Search

eLearning Frenzy

eLearning is like a sewer, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.

Tag

BbWorld

When you Pack Your Bags for BbWorld18…

When we think of thought-leading eLearning conferences that we attend like Blackboard World, we often think of them in terms of things we will come back with. There is good reason for this, as there are so many takeaways that a conference like Blackboard World provides. For the purposes of this blog post however, we will be focusing on what we should bring with us to Blackboard World 2018.

So when you pack your bags for BbWorld….

…..Pack a way to share what you learn:

For every oSharing Gadgetsne of us who are fortunate enough to attend this tremendous eLearning event, there are many, many more of us who cannot be at BbWorld. Since we all know that “sharing is caring,” bring a way to share what you’ve learned with your coworkers back home and your colleagues across the world. Whether you are live tweeting by phone or mobile device, live-blogging from your tablet or laptop, or maybe just taking notes to present, blog, or post later, you will be helping your coworkers at home and your peers across academia benefit from what you are picking up from colleagues, professionals and thought leaders.  Remember the hashtag: #BbWorld18

…..Pack a charger (Mobile or otherwise):

Portable ChargerIf indeed you are sharing your experience, or just trying to stay in touch with events back at home, you will definitely need a charger. I would suggest bringing one of the mobile chargers that you can keep in your pocket/purse/backpack. During the hectic schedule, you may not get a chance to go back to your room, and you may not find an open plug where you can “juice-up”. *As an addendum to this packing tip, bringing a small power strip is also beneficial as you can share one plug with a number of your peers.

…..Pack a desire to meet people and make connections:

Make ConnectionsPossibly the biggest benefit to being at Blackboard World is the ability to meet your peers and form connections that you will maintain and use throughout your professional career. At your home institution you may be the only person who does what you do, but at Blackboard World you are a small fish in a big pond. There will literally be hundreds of people with your same type of job. What better way to pick up best practices and learn what is working and not working for your colleagues, so that you aren’t stumbling around on your own when it comes to your learning management system or eLearning in general.

…..Pack some tennis shoes or at least comfy dress shoes:

ShoesBbWorld has possibly the largest population of slacks/skirts and Nikes in the eLearning universe. For a conference this large, you may be walking a quarter of a mile just to get to your next session. You also have vendors to see and colleagues to touch base with, so comfortable footwear is a must. Some of you may even spend time at Hogwarts working on your patronus, so you will most assuredly  need shoes for your journey!

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Advertisements

When you Pack your Bags for Blackboard World 2015

bbworld15When we think of thought leading eLearning conferences that we attend like Blackboard World, we often think of them in terms of things we will come back with. There is good reason for this, as there are so many takeaways that a conference like Blackboard World provides. For the purposes of this blog post however, we will be focusing on what we should bring with us to Blackboard World 2015.

So when you pack your bags for BbWorld….

…..Pack a way to share what you learn:

For every oSharing Gadgetsne of us who are fortunate enough to attend this tremendous eLearning event, there are many, many more of us who cannot be at BbWorld. Since we all know that “sharing is caring,” bring a way to share what you’ve learned with your coworkers back home and your colleagues across the world. Whether you are live tweeting by phone or mobile device, live-blogging from your tablet or laptop, or maybe just taking notes to present, blog, or post later, you will be helping your coworkers at home and your peers across academia benefit from what you are picking up from colleagues, professionals and thought leaders.

…..Pack a charger (Mobile or otherwise):

Portable ChargerIf indeed you are sharing your experience, or just trying to stay in touch with events back at home, you will definitely need a charger. I would suggest bringing one of the mobile chargers that you can keep in your pocket/purse/backpack. During the hectic schedule, you may not get a chance to go back to your room, and you may not find an open plug where you can “juice-up”. *As an addendum to this packing tip, bringing a small power strip is also beneficial as you can share one plug with a number of your peers.

…..Pack a desire to meet people and make connections:

Make ConnectionsPossibly the biggest benefit to being at Blackboard World is the ability to meet your peers and form connections that you will maintain and use throughout your professional career. At your home institution you may be the only person who does what you do, but at Blackboard World you are a small fish in a big pond. There will literally be hundreds of people with your same type of job. What better way to pick up best practices and learn what is working and not working for your colleagues, so that you aren’t stumbling around on your own when it comes to your learning management system or eLearning in general.

…..Pack some tennis shoes or at least comfy dress shoes:

ShoesBbWorld has possibly the largest population of slacks/skirts and Nikes in the eLearning universe. For a conference this large, you may be walking a quarter of a mile just to get to your next session. You also have vendors to see and colleagues to touch base with, so comfortable footwear is a must. Some of you may spend the evening at the Washington Mall area. Let me speak from experience, walking the Mall in DC can cause blisters in the wrong shoes!

…..Pack a Presentation!

PresentationBe a Blackboard World Presenter! The Call for Proposals is open until April 15. Share your successes, obstacles and experiences on a multitude of topics. The backbone of BbWorld are presentations by those of us in the trenches who work with faculty, students, deans, directors and Blackboard to make eLearning possible. Take the plunge and submit your proposal to present today!

There are probably many other things you can think of packing, so don’t limit yourself to just this list (checked bag fees not-withstanding). I know I look forward to seeing what my colleagues are bringing to BbWorld15 this summer!

 

 

Blackboard will want me to be a BbWorld VIP blogger

Please accept this ‘Ode To BbWorld 2013’ as my humble submission.

Ode to Bb WorldAn Ode to BbWorld 2013

There once was a blogger of eLearning

who had a Technologically specific yearning.

To Vegas he’d go, not just for show,

but for BbWorld VIP Blogger status he was burning.

The Blogger heard that Sugata Mitra would be there,

Mitra’s thoughts on expanding EDU access he’d share.

He would blog them all down, and Tweet them around,

for once, what happened in Vegas wouldn’t stay there.

The knowledge acquired on these five days,

for Tips, Tricks & trends to the mainstays.

They would benefit all, because come the fall,

will be a bevy of BbWorld-influenced #bestpracticemondays!

Why I want to be a VIP BbWorld Blogger

CommunitySo if you’re reading this, you may be asking yourself “Why does this guy want to be a VIP BbWorld Blogger?”  This could be because you honestly want to know, or you just may be reading the title of my Blog post out loud. Regardless of why you are asking yourself that question (or just reading), I’ll tell you in one word… Community.

My name is Jacob Spradlin, I am the Assistant Director of Training and Development for the department that handles Distance Education at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville Texas.  I hold a Master’s in Instructional Technology and have over 15 years experience in the field.  I have worked with Blackboard in one form or another since 2000.   My current job involves online course development as well as training for faculty here at SHSU.

For a long time, (I believe that 1 eLearning year is like 7 regular years) I have been interested in building community on my campus when it comes to eLearning.  I started our first local Blackboard users group back in the early double oughts and learned first-hand how powerful it was to put people together so they can learn from each other.  Getting 2 English faculty in same room or even cross-pollinating the disciplines lead to wonderful discussions and discoveries.

After a while longer in the game I’ve come to the determination that their are four major communities at work in eLearning:

  • Learning Communities
  • Support Communities
  • Social Communities
  • Communities of Practice

Your Learning Community is the obvious choice in that you try to make your course(s) a community of learning.  You might think of it as the “Guide on the Side on Steroids”, where your students with equal parts professor interaction, feedback and prompting; interact with each other, reflect and build upon the knowledge and skills that they are learning.

The Support Community is now almost the gold standard for eLearning, where you use the Tool to support the tool.  Whether it is a Faculty Resource course or a Student Orientation course, you leverage the technology so that they practice using it to find the answers they need.  Our most recent accomplishment at my institution is the beginnings of an Online Certification process where the faculty use the online tools to learn and become certified to teach online.

Social (insert concept here) seems to be the buzzword these days.  It is easy to say I don’t want my course to be like Facebook or Twitter, but is is harder to ask yourself “how are my students communicating?” or “where are they living digitally?”. A Social Community gives your students a sense of home away from home and for online students it creates a connection with the university that helps fight off the “I’m just a lonely student taking courses on the Internet” syndrome.

Communities of Practice have found a home in the eLearning spectrum.  Departments, divisions and other constituencies share professional learning, documentation and knowledge base resources by using this vehicle.  Content Repositories are tremendous assets for these communities.

So, “Is he going to get around to why he wants to be a VIP BbWorld blogger?”  Don’t worry I am, I just wanted to provide some context.

What better community to interact and learn from than the BbWorld community? What better event to foster innovation, creative design and fundamentally shifting the way we communicate than BbWorld 2012? Hundreds of sessions will taking place that will expand our community of support. Thousands of people will attend who will grow our social community.  Ideas, resources and conversations will take place that will add to our community of practice.  This event encompasses exponentially one of the largest learning communities in the world. So instead of asking why I would want to be there, it might be better to ask why I wouldn’t want to be there?!

Not only will i be recording for posterity my observations of a awesome event, I will also be communicating to my eLearning communities and reflecting my experience so that others can take part.

So here i am begging the eLearning gods to, tearing my educational sack cloth, wailing and gnashing my teeth…Please let me be a VIP BbWorld Blogger this year so that I can communicate about the community that I love so much!

Sincerely,

Jacob Spradlin

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑