27 January, 2011

Getting Started Using Blackboard 9.1: Collected Resources

We've just started using Blackboard 9.1 for teaching on a select few modules. I've collected links to the resources we've initially been recommending to the teaching staff here.

An Introduction
  • Quick Overview of Blackboard 9.1 (v1. November 2010): This video introduces the new system and notes differences between this and our current Blackboard CE8 system.
  • Quick Overview of Blackboard 9.1 (v2. February 2011): Screencast version of the awareness raising session complete with Closed Captions, and Interactive Transcript (best viewed full screen at 720p).
  • 5 Essential Skills: Basics that will help you develop your section.
  • How to log into Blackboard 9.1 through Edge Hill University's Go Portal. This video is aimed at students but relevant to all.

Thinking about what you want to achieve

Creating content and setting up the section

Communication and collaboration


12 January, 2011

Technology and Radical Transformation

For those who are interested in the idea of technology and its relation to radical transformation of learning, I've read a couple interesting things recently which look at that idea.

Stephen Downes writes in his 'Half an Hour' blog as part of a discussion around the benefits of technology use in education. He sums up his own argument well, saying

  • "technology does not improve education by making what you are already doing better, it improves education by making what you are not doing possible."

The other resource to explore is the latest issue of the ALT-J journal, entitled 'The Transformational Impact of Learning Technology'. In the introduction the editors write that in this issue they "look for radical change, rather than just doing the same at a different scale." In this issue is the 'Web-based lecture technologies and learning and teaching: a study of change in four Australian universities' paper, where the authors do not see in depth change and conclude that "technologies have been added on, rather than integrated into the curriculum".

These three pieces all give us similar perspectives on learning technology. It's something that enables you to do what you could not before, something that encourages you to completely rethink the way you do things, and something that should be properly integrated into learning design. These ideas give us room for thought and discussion about how technology could affect both our teaching and wider institutional strategies.