Friday, May 4, 2012

Why I want to be a VIP BbWorld Blogger.

I absolutely cannot decide how tongue-in-cheek to make this blog entry (see reason #3), but I am always up for a challenge, so let's do this.

Top Ten Reasons I want to be a BBWorld Blogger- An Exercise is Selling Out for a Purpose

Ego: I love writing about tools that can be used in the classroom (heck, I even have Klout and Kred in tools and educational technology, so you know - kind of a big deal). Since Blackboard now owns like 90% of the LMS market through acquisitions, this is the place to be. I can speak to the efforts that Blackboard is making in being crossplatform, promoting student empowerment, reaching out to the open source community (go MoodleRooms!), etc.

One Desk - Three OS. Let's do this.
Cross-Platform: Brebeuf Jesuit is a 1:1 Bring Your Own Technology school that supports 5 different operating systems: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Chromium. I will be carrying a minimum of three of those operating systems with me (ok, @40ishoracle is carrying iOS - don't get me started). If you want a full analysis on cloud tools and how it works cross-platform, I am the blogger that you want reviewing you. #byotchat will be watching :)

Competition: The @40ishoracle got her trip paid for since she was the one officially asked to present and I feel a little left out -- and really, who wants to see the fat, hairy guy cry?

Honesty:  fair, not too brutal, and probably a little Snarky. I have a lot of trouble seeing things that don't improve learning or make the teacher's experience easier without calling it out. I have gone off on odd state policies, Tech Depts. tendency to lock things down when they should be open, and even BlackBoard's inability to take a decent period attendance in its gradebook without jumping through ridiculous hoops.

BBWorld is in New Orleans -- So is this sandwich
Olive Sauce: If i get this trip paid for, then i can afford olive sauce on my muffaletta . Have you ever tried a this sandwich without olive sauce. It is a shame and a travesty.

Blackboard Swag. 'nuff said

My school uses Edline. You want to keep it in your ever-expanding family. We have file lockers, homework hand-in, discussion boards...we keep adding features. And I really want to be able to ask someone about the inability to toggle the link between assignments and gradequick from the gradebook side. -- That is just annoying (see #4).

Jazz. I mean, I am more of a Johnathon Coulton/Paul and Storm kind of guy normally, but I feel it is important to stretch myself musically. I come armed with Soundhound, so i can fake a vast array of musical knowledge.

Alliteration is cool. As an English teacher and well-rounded geek, I think being a BlackBoard World Blogger beats all better alternatives bar none. (It's even better than being named "Earnest").

Reporting on the Evolution of Learning Management: I once heard an LMS described as "a container for holding files and external links." As a Jesuit school, we insist that our systems go beyond this. The Jesuit charism demands that students be treated as unique individuals with a context that is important for learning -- this demands an LMS that encourages and powers differentiation, whether it is new formats (#flipclass), new ways of taking notes (collaborative Evernote, Todaysmeet), or accessing materials anywhere at anytime. Teachers in a Jesuit school serve as facilitators and guides that empower students to discover and be in conversation with Truth. The modern LMS must do more than be a holder of power point and links to YouTube videos. Its interaction must enhance the bond between student, teacher, and truth. Ultimately then, the evaluation of BlackBoard World must go beyond gadgets, cloud services, cross-platform, and task management. Its bloggers should present the picture of how these tools and uses will impact the learner, expand her capabilities for learning, and facilitate the teacher's ability to enhance and measure that.

I think that is about it. Interested in having a fair, independent educational blogger with a great love of all things geeky and teachy (who also has new and interesting ways of applying the rules of capitalization)? I'm your guy.

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