How are school districts and colleges and universities responding to COVID-19?
At Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland Ohio, the Online Learning and Academic Technology (OLAT) team has been engineering their online learning environment for over 4 years now to move the college to a more mobile friendly and seamless way to offer online classes to students. With the college’s decision to switch to all online learning due to COVID-19, the structure was already there. The technology was in place. We did increased manpower for our SmartView help desk level 2 support system.
What technologies are they using to connect with students and even parents in an attempt to minimize the disruption?
Tri-C is utilizing our currently engineered online learning technologies including Blackboard Learn (LMS), Mediasite (Lecture Capture), Webex (video conferencing), ProctorU (for proctored testing), Respondus (lock down browser), Qwickly (single hub distribution point in the LMS to post announcements, distribute content and create discussion topics)
What have been the results? What works? What only causes more friction?
We have had great success with our currently engineered technologies. We worked with our vendors to increase storage, licenses, users, etc., to accommodate the fact that we more than doubled the amount of classes and users in our online environment.
One area that we have seen as the most challenging is getting technology in faculty and students hands. Tri-C worked with faculty and staff to ensure they were equipped with technology and internet at home to telework. Tri-C teamed up with PCs for People (a nonprofit dedicated to getting computers and affordable internet service into the homes of low-income individuals. www.pcsforpeople.org) to provide computers to students.
Are your IT and service teams able to meet the need in the new era or have you been caught flat footed?
Our support team in ITS and in OLAT did not increase but we were prepared to bring in other areas of the college to help assist at a level two support with our SmartView Blackboard support cases. We have created video repositories to house training videos for the technologies our faculty and students are using. This allows the support team to send one to three minute videos links that can address their concerns and give them a screencast of the process to follow which results in the increased amount of faculty that can be served.
We created a weekly training schedule that consists of training sessions on the hour, using Webex, to allow faculty the ability to connect in to learn and ask questions which are recorded for on-demand viewing. We have created an extensive online document that includes information faculty and students need, located all in one location. We have also extended the hours that level 2 and level 3 support are available to meet the needs of faculty and students that are jumping into the use of the online tools that were mostly using the face-to-face modality.
Blackboard Inc. announces the appointment of Edwin Scholte as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Edwin will join the company on November 4, 2019 and will oversee all financial aspects of the company, including investor relations, accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, treasury, and capital markets. He will report to the company’s Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus.
With more than 20 years of experience as a finance and operating executive, Edwin has deep roots in the education sector and extensive experience in international strategic finance partnerships, global expansion, and mergers and acquisitions. He joins Blackboard from Best Merchant Partners, a privately owned merchant banking institution in the education sector, where he served as Managing Director. Prior to joining Best, Edwin served as CFO and as COO of the higher education, professional and international divisions of McGraw-Hill Education. Earlier he held senior finance and operating executive roles at LexisNexis/Reed Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, as well as a privately-owned boutique incubator of Internet and corporate services start-ups in The Netherlands.
“Edwin’s broad financial and operational experience and deep knowledge of the education sector will be an invaluable asset to our executive leadership team as we continue to execute our business plan and strategic initiatives,” said Ballhaus. “I’m excited to have him join our team as CFO.”
“The impact of innovative technology on delivering better outcomes for institutions and learners is significant, and Blackboard is at the forefront of this exciting transformation in the global education community,” said Scholte. “I look forward to joining Blackboard and working with the team to deliver substantial value for all stakeholders.”
Edwin earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics from Haarlem Business School in The Netherlands, and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.
Tools4ever, the leading provider of identity and access management solutions in education, announces a new partnership with Blackboard Inc. The partnership brings together two market-driving education solution providers, offering mutual customers an integration of Blackboard’s flagship Learning Management Solution (LMS) Blackboard Learn Tools4ever’s two flagship solutions namely, their Identity and Access Management product (IAM) and their IDaaS product HelloID. The integration facilitates user lifecycle management across the LMS, SIS, and applications, from a single point of entry.
“We are thrilled to partner with Blackboard to offer our many mutual customers seamless integration between our products,” said Dean Wiech, managing director of Tools4ever. “For more than 20 years, we have built a stronghold in the education industry so it is critical that we partner with other market leaders, such as Blackboard, who offer an exceptional education experience for students and staff.”
Blackboard Learn and IAM
Blackboard Learn is a powerful virtual teaching and learning environment. Its capabilities extend beyond those of a traditional learning management system (LMS) by expanding online learning, increasing employee engagement and optimizing learning outcomes. IAM connects the Student Information System (SIS) and the user accounts in the network with other systems to automate user provisioning, self-service access management, helpdesk delegation and access governance processes.
The integration will allow mutual customers to extract information from any Student Information System (SIS) and synchronize it with Blackboard Learn. For example, when a student record is created, updated, or deleted in the SIS, IAM detects the change and shares this information with Blackboard Learn. This connection prevents duplicate records, ensures information in Blackboard Learn is always up-to-date, reduces risk of error, and increases efficiency by saving the IT team valuable time.
Blackboard Learn and HelloID
The integration with Blackboard Learn also extends to Tools4ever’s cloud-based Single Sign-On (SSO) product, HelloID. Both Blackboard Learn and HelloID are deployed on the cloud, offering customers a streamlined user experience.
HelloID is a customizable and user-friendly dashboard where students and staff can access all approved teaching and learning applications, including Blackboard Learn. HelloID’s dashboard can be securely accessed from anywhere, on any device, at any time. If a student does not have access to Blackboard Learn, they can request access via the dashboard with HelloID’s Service Automation functionality. The data owner can approve this request which automatically registers in the IT infrastructure, granting the student immediate access.
Educators, technology experts and industry leaders from around the world will gather in Austin, Texas, on July 22 though 25 for BbWorld and DevCon 2019. With more than 150 sessions, the four-day event will provide an unparalleled opportunity for attendees to share knowledge, promote best practices and network with peers.
During BbWorld, K-12, higher education, business and government clients will hear the latest on Blackboard’s unique EdTech platform approach and learn how the company is driving the next wave of innovation in EdTech. In addition to the main sessions, the conference will feature DevCon, a day-and-a-half meeting aimed at developers and system administrators.
BbWorld will also feature the Executive Leadership Summit, an invitation-only event specifically designed for university leaders. Driven by leaders in education and technology, the summit will give participants unique insights and perspectives on how to prepare their institutions to be more responsive in a constantly changing world.
Key highlights include:
More than 150 sessions focused on enhancing the teaching and learning experience; fostering inclusive education; supporting the learner beyond the classroom; preparing and leading institutional change; engaging professional development and using analytics to drive learner success.
Keynotes delivered byRobert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at The University of California at Berkeleyand former U.S. Labor Secretary; Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director of Black Girls CODE and Aspen Institute Fellow; and Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President at Blackboard.
Executive Leadership Summit, a unique gathering for university leaders to explore the evolving education landscape and how its changes affect institutions, students and policy.
DevCon meeting, with more than 30 sessions focused on Blackboard Data, REST APIs, integrations with SaaS and Ultra, SIS Framework, and dedicated keynotes delivered by Angie Jones, Senior Developer Advocate and Master Inventor, and Tim Tomlinson, Chief Product Officer at Blackboard.
A new Hackboard:Data to provide developers with technical insights and hands-on experience of Blackboard Data.
The Community LIVE, an area for clients to engage with Blackboard, get their questions answered, and network with colleagues. The Community LIVE will offer eight thematic stations, including Knowledge Bar, Ally Lounge, Community Program and Lightning Talks.
The Ultra Lounge, where clients will be able to see Learn Ultra demos, speak with Ultra product experts and discuss their path to Learn Ultra.
Attendees from over 25 countries across Europe, Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
“I am thrilled about this year’s BbWorld as we will showcase how we are accelerating innovation and laying the foundation for the next wave of innovation in education technology,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO, and President at Blackboard. “BbWorld is also a unique opportunity for our client community from around the world to come together, share knowledge and discuss opportunities.”