Archive for February, 2010

Join us online for What’s New in Blackboard 9?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I will be conducting an online training equivalent to our face-to-face workshop entitled “What’s New in Blackboard 9?”.  This workshop will be conducted in DimDim, which is a fully web-based free conferencing program. It will be beneficial for you to have a microphone to ask questions, but this is not required; there is a text-based chat available, as well.

We are hoping to use more web-based tools for training and feel this is a good move since our instructors are teaching online. DimDim will allow you to see the screen and hear audio, just as you would in a training lab.

The online workshop will be held on Thursday, March 4 from 2:00-3:00 pm.

Prerequisites: Blackboard 101 and “Getting Started with Blackboard” workshop.

Important: Please send me an email to sign up for this (or any) workshops: adminbb@cfcc.edu . I’ll send you the web address for the workshop at that time.

Don’t forget to check our training page on this blog for more training dates.

Blackboard 9 Cheat Sheet

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Many of you are awaiting the upgrade from Blackboard 7.3 (old school) to the new, bright and shiny Blackboard 9. The following document will provide you with a snapshot of some differences you can expect:

What’s New in Blackboard 9? (PDF) 

Remember, when you get access to our Blackboard 9 test server, do NOT count on building out your courses to be moved to the production server, since test servers do not have guaranteed stability. You can continue building out courses in our current Bb and these courses will be moved to the Bb 9 production server during upgrade.

Oh, while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out CFCC’s Course Essentials Checklist (.doc), conveniently also available in a rubric version, if you’d like to take notes while checking your course.

What’s New in Blackboard 9?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

You might be asking, “What’s Blackboard 9?”  CFCC will be upgrading its current Blackboard 7.3 software to the newest version, Blackboard 9. This upgrade will occur in between the spring and summer semesters and we hope it will be a seamless process, with only a day or two down time.

Please be aware that this new version looks considerably different from the current model, utilizing Web 2.0 features to provide a more flexible and robust course management system. Once you get beneath the surface, most of the tools look familiar so don’t worry that you’ll be learning an entire new system. The gradebook is now called the Grade Center and this tool has been most revised.

The Department of Distance Learning will be providing a number of workshops to get you acquainted with this upgraded platform. Please check the training page on this blog for dates and make sure to contact lstover@cfcc.edu to sign up for workshops.

NCLOR Adds New SREB 2.0 Resource Series

Monday, February 8th, 2010

As part of the SREB State Virtual Schools Alliance in partnership with the AT&T Foundation, a list of New Media/Web 2.0 Tools has been prepared especially for SREB and online teachers by Chris O’Neal, Faculty Associate for the George Lucas Educational Foundation. This list provides practical explanations and examples of numerous new media tools that have direct applicability for teachers.

Read full article on the NCLOR News Blog.

My, What Big Files You Have!

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Do you frequently create graphic-rich documents or presentations for your courses? If so, unless you are optimizing them, they are likely very large. While your images, charts, and photos do enhance the learning experience, you don’t want the file size to bog down disk space or become problematic when downloading, especially for students who do not have high speed connections.

There’s good news, though, as there are some simple ways for you to optimize your files, primarily by compressing the images in them. This applies to Office products (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) and Adobe PDF files. Note that you must use Adobe Acrobat Professional (not just the free Adobe Reader) to take advantage of file optimization for this application.

Optimizing Files will take you through file optimization for Office 2007, Office 2003, Office for MAC, and Adobe Acrobat Pro.

So, if you’re ready to magically shrink your bloated files, check out Optimizing Files, for those times when size really does matter.