April 2017 | Instructor & Course Designer Newsletter

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Instructor & Course Designer Newsletter
April, 2017
We are celebrating your success!
                                                      Blackboard Catalyst Award
The Blackboard Catalyst Awards are back
Founded in 2005, the Blackboard Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Accepting submissions until May 5, 2017.
[BITS Lunch 'N Learn] 5 tips for running successful breakout groups in Blackboard Collaborate
Online | Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm EDT
Featured speaker: Juan Moran, Solutions Engineer, Blackboard Inc.


Breakout groups promote collaboration, group work, and discovery learning - the key to success is how you manage them.
[BITS] Gamifying your course using achievement badges
Online | Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm EDT
Featured speaker: Michael DiFonzo, Instructional Designer & Training, SUNY Buffalo State


Learn how to use gamification techniques such as scoring levels and achievement badges to motivate your students.
[BITS Lunch 'N Learn] Universal design for learning and ReadSpeaker
Online | Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm EDT
Featured speakers: Paul Stisser, Business Development, ReadSpeaker and Tricia Ritschel-Trifilo, Ph.D., Director of WBU Online, Wayland Baptist University


Discover how ReadSpeaker as a Universal Design for Learning feature helped create an inclusive and more accessible classroom within Blackboard Learn.
Tips, tricks, and updates
Educator resources list- thumb
Educator resources list
We know you have busy schedules. To help you successfully utilize your Blackboard technology to increase student engagement, save you time, and improve student performance, we offer many resources, events, and training opportunities.
Get your copy
Become  Blackboard Learn (original) certified
Maximize your online teaching and learning skill set. The courses are streamlined and certification is available in six weeks. Some certification benefits you can expect are:
  • Boost student engagement
  • Improve course quality
  • Increase your comfort with Blackboard technology
Discover more details:
Earn CEUs with Blackboard Collaborate certification
We’ve partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University to provide two CEU credits when you complete Collaborate Web Conferencing Certification. This is an optional offering and instructions for obtaining credits will be provided in the course. Your takeaways:
  • Develop a comprehensive set of skills
  • Receive continued professional growth and development
  • Earn CEUs that can be used for education recertification
Explore details
Is your course exemplary?
Find out! Get started with the Exemplary Course Program Rubric, submit your course for peer review, volunteer to be a course reviewer, or preview the work of previous award winners to get fresh ideas.

Discover more
Guide: Best practices for mobile-friendly courses
Mobile learning lets students benefit from interacting with their course content on the devices they use to connect with every other aspect of their lives. This guide shares best practices to create mobile-friendly course material to improve your students' engagement and participation.

Download your copy
Blackboard Partnerships: New free resources from NBC Learn


Human water cycle This series examines the tight connections between water, food, and energy and how our increasing need for these resources is forcing us to rethink how we manage and use our water supply. Click here for the videos.

Chronicles of courage: Stories of wartime and innovation This series highlights the innovation behind some of the most legendary planes of World War II with first person accounts by veteran pilots from the United States, Britain, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan. Click here for the videos.

For more information about Blackboard's partnership integration with NBC Learn contact us here.
Opportunities to network
BbWorld 2017
July 25—27, 2017 | New Orleans, LA
BbWorld is where great minds in education come together to exchange ideas, share best practices, and address today’s toughest educational challenges. Join us for three days of informative sessions and non-stop networking. Early bird pricing ends April 21!
OLC Innovate
April 5—7, 2017 | New Orleans, LA
Are you attending this conference? If so, we’d love to see you - stop by at booth 41/42.


Concerned about accessibility? Join us for a moderated discussion Friday, April 7, 9:45 am to 10:30 am in Poydras on the 3rd floor.
USDLA 2017 National Conference
April 30—May 3, 2017 | Indianapolis, IN
Are you attending this conference? If so, we’d love to see you at our booth!
Blackboard news
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Blackboard employees donate 2,000 books to local schools
Employees in Killeen, TX delivered books to pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders at Iduma Elementary School and Willow Springs Elementary School, handing out 1,000 books at each site. Blackboard raised the money to purchase the books through a non-profit effort called First Books.


Read more on Killeen ISD's website.
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What DeVos’s singular focus on school choice could mean for Higher-Ed policy
Higher-education experts and some conservative advocates point to several policy changes that could gain prominence thanks in part to Ms. DeVos's singular focus on school choice.


Read predictions from Blackboard’s Van Davis in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
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Mike Sharkey named inaugural chair of the product steering committee for IMS Caliper
To support the future evolution of Caliper, IMS Global is organizing a new executive Product Steering Committee to facilitate market feedback and guide the market requirements for Caliper going forward. Mike Sharkey of Blackboard will be the inaugural chair of the steering committee.


Read the full press release.
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