The Role of Technology and the Importance of Adoption - From the Promethean Board to Blackboard Inc.

Blog Post created by jhilton on May 8, 2017

This is it. Enjoy and farewell!


I’ll admit it…I resisted some aspects of technology in the classroom. But before you tear into me, hear me out. I was in North Carolina for 5 years and worked with 4 different systems, 2 just revolved around our gradebook, one was me building my own website so I could host content, AND we started playing around with Schoology (sorry Blackboard, not my call). “Deep adoption” wasn’t something I saw as important. My goal was to learn the bare minimum to be able to do my job, because “the next big thing” would replace whatever system we were on pretty darn fast.


Now that I’m on the other side I can see how frustrating my position was to the tech world too. There are A LOT of useful applications in Blackboard (and other LMSs), but driving deep adoption is a challenge. Once again, big props to the Community Site for making adoption a priority. As K-12 districts across the country continue to outfit their schools with Wi-Fi and devices I’m confident that the trend of “the next big thing” will die down and adoption will be less frustrating. It’s an exciting time to be in K-12, I’ve compared it to the wild west on more than one occasion. Districts upgrade at different times and usually individual schools have different needs when upgrading.


giddy up you LMS doggies

The only thing I know for certain is that there is a lot of awesome tech out there that integrates well into the classroom. The coolest examples for myself, and my students, were apps that used augmented reality to bring some pop into my lessons (I swear I tried not to be boring). Students got to use their own devices (what, you WANT me to use my phone?!?!) and I saw engagement shoot through the roof.


I'm glad that Blackboard has taken student engagement so seriously, because at the end of the day teachers and students both need to enjoy using whatever medium they adopt. The ultimate goal is more than the transference of knowledge from teacher to student, critical thinking is one of the great success stories in US education and I'm glad Blackboard is keeping this in mind.

I said I'd give you all, and Blackboard, a proper send off and I've been struggling with what to say. This has been an amazing experience. My internship gave me new work experience and has made my resume look awesome...but what I've really gained is a family. I'm not one for long goodbyes so I'll just leave this here.


Perhaps when the sun sets you always wish you'd done more with your day.

(showing my true colors here, adios)