Tag Archives: technology

Blackboard Upgrade Scheduled for August

San Jacinto College is scheduled to upgrade Blackboard starting on August 11, 2013 from version 9.1.8  to version 9.1.12.

The scope of the upgrade will require a total outage of the San Jacinto College Blackboard system beginning August 11, 2013. The system is expected to be available for faculty access no later than August 17, 2013. If the system becomes available earlier an email will be sent to inform faculty how they can access the system.

Materials from the summer semesters 2013 will be stored in Blackboard and available to you when the upgrade is completed but we encourage you to export and save copies of your fall courses to avoid any unexpected issues.  (Instructions are attached.)

There are many improvements in the new version of Blackboard. Many of the new features and improvements are highlighted in the Quick Hits video series on the Blackboard YouTube Channel.

There are several ways to obtain training and assistance:

  • Online and face-to-face demos are currently available and continue through the summer. Check Spark for the latest calendar of offerings.
  • Blackboard Support Specialists and other members of the EdTech team are available to answer questions throughout the summer.

For additional information on the Blackboard upgrade, as well as status updates, timelines and training opportunities, please visit us regularly at http://www.sanjac.edu/edtech or follow us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/SanJacEdTech or Twitter at http://twitter.com/SanJacEdTech.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact us at:

Blackboard Support Team

San Jacinto College – Educational Technology

8060 Spencer Hwy. | C.1-218| Pasadena, TX 77505

On-Campus:  2084

Off-Campus:  281.542.2084

Email: bbsupport@sjcd.edu

2013 NMC Horizon Report Released

Each year the New Media Consortium (NMC) publishes the Horizon Report to share research on “the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning and creative inquiry” in higher education. On February 4, the NMC realeased the 2013 Horizon Report. This is the tenth edition of the research project. Topics discussed in this year’s report include:

  • Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Tablet Computing
  • Games and Gamification
  • Learning Analytics
  • 3D Printing
  • Wearable Technology

If you would like to learn more about the integration of these technologies by other colleges and universities you can download and read the full report at http://www.nmc.org/publications/2013-horizon-report-higher-ed .

Communicating your message–it’s not about the technology

I love technology. In fact, the other day, while driving, I thought to myself…technology is comforting to me. However, as a learning professional and a technology professional, I know I’m in the minority. I know for many people technology can be a frustrating barrier to achieving an end result.  Such as creating engaging e-learning or a persuasive presentation.

The truth is that simpler is often better. Think about some of the most powerful presentations you’ve attended. Were they loaded with data (in 10 pt font so it could all fit on 30 slides) and rainbow colored text and objects flying in and out? Or were they minimal? Perhaps powerful photos. A word or two. Maybe even black on white. Perhaps a story was told. Maybe even with a twist, like this one:

A story with a twist

Presentation Zen is a best seller book and popular blog on professional presentation design and is a great read for anyone who needs or desires to effectively convey ideas, inspire, persuade, or teach others.

Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin, argues that we’re all born visual thinkers. Do you envy that colleague that’s always erasing his last drawing on your whiteboard to effortlessly pitch another idea or solve another problem with yet another illustration?  Do you know where Southwest Airlines was conceived? Yep, on the back of a napkin in a bar.

You’ve likely seen a quick video from the in Plain English series. They are powerful because they convey complex concepts in a brilliantly simple manner. Here’s an example explaining Twitter:

Twitter in Plain English

We all occasionally get wrapped up, sometimes even consumed, with the technology when we really should be focusing on making the message interesting, relevant, authentic, and digestible for our intended audience.  EdTech is here to help you incorporate technology into your teaching and communications so you can focus on an effective message.  And if you get real adept at drawing pictures, did you know we even have boards and pads that can electronically capture them?