, a brand new “Social Learning” system is coming the provides enhanced profiles, student social spaces, profiles, activity streams and more!  Blackboard also announced that students can now purchase Bb Mobile Learn on iOS and Android devices for $1.99 for a yearly subscription and $5.99 for unlimited use.

    Additional notes are available here: “Blackboard Corporate Keynote“.

  • Keynote by Sal Khan founder of Khan Academy on: “Rethinking Education

    Sal’s session was very inspiring and the mission of the Khan Academy is: “A free, world-class education for anyone anywhere”.

    He shared stories of how technology is benefiting students from around the world and how it can significantly increase student – to – teacher ratio time by shifting some of the lecture content from classroom time to homework aka “Flipped Classroom” model.  In this model (in use by several GRCC faculty) instructors can spend most of their time on interventions with students, working individually with them, group activities, and hands-on learning in the classroom.

  • Day 1 Recap Video
  • Day 2 Recap Video
  • Day 3 Recap Video
  • Voice of the Active Student Video
  • BbWorld12 Session Presentations are available (74 to date) on Blackboard’s Slideshare account.

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

2 Responses to BbWorld12 Conference Highlights & Summary

  1. Pingback: GRCC at BbWorld12 « GRCC BbWorld Conference Blog

  2. Pingback: GRCC Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Leads Engagement at Blackboard 2012 World Conference « GRCC Today

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