BbWorld09 – Blackboard Corporate Keynote

Blackboard Corporate Keynote
BbWorld ’09
7/14/2009 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Maryland Ballroom A-D


Michael L. Chasen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Blackboard
Ray Henderson, President, Blackboard Learn, Blackboard


  • Michael Chasen – President, CEO
  • Ray Henderson – President of Blackboard Learn
  • Jessica Finnefrock – VP Product Development
    • Video – Blackboard Video “That was a Miracle” (Phil Chatterton “NG” and John Fontaine “Old Bb”)
    • Bb needs to be more transparent, more engaged… We need to over communicate to our clients.
    • Twitter, Facebook, Bb Blog, Email Summary, Press Release, Geocities, Ray’s Blog
    • 1,600 clients and 17 countries, 45 states, 200 partner attendee across 48 companies.
    • Today’s Discussion
      • The Next Phase of Project NG
        • “The Influence of Tribes” – Seth Godin
        • The people in the room… help to focus = BIE / CSC / Bb Clients / WebCT Clients / Angel Learning / IMS / Partners / Client Community + Student Tribe = All come together.
        • Long term strategy for NG = Universal access to Education (federal government funds to build open education resources) under a Common Architecture and code base (easy sharing of content), Ability to Measure Educational Results (common data set – sharing and benchmarking with other institutions), Utilizing mobile social technologies as a key part of education process.
        • Need to highly personalize and customize the learning experience, ability to handle more interactive content, support true K20 teaching and learning, Improve teacher efficiency and flexibility.
        • Product Demo – Bb NG, entire product is CSS enabled for customized approaches and custom login environments. Customize and add modules and drag and drop modules. Course tab has everything going on in all of your courses… tasks, announcements, courses, what’s new, grades, content collection from the courses tab. You can now plug in Sakai, Angel, Moodle, WebCT, and Bb courses into the course window using Bb NG.
        • Product Demo – Courses include home page with updates, activity, at a glance views, in content areas you can include quick ways of editing content, you can add: audio/video/url and mashups such as YouTube/Slideshare/NBC Content. NBC is a new partnership that offers a library of historic videos and multimedia content. You can create playlists and embed players offered through NBC. iTunes U content can be easily access through Vanderbuilt’s Building Block. Record your own video with the echo360 (through a new partnership) up to 25 podiums/classrooms to be included with Bb 9.1. Building Block that allows a students to access course content on their Kindle. New partnership with Wimba (instant messaging) to be included also with Bb 9.1. Wikis will be included also within Bb 9.1 as built-in with grading. Grading can include new Rubric functionality.
        • Product Demo – What’s New, Needs Attention, etc. now announcing a new parent dashboard. Lesson plan is a new tool for K12. Adding the ability to align to state standards, folder of content a lesson plan or an assessment question. Teacher can see all the standards available and link activities. Learning modules bring about the best of Bb and WebCT and these can be used for sequence and structure content and the display of the content. Helping faculty managing course content using the File Manager including drag and drop of content into a course. This will also be part of 9.1. New content type for textbook including the ISBN number integration. System admin has a way of running a report on the system to see which texts are required on the campus.
        • Product Demo – Acxiom provides identification workflow. A limited number of transactions will be included for no additional charge.
      • Video – John and Phil “K12”
      • 50 Days at Bb
        • Ray Henderson – role is to operationalize the vision that was just presented.
        • From Kansas, spent time as a: learner, teacher, textbook publisher, educational technologist.
        • Telenet was a correspondence course that included a conference call. The technology has come… but this worked.
        • Textbook publisher allowed him to focus on the combination of content and assessment in regard to better empower learning.
        • The Internet age came and worked at eCollege and also at Angel Learning. In that role, observer of Blackboard, and worked at Pearson. A customer and partner of Blackboard and now manages that group.
        • Client support, transparency, openness, innovation.
        • Client support = Ticket resolution time. 58% took 90 days or longer to close them out… now 16% of the tickets take that long. Still more work to do. Problem isn’t solved by more body’s… it’s about holistic view of the system. Angel was a brand built on customer support… there will still mistakes, but we learned that process for product support is very important.
        • Transparency = Blogging, twitter… we can’t over communicate. A hunger to hear more about decision making, our view on the important decisions of the day. Social media invites engagement. It all about a willingness to engage.
        • Openness = From participation to leadership in the openness space. Opening the database in NG. Just like the learning content you bring in… the interaction of your users is also extremely valuable. You need a view of that information. We need to give you the control.
        • Product Innovation = Fundamentals need to be done right, but we also have a lot of work to do to to bring about new capabilities. We need to maintain progress. Section 508 compliance.. NG is the most significant step here with CSS.
        • Bb Learn Report Card = user experience, support resolution, open standards, other metrics… we will hold ourselves accountable.
        • Help Me: Plan your path to NG. NG is the most scalable and robust but we need your participation.
      • Video – John and Phil “Full Schema”
      • MobilEdu
        • Progress toward next generation teaching and learning platform.
        • Influence of tribes and students for example. iPhone technology in and out of the classroom. Blackboard has acquired “Terribly Clever” that were responsible for development Stanford and Duke iPhone apps. This technology will be brought to our clients and this Bb iPhone and mobile development team will be included.
        • Goal is to bring services at institutions to the mobile device. Maps, Directories, Bills, Courses, Athletics, Events.
        • Demo = Mobile solution for web enabled devices. iStanford demo… Services are all in place. Search for campus directory. Maps including search… drops a pin and you can click arrow for more info and a photo, and plots your current location, etc. Course Catalog allows to search for courses and registration information about the class… location and when it meets and integrates with the map. Athletics application for checking on sports and news. Video application for YouTube for lectures, etc. News application allows an aggregation of several feeds. 45,000 downloads and 60,000 downloads for Duke and Stanford. This platform can shine in the classroom… courses updates on mobile via course map and dashboard with integration to Bb Sync. So much more potential and MobilEdu will power it.
      • Video – Phil and John “Mobile Technologies”
      • Final Thoughts
        • More in MobilEdu
        • Bb 9
        • Listening Session
        • Voice of the Students
        • Thank you to sponsors.
        • Thank you to you!
      • Video (Carol, John, Dan, Ray, Phil) “Openness”

BbWorld09 – Seth Godin Keynote

BbWorld’09 – Seth Godin Keynote

BbWorld’09 Conference Web Site
Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center

Keynote Speaker: Sir Ken Robinson, Noted Author and Recognized Leader in the Development of Creativity and Innovative Education UPDATE:  Seth Godin was asked to fill in for Sir Ken Robinson since he was unable to attend the event.

7/14/2009 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Maryland Ballroom A-D

My notes from the session:

Sir Ken Robinson was unable to be at this event and Seth Godin delivered the keynote instead.

Michael Chasen – Opening

  • President and CEO of Blackboard
  • Welcome ANGEL clients to the Bb community.
  • Strongest program yet on how we can implement strategies to better support teachers and learners at all levels. Along the way we will be listening as well.
  • Opening Seth Godin keynote. Author.
    • People is this room are transforming the institution of education.
    • How does change spread?
    • Joel Spolski – Filecreek – Building and leading a “tribe”, building community through blogging, leading.
    • Acumen Fund – 80 Million dollars, helping build businesses geared to helping the poorest.
    • Where to? What’s Next for Education?
      • 1920’s Henry Ford – Developed a system to take a worker and have them follow “orders”.
      • Public education was “invented” to work in a factory, and to buy a lot of stuff.
      • NBC to sell to consumers.
      • Mass advertising and mass marketing this followed into schools.
      • More and more and more information in school and finally they will get it.
      • It’s been around for so long… we thing it is the only way.
      • There is an opportunity to change the world. The marketplace is demanding that institutions step up because we need something different now.
      • Compliance doesn’t work to create value.
      • The giant shift is to look at what you do really differently.
      • Tribal behavior is the leverage tool or weapon to transform the teachers, administrators, and students.
      • Groups of people aligned by a common culture.
      • Religious tribe, work tribe, and community tribe… and academy or school tribe.
      • NOW… We have all sort of tribes… red hat ladies, etc.
      • There is power in tribes… audience claps without being told how to clap… we are wired for pulse and rhythm – like being in sync.
      • People look around all the time to see what other members of the tribe are doing. Once you understand what people are doing you can use that for transformation. People are looking for leaders, for models, for something to follow.
      • Outdoor competitive, extreme ironing… ?
      • Roller derby… bringing back – because of the sense of connection because of community.
      • The world of sports… why exactly to people go out of their way for sports… reason is very simple, basic human need is to be part of something. It’s who they are, it connects to their heritage, to who they are.
      • Pirates – Key part… insiders or outsiders. Your job to get adoption is not to assemble a crowd, it’s about how do I create insiders, and assemble a group of people that want to make change.
      • “Tribes Matter = Bigger than word of mouth”.
      • Join the group of 100… people wanted to be in the group.
      • Assemble people so that they can do something bigger than you.
      • Leverage happens with the tribe… are you in? or out?
      • Pianoworld… 1 millionth post… you are either in or out.
      • Mitch Matthews – VP at Microsoft. 6,000 people came to the conference… the people at the conference where all the same, they talked the same, dressed the same even though they never met.
      • Gary Vanerchuk – Selling wine – “Decide to lead” is the big idea.
      • Dynamics – Understanding Tribes
      • Factories are dead… the model is falling apart.
      • What works is the network, authority, movement, connecting with people.
      • Garr Reynolds – Author of Presentation Zen. How do to better Powerpoints… one of 25 best selling books. How did he do that. One person at a time through a blog.
      • Become an insider… if there is movement.
      • Who you decide to let into the tribe… people want to follow people they have chosen.
      • One solution is to make your tribe tighter… more exclusive.
      • Another is to make your tribe bigger… “Oprah”
      • You have to think hard as you create the change… you can’t order people to follow you… who is going to choose you?
      • “What you do for a living is make change.”
      • Making change is now called Tribal Leadership.
      • Your job is to make change so that education can catch up and that real learning can occur.
      • Create a movement of a connection of people.
      • You don’t need everyone… you need the right people and the committed and then you grow.
      • How what are the tactics… I don’t have one.
      • Low tech or high tech… doesn’t matter if you have charisma. Gates / Jobs… they run computer tribes.
      • We are the first generation of positive deviants – people who figure out how to do something better – your job is to fine each other.
      • Amplify people that are doing the right thing or doing something better!!! Who are the people that are doing it right… give them a platform, elevate them, give them an audience.
      • You’ve been brainwashed to think you need to convert everyone… you don’t you just need a few people that care so much that they will spread the word.
      • Kindle, the 300 replacement for a 13 dollar paperback book. It’s missing social tools… which could have been a way to make it easier for others to buy one, creating a way to connect people with each other.
      • We need to connect people and not isolate them… so that people can help each other.
      • None of this happens without critics.
      • People are waiting for joining in on something.
      • Create a new tribe that wouldn’t have happened at all.
      • You don’t have to invent… just show up to lead.
      • Opportunity you have – we are waiting for you to show up and lead us.
      • No one wants mediocre… you can pick and select your tribe or open it up.
      • No one follows a boring tribe.
      • Every successful tribe has been run by a heretic… push against the rules of the day. I’m not a sheep and follow… I’m someone stands up against all odds. Go to the edges. Chose to not compromise.
      • Robin Waters – Transformed Target from Kmart want to be to Target’. She had to persevere.
      • The risk is you try something but don’t stay committed. What every institution needs is a unicorn – it’s not about following every since rule.. Your job is not to find 100 reasons to say NO. Your job is to find the big YES, yes we can do that, yes we can try that, yes we can move that way.
      • What you have to sell is something to believe in, not a technical solution.
      • Opportunity to dramatically transform that most valuable industry we got – education.
      • You don’t have to be famous… change the world one kid at a time. Take people to a new place.
      • Leadership = Marketing… You can lead.
      • Marketing by memo, by flyers, by tv ad, by radio… is fundamentally broken. Where marketing is today is leadership… look at consumer brands that have grown… have grown by leading.
      1. Challenge the status quo
      2. Create a culture that stands for something. Connection.. am I inside or out.
      3. Create curiosity what works – what doesn’t – why that person can’t get it – understanding.
      4. Charisma you need, leading makes charisma.. charisma doesn’t make you a leader. Chose to lead.\
      5. Leaders Communicate
      6. Connect people need to connect, commit, feel part of something, not left out, we all want to matter. What we do is not about us, but about the people and giving people the tools they need to make a difference. You have to connect them, create meaning for them, create a difference for them in their lives, they need to feel noticed, they need to matter, they need to feel missed.
      • You don’t need more tools, you need to decide… you need to be inspired to be inspiring and to find something for people to follow you.
      • “4v2” – are we doing this FOR the people you win if you do it TO the people you lose.
      • The obligation – it’s up to you. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth leading. You need to create a movement, you need to lead us!
    • Michael Chasen
      • Great take aways.. thanks for the powerful presentation.
      • Exhibit hall is next!

Taking a plug from the keynote… to get connected and part of the Blackboard tribe 🙂 here are a just a few of the sites with the latest and greatest conference updates!

BbWorld’09 – See you there?

This year’s conference will be near Blackboard’s headquarters in Washington, DC.


See you there? Here are some early conference resources that were recently emailed out by Blackboard:

Blackboard Connections

The conversations have already started at Blackboard ConnectionsTM, your central hub for virtual BbWorld communication. Check out our BbWorld ‘09 Discussion Group; then login to join the conversation:

  • Give us your thoughts on Birds of a Feather topics
  • Find like-minded colleagues and arrange to meet at the conference during our “Meet-Up Time”
  • Get first-time attendee tips
  • Post your own tips for attendees

Check it out now!  If you have a Behind the Blackboard® or EduGarageTM username, use it to login. If you don’t have a login, just sign up for a Blackboard Passport account and get started.


Stay connected in real-time before and during the event! We encourage you to tweet and follow other attendees by using the #BbWorld09 hash tag.


Check out photos from last year (#BbWorld) and post your own at Flickr by tagging them with #BbWorld09.

These are just a few of the ways you can connect before, during and after BbWorld.  More virtual conference elements are being planned – from session materials and speaker insights to webinars and captured sessions.