Eric Kunnen\’s GRCC Blog

Educause 2007 – Annual Conference – Information Futures: Aligning Our Missions
October 29, 2007, 10:52 am
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The Educause annual conference is one of the premier educational technology conferences that I have attended. It is by far the largest conference with over 7,000 participants from colleges and universities around the world. There is a wealth of information, fresh ideas, and practical examples presented at this conference through keynotes, sessions, the vendor hall, and perhaps most valuable is the interchange between the peers and colleagues that are at the event. I have personally found and that the ability to network with colleagues in the field has brought the most influential learning, allowing communication and collaboration even after the event is done and everyone heads back to their own campuses.

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Here are a few highlights:

  • Educause 2007 was held in Seattle, Washington
  • October 23-26
  • More than 7,000+ participants
  • Conference was sold out more than a month before.
  • Conference included featured keynote speakers, preconference sessions, breakout sessions, roundtables, poster sessions, and various user group meetings.
  • Tracks included:
    • Track 1: Emerging Technologies and Practices
    • Track 2: Enterprise Information Systems and Services
    • Track 3: Information Resources, Digital Content, and Libraries
    • Track 4: Leadership, Management, Planning, and Funding
    • Track 5: Networking and Infrastructure
    • Track 6: Security, Privacy, and Policy
    • Track 7: Teaching and Learning


Wednesday, October 24, 2007
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
South Lobby, 4th Floor

Thanks for Rob Bobeldyk from Calvin College, I was able to attend this conference since a colleague of his was unable to attend the conference due to an illness. In addition, significant credit is due to Cynthia Springer, VP of Human Resources at GRCC, along with the GRCC Foundation for helping to fund my attendance through an SSPD (Support Staff Professional Development) Grant.

Doris Kearns Goodwin on Leadership

Sponsored by Campus Management Corporation, An EDUCAUSE Platinum Partner
General Session
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Exhibit Hall 4A

Speaker: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Historian

Abstract: With stories and insights from the successes and failures of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, Goodwin offers timeless lessons that apply to the worlds of business, politics, and higher education. Her talk will focus on the individual qualities that make a leader great.

Notes: This was an engaging, interesting, and exciting presentation. I was enamored by Doris’s experiences as she made history come alive.

Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall


Sponsored by VBrick Systems, Inc., An EDUCAUSE Bronze Partner
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F


  • Talked with sales folks from Echo360 and got a demo of their lecture capture system. Echo360 is the new brand for a combination of the Lectopia and Apreso Anystream system.
  • Talked with Jamie Fitzgerald, Matt Wasowski, and Donovan Lytle from Wimba. They mentioned an upcoming breakfast session at Lawrence Technological University in Michigan. Jamie inquired about GRCC’s participation either as a presenter and/or to see if we were able to attend.
  • Talked with Kerry Jo Richards, Pat Bevilaqua, Tricia Sale, and John Morrison from Blackboard.

Practicing What You Preach: A Learner-Centered LMS Training and Support Program for Faculty


Track 7
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.
Room 607

* Adam B.A. Finkelstein, Manager, Teaching Technology Services, McGill University
* Session convener: Mary Jane Clerkin, Coordinator of Online Faculty Support, Berkeley College

Abstract: McGill University’s unique, individualized, and scalable learner-centered approach to training and support has helped over a thousand faculty successfully transition from one learning management system to another in an academic year. This session will offer learner-centered training and support strategies and lessons learned from our transition.


Portrait of faculty using our LMS:

  • New
  • Transitional
  • Advanced

Moving to a learner center faculty development:

  • Reconceptualize documents
  • Learner centered training
  • Peer to peer modeling
  • Creating a community of learners

Put Web 2.0 into your training and support!

McGill University

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 70% of faculty using Blackboard
  • Extreme growth in 1998 moving from WebCT CE to Vista
  • Within 1 year, train 1000+ faculty
  • Cross functional pedagogical and technical team

Teaching Technology Services

  • Provide workshops and consultations with faculty
  • Promote and model scholarship of teaching approach and most of appropriate and effective uses of technology
  • Advise on pedagogical implementations of new technologies
  • Focus on technology in and outside of the classroom – not immediate direct tech support
  • 4 Instructional designers
  • Advanced degrees in ed tech
  • Pedagogy drives technology


  • New faculty, 100 new hires per year
  • Newer faculty, comfortable with technology, used to change, quicker paced
  • Last on board, dislike tech, not comfortable, forced to be there (in training) by the students
  • Largest group is transitional users (current to new version of the LMS), specific needs, comfortable with things the way they used to be, little time, would like things they way they were
  • Advanced users will succeed on their own, highly adaptable, aware of new things, dabble in many things, excited by positive change
  • Paradox of supporting advanced users, they are the champions, use the least resources, don’t call for help, but we support them the least, often they succeed on their own despite the institution
  • Opportunity for collaboration with advanced users, research on effectiveness, push the product, push the support teams, push tech innovation
  • Challenge is… how do we support a diverse group of faculty with a diverse set of needs = Adapt a learner centered approach.

Leaner-centered methodology:

  • Learning is active, collaborative, and social.
  • Learning must be relevant and authentic, not a test course
  • Learning is based on individual preferences, pace, and capabilities
  • Learning is like an ice berg, student actions = looking, writing, asking questions IN the classroom, but under the “water” is that students spend much more time outside of class, faculty spend most time on the tip of the ice berg, under stand structure of extended discourse, integrate different ideas, outside of classroom activities
  • Approach is to build long term partnerships/relationships with faculty. Strives to be individualized, flexible, etc.

Re-conceptualize your Documentation & Resources

  • Self directed
  • Instructional scenarios
  • Peer to peer
  • Community of learners
  • 1) Manuals – We rewrote them because the documentation isn’t that good, shortened, focused instructions, rewritten to focus on instructional goals rather than technical features, contextualized to our institution. Benefits are that you become experts when you rework documentation, discover bugs during screen capture, created a set of references that we could steer people to. In manual use: “I would like to… upload a syllabus and add it to my home page, etc.” Step by step instructions on how to do a specific task. Use compare tables for “old way” and “new way”. Created a wiki (easier to update, multiple people can update, model use for teaching with wikis) for the documentation = . Idea = Use the Learning Objects Wiki to create a Bb Support Wiki for Faculty. Tag clouds, subscribe, tips, examples, versioning, recent changes. A) Top ten pages, B) outside the classroom, C) inside the classroom categories. Why use a journal, blog, wiki, podcast, etc. I want to provide content based on performance, or I want to adjust time for students with special needs, or I want to record virtual review sessions, etc.
  • 2) Training – Allow participants to define their own needs, exploratory learning, taylor to specific audiences. Transitional (moving from CE to Vista, part 1 and part 2) and new user (basics, overview, intro to) workshops. If found during transitional training that the user really need new user, you could jump to a module. Custom workshops were also offered. Road shows and consultations/drop ins. One on one support, focus on specific needs and building relationships, not just a one time meeting.
  • 3) Workshops – Basic core, building your course/teaching with your course. Small focused modules (transition/advanced), enhancing your course with multimedia, effective gradebook management, 1 to 1.5 hours. Proactive targeting of segments of faculty, focus on large class needs.
  • 4) Peer to peer modeling – Course tours, 3 minute tours of Bb recorded by Camtasia, about how faculty are using courses. Provides ideas to other faculty. Focus on student learning, focus on courses built BY faculty.
  • 5) Building Community – Teaching and Technology Fair (similar to our TLT Showcase), share/learn/explore. Eposter session format. Opportunity to explore new technologies with kiosks. Learn about services that are available. Faculty on tables in the center, and services around the outside perimeter. Faculty are beginning to use it as the dissemination point for grants (IIPD) or other research.
  • Take-Aways: Need a techno-pedogagical team, Focus on Learner Centered, Offer Drop In/Consultations for Focused Needs (it’s like having them come to 5 different workshops because you can cover just what they need), Focs on faculty needs, Build faculty relationships and partnerships, build multiple resource paths (not everyone will come to training), allow and promote opportunities for interaction and modeling (turn to neighbors, encourage to come with friends, showcase events), create a positive spin on not focus on what doesn’t work, but rather, what can be done.

Data Mining as an Emerging Means of Assessing Student Learning
Sponsored by Adobe Systems, Inc., An EDUCAUSE Silver Partner
Featured Speaker
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Ballroom 6B

* Jody Clarke, Graduate Student, Harvard University
* Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Abstract: Routine in business, data mining has unrealized potential in education. Sophisticated educational media enable the collection of rich data streams about individual learners. Analyzing these data streams could yield formative, diagnostic information about student performance (including real-time feedback to teachers) and research findings about student behavior and learning. Session presenters will share their work exploring the educational potentials of data mining


  • Met Neil Caiden from Duke in this session.
  • Session started with a funny video (what looked to be a microsoft video) of using technology (im, text messaging, cell phones, email, video conferencing) to reschedule a meeting and a business example of realtime meeting.
  • Streams of data, some captured, some not.
  • Data mining is the process of selecting, exploring, and modeling large amounts of data to uncover patterns and trends.
  • Current use is around prospective students, course popularity, loans, donation of monies.
  • Focus of this session is on Data mining for Learning.
  • Formative, diagnostics, realtime feedback to teachers.
  • Summative assessments about authentic performance.
  • Student behavior and individual characteristics.
  • Collaborative and teamwork learning processes.
  • Assessment/Context/Active Data: Pre-post content, embedded assessments, performance assessments, demographics, student actions and behaviors as they learn via “mediated interactions”.
  • How do we use the data? Do we have it? Is there too much, too little. How do we cross reference and synthesize these various types of data to improve learning?
  • MUVE – Learners represent themselves through avatars to communicate with others as well as the environment and with digital artifacts. A video was played: Tour of River City – About SecondLife like MUVE environment.
  • Capturing data over time… the move through curriculum…. a different season.
  • Assessment data – Pre post tests, embedded assignments/question responses, performance assessment self
  • Contextual data – Attendance, demographic, school, observations, interviews
  • Active data – Text based chat, notebook entries, pathways, clicking on what, event log, time stamps, inquiry processes.
  • Focus of research is to analyze “in progress” learning. How and Why, What happened during the learning.
  • Where students went, with whom did they communicate, what they said, what artifacts did they click on, what databases did they view, what data did they gather, what screenshots and notebook entries did they make.
  • Visualizations of student activities. Both individually and collectively. Team pathways in the MUVE.
  • Log analysis, simple/less simple/compex. Simple frequencies, how many interactions, how many posts, how long on a web page, where did they go. Less simple, connecting the simple interactions. Complex, what is the trajectory of learning and student’s change over time. These types of analysis take a long time.
  • Evidence gathering: amount (how much), range (coverage), saliency (importance of understanding or quality of resources), clustering (grouping of evidence based on its casual affiliation), how does all of this work together and how do they related to student attributes while looking into relationships.
  • Data streams and insights for teachers from cms’s and other mediated interactions: diagnostic, engagement level, hints accessed, level of collaboration, predication, underutilized areas, face to face integration, videoconferencing usage, use of wireless, handheld devices, small group collaboration using software, synchronous, asynchronous threaded discussions, informal websites, shells for course authoring.
  • Benefit of a course management system like Bb is that the mediated tools are all there. And the data should then be there. But what is the structure and where is it? It’s an opportunity.
  • Social tagging: Sharing websites, online materials, developing personal descriptors, evolving collective terminology and conceptual frameworks, publishing and classifying “gray” literature such as blog. See: for a new type of social tagging software. Edtags takes the backend database and develops a visual mental model or node (connection of tags together with connectors) through an algorithm. A view of the collective community wisdom and a user created folksonomies and vocabulary. The goal is to look at an individuals trend toward vocabulary and term knowledge throughout. Connect this with user profiles. Which users are most similar to me? How similar are the users based on their tagging/terminology/vocabulary/conceptual framework.
  • National Science Foundation – Cyber Infrastructure: Deals with data streams around content and research, collecting and assembling data warehouses, lifelong learning chronicles (similar to health records?). What about privacy, security, validity. Could a data model be used inappropriately, say, making a decision not to spend time on a 4 th grader since they are not progressing well and will have no chance for college?
  • There are some exciting opportunities with data mining and teaching… much of this is yet to be determined.

Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by AT&T, An EDUCAUSE Silver Partner
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
12:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F

Key vendor take aways:

  • Elluminate Trial – – A web conferencing tool that integrates with Blackboard.
  • Techsmith Relay – A brand new capability from Techsmith offering lecture capture capabilities harnessing the success and power of Camtasia with the ease and enterprise delivery of a campus wide solution. This is currently in Beta. Easy steps for professors to capture their lessons, simply: 1) Click a record button to start, 2) Click a stop button to end, and 3) Automatically the presentation is available for student review and extending learning. See:
  • Techsmith Camtasia 5 – The latest and greatest release of the Camtasia Studio software with unique editing features, bubble callouts and commenting, and a very unique SmartFocus feature that provides the auto-zooming features for large screen sizes and applications that require high resolution.
  • Apple – A very nice booth and theatre highlighting podcasting, new server features for automating podcasting, the new Leopard operating system, and showcases of their new iMacs, iPhones, iPods and other hardware.
  • Blackboard – A new display, highlighting and encouraging real world uses of their tool set. Named: EDUCOLOGY (The science or art of successfully combining the essential, kinetic elements of e-Learning: Educators, Blackboard, and Innovation), this set of displays provided the ability for participants to showcase how they are using Bb to drive student success. Set in a unique framework of the “periodic table of elements”, Bb had on display, real examples from real clients and their use cases in the following areas: Bb Scholar = Sh (Sharetonium) is a compound that is used in the sharing of common interest, the spread of knowledge, and the improvement of communication between peers. Bb outcomes System = As (Assessium) is often found in places of learning, it aids in the assessment of teaching and learning, and improves the efficiently of the classroom and campus. Bb Content and Community System = Cl (Collaboratium) is most abundant in educational environments, it is used to store and manage content, as well as cement strong relationships between educators and students. Bb ASP = Re (Reliabilium) is a compound the generates stability, security and scalability through reliable hosting services. “The Amazing Discoveries in Educology” was a very clever marketing technique and a unique way of engaging clients with each other. Well done Blackboard!
  • Learning Objects Inc. – I met with Hal Herzog, Derek Hamner, and Zahra Safarian from LOI. We talked about their new 2.8 release as well as some ideas for a new video capability.

Social Networking Technologies: A “Poke” for Campus Services

Track 2
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
2:15 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.
Ballroom 6A

* Joanne E. Berg, Vice Provost and Registrar, University of Wisconsin-Madison
* Lori Berquam, Dean of Students, University of Wisconsin-Madison
* Kathleen Christoph, Director, Academic Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
* Session convener: Glenda Morgan, Director of Technology and Learning Initiatives, George Mason University

Abstract: Social networking software like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube has become a way of life for today’s students. In this session, we will explore whether and how we might use these technologies, or ideas they generate, to create better and more effective student and academic services at our institutions


Remember when… Do you remember how you used to go about finding the classes you wanted? How did you learn about those classes? Who did you interact with? Would you find those same classes in the same way today? What about Facebook, and RateMyProfessor?

How do you filter information? What are the levels of trust, levels of response.

What are the triggers that get students to act? What are the desired actions? How does that match with the timeline?

What are all the possible resources? What about the validity of these resources? How is information being filtered? How did you feel?

This session was really a roundtable style discussion of issues, concerns, possibilities, and potentials around social networking for academic student services engagement.

Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall

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Sponsored by Juniper Networks, Inc.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
3:05 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F

Social Software in Higher Education: Isolated Accidents or the Start of Something Big?
Track 1
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
3:50 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
Ballroom 6A

* Bas Cordewener, Manager International Collaboration, SURFfoundation
* Eja Kliphuis, Educational Consultant, INHOLLAND University of Professional Education
* Julie K. Little, Associate Director, ELI, EDUCAUSE
* Cyprien P. Lomas, Director, Learning Centre, The University of British Columbia
* Session convener: Patricia A. McGee, Associate Professor/2003 NLII Fellow, University of Texas at San Antonio

Abstract: Blogs, wikis, and networking tools appear to gain widespread acceptance. How are higher education professionals using social software tools in their practice? Is there any convergence with what students using them bring to the institution? We will invite participation to explore these questions and determine if there are international differentiators.


Example is EduTrip 2006, wiki and blog about the Educause Conference

  • 40 Dutch participants
  • Moderators include 5 Eduguides, 3 Opperguides, learning together connected to a group.
  • Publish a wiki during Educause.
  • Blogging before, during, after.
  • Connecting on the home front.


  • Free and provided by SURFnet.
  • Sharepoint based groupware tool
  • Blog, wiki, shared work space, video conference through breeze

This session provided some interesting examples and out-of-the-box brainstorming of the potential of web2.0 in education.

Open discussion about the take aways, highs, lows, and soliciting user input on unique ideas for web2.0 use in education.

Poster Sessions


Faculty Use of Blackboard Features
Poster Session – Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
4:55 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.
Ballroom 6E, table 06

* Michael Butler, Associate Professor, Emporia State University
* Jozenia Colorado, Assistant Professor, Instructional Design and Technology, Emporia State University

Abstract: Recent technical and contract issues prompted Emporia State University to evaluate its relationship with Blackboard, which included an examination of faculty use of Blackboard and the various available tools in Blackboard. Deployment-related issues will be addressed in terms of product support and faculty training.

Blackboard Client Appreciation Party

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Fox Sports Grill
Thursday, October 25, 2007
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

  • Game 1 of the World Series
  • Talked with Rob Bobledyk from Calvin College, Kevin Reeves from Utah State, Becky Vasquez from Embry Riddle, Ed Garay from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Sue Koresnick from Grand Valley State University, Pat Bevilaqua , Craig Channoff, Tricia Sale, Nick Shavoli, Adrian Alleyne, Alex Kissal, Kevin Alansky, Karen Gage, Kerry Jo Richards from Blackboard, Jill Jamieson from the University of Vermont, David Middleton and Paul Fisher from Seton Hall, and many others. I also talked with Leonard Napolitano who is the Vice President of Sales for Regent Education. Leonard mentioned having some recent conversations with Juan Olivarez, the President of Grand Rapids Community College.


From Information Literacy to Scholarly Identity: Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Social Bookmarking


Track 1
Thursday, October 25, 2007
8:10 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Room 2B

* Deborah Everhart, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown Univ., & Principal Architect, Blackboard, Georgetown University
* Eric Kunnen, Coordinator of Instructional Technologies, Grand Rapids Community College
* Kaye Shelton, Dean of Online Education; Asst Prof, Adult Education, Dallas Baptist University
* Session convener: Doug Williams, Associate VP of Information Technology, Dallas Baptist University

Abstract: Collaborative research teaches students critical knowledge management skills, whether they are undergraduates learning the basics of Web research or advanced scholars defining their own knowledge domains. Faculty need practical examples and strategies to initiate social bookmarking activities. Case studies demonstrate how this has been accomplished in undergraduate and graduate courses.

Notes: This session was very well attended, with nearly 200 in attendance. Deb Everhart introduced the session and provided some context about what social bookmarking is. When polled, the audience in large part (80%+) raised their hands indicating that they were using social bookmarking. Kaye Shelton then talked about a few examples of how she used social bookmarking in her graduate classes, followed by some real world examples from Deb Everhart at Georgetown University, and finally Eric Kunnen provides examples of how Scholar is being used at Grand Rapids Community College. Some examples at GRCC include: personal productivity, course content, teams and committees, and finally for discovering, sharing, and academic networking. Judy Caruso, from the Educause Center for Applied Research came up after the session. I think there are some unique research opportunities for social networking and bookmarking in education.

Here is our presentation:

The Role of Information Technology in an Age of Access, Affordability, and Accountability


Sponsored by RealNetworks
General Session
Thursday, October 25, 2007
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Exhibit Hall 4A


* Robert W. Mendenhall, President, Western Governors University
* Charlene Nunley, President Emerita, Montgomery College
* David Ward, President, American Council on Education
* Session moderator: Mara Liasson, National Political Correspondent, National Public Radio

Abstract: Approximately a year ago, the Commission on the Future of Higher Education formed by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings issued its report, A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education, which called for dramatic improvement in the national higher education system. Focusing on issues of access, affordability, quality, and accountability, the report outlined significant shortcomings and recommended sweeping changes. Our panelists, all members of the commission, will address issues raised in the report and the role technology can play in support of the recommendations.


Video on Catalyst Award for Educause

  • EDUCAUSE Catalyst Award – The uPortal Project
    • Colleges and institution members cited: University of Delaware, Cornell University, Andrew Mellon Foundation, JA-SIG, Georgetown University, rSmart, Unicon
    • An open standards portal based on java architecture.
  • EDUCAUSE Quarterly Contribution of the Year – “Are you ready for mobile learning?”
    • Authors: Joseph Rene Corbell, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology and Maria Elena Valdes-Corbeil, Associate Professor, Bachelor of Applied Technology Program from the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
    • An article focusing on the use of mobile devices in use at educational institutions and it’s impact on academic, administration, research, technology infrastructure, etc.
    • Available at
  • EDUCAUSE Excellence in Leadership – University of Chicago, Gregory Jackson, Vice President and CIO
    • This is the highest recognition that Educause gives an individual.
    • Gregory Jackson was cited for his work of promoting IT in higher education and his perceptions, analysis, advocacy and review of complex issues in IT

Talk Focus: Spelling Report 2006

  • Strength was to point out the issues around access and affordability and accountability.
  • Right on the issues on the issues facing community colleges.
  • Recommendations around simplification of financial aid.
  • Expansion of the Pell Grant.
  • Report wasn’t strong enough to call the public sector for finance of education. Education of adults on a high enough priority.
  • Call attention to the fact we can’t be complacent. We need to continuously improve.
  • The biggest limitation is the focus on accountability and comparability causes the real issues to be lost in the broader dialogue.
  • Access, accountability, and affordability.
  • How about the role of technology? It is key to the access issue. Providing education in a time/place that is needed and the flexibility of accessing on demand.
  • Technology should be used in the delivery of instruction in a more deliberate way.
  • Technology can be a motivating factor.
  • One of the issues with technology and productivity in teaching is that the model of how we use technology or the workflow or business rules are not changing. That is, the opportunity that technology brings is to change the model of teaching so that more time for example, can be spent by faculty to facilitate, drive discussions, make personal connections, and to lead rapport and communication. Alternative pedagogies that leverage technology efficiency, effectiveness, etc. Especially around individualized learning paths, reinforcement, developmental education, retention, early warning, tracking, etc. Creating use technology to deliver content and focus on faculty facilitating the personal interaction. Needs around improving assessment tracking, data gathering, get faculty to think differently by applying technology in creative ways, to help them become more efficient and effective.
  • Create scalable infrastructure, provide and create data analytics to help improve practice, analyze business processes and automate as many things as possible, and to focus on educational uses of technology, web2.0 social networking, simulations, to provide a better faster and enable learn more and to assess better. (New learning environments and assessment tools and awareness of the potential of technology. Scaling up of good practices that early breakthoughs can come from.)

Exhibit Hall Open
Thursday, October 25, 2007
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F

Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by Strohl Systems
Thursday, October 25, 2007
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F

Blackboard Inc., An EDUCAUSE Gold Partner – Announcing Blackboard’s K–20 Initiative


Corporate Presentation
Thursday, October 25, 2007
11:45 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
Room 206

* Michael L. Chasen, President & CEO, Blackboard, Inc.
* David J. Ernst, CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor, California State University, Office of the Chancellor
* Louis B. Fox, Executive Director, WICHE/WCET
* Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President, K-12, Blackboard, Inc.
* Session convener: Eugene L. Spencer, former Assoc. VP for Information Services and Resources, Bucknell University

Abstract: This session will introduce Blackboard’s approach to connecting secondary school outcomes with changing college and university needs and workplace requirements. We will share K–20 practitioners’ best practices and common approaches to addressing the challenges facing new learners in a new century.


  • New strategic initiative – Bb K-20 Connection
  • Compelling evidence to improve seamless connection between K-12 and Higher Ed.
  • Foster coordination and collaboration.
  • Facilitate a smooth transition.
  • The world has changed… 21st Century Skills
  • Students have changed
  • Requirements have changed
  • What about learning… School districts are challenged, engaging all learning, reducing drop outs, graduate better prepared students, retention rates.
  • States are focus on college preparedness and matriculation.
  • US Policy makers are designed effective methodologies to bridge.
  • 50% of students entering higher edit without meeting requirements.
  • 70% will graduate within 4 years.
  • 1.2 million students will fail to graduate from highschool.
  • K-12 – Opportunity, Promote better coordination, create vibrant communities, encourage and coordinate the working relationship between HE and K-12. Spend less resources on remediation, ultimately.
  • Raise awareness around this issue of K-20.
  • What is in it for HE? Improve attainment of goals, student citizenship, etc.
  • Issues briefing – University provides infrastructure, access to AP courses to non-traditional students, prep courses.
  • Bb serve as a catalyst. Create a virtual learning community of all K-20 stakeholders.
  • Financial incentives for K-20 collaboration.
  • Develop a K-20 practice area for best practice sharing.
  • Bb’s role as partner and catalyst oriented.
  • Louis Fox – Exec Director of I2 K-12 initiative, Assoc VP of Computing, Exec of WCET
    • Digital Learning Commons – digital resources in washington state, community forums, focus groups with adults and school children, telephone survey, what do people want? – designed digital learning commons, serves students and aggregate content, find best courses on AP topics, small districts with limited resources – digital tools for creating, communicating, and collaborating – Digital Library, collection of users can check out and access/anytime/anywhere – College prep resources – Resources for teachers, curriculum and prof dev – Parent Place, web guides, collections of support resources.
    • Internet2 – 38 state networks now connected, Michigan is included, 56,000 institutions – rich multimedia, remote scientific instruments, experiences, expertise, creating new knowledge, creating new opportunities, international learning communities, realtime science and realtime discovery, author talks, remote instruction, live streaming events, club meetings
    • MUSE – a new social networking tool for educations
    • Why should I care? – They are already connected to I2, enhance value of network, mass customizations, engagement of discovery, internships, research, and “education ecology”.
  • David Ernst, Assistant Vice Chancelor for Cal State System
    • CSU – California State University System
    • Access and Success – Teaching and Learning – Mission to reach out to underserved populations – Many freshman are not prepared for college work. Try to discover trouble spots before the student get’s to college, say in middle schoool or high school. Goal to reduce developmental education programming.
    • CENIC –, cooperation for education networking in california.
  • Bb’s involvement is in research, white papers, connect organizations, connect schools, catalyst, common infrastructure discounts or programs.
  • Blackboard Inc. Issue Brief
    – Building K-12 Connections (Gordon Freedman, VP of Education Strategy, Blackboard and Karen Greenwood Henke, Consultant,

    • According to this issue brief:
      • The USA has slipped to 12th place among industrialized nations in higher education attainment and 16th in high school graduation rates.
      • Only 69.9% of high school students will graduate with a high school diploma within 4 years. (This value is even lower with disadvantaged minority groups.)
      • These facts seem to point to community colleges to help “fill-in” with remedial or developmental education which in my opinion is unfortunately necessary, however, promotes delays in the overall achievement for the workforce. In addition, it requires resources to be spent in these developmental areas that could better be spent in innovation, expansion, and enhancement of the curriculum.
      • There is extreme potential for the growth of solutions in light of these facts and issues. The issue paper highlights several:
        • National Internet2 K-20 Initiative
        • Dual Enrollment Programs
        • K-20 Program and Curriculum Coordination
        • Universities Providing Prep Courses to K-12
        • Corporation for Educational Networking brings Bandwidth to All Education
        • School District and Community College Collaboration
        • State Government Quality Standards and Graduation Requirements
        • State Funded Virtual Schools
        • Universities provide Infrastructure Resources
        • Consortium’s deliver Access to Content
  • I personally think this is an excellent initiative, however, it was a little unclear as to where this strategic initiative is going as far as the specific or details. It seems to be forming and in the early stages.
  • I can’t help but wonder how potentially powerful a better and more seamless transition that the K-20 initiative could bring to GRCC and our local Kent ISD. I’m excited that our local Kent ISD is in fact using Blackboard as well. I envision more collaboration and discussion with our K-12 partner in the area in the future. Hopefully with support and resources through Blackboard.

Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
Sponsored by The New York Times
Thursday, October 25, 2007
12:35 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Exhibit Hall 4B-F

Just Plane Fun! Educause Attendee Reception

photo_102507_029.jpg photo_102507_035.jpg photo_102507_033.jpg

Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, An EDUCAUSE Gold Partner, and the NTI Group, Inc.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Museum of Flight

Gather up your squadron and soar into the wild blue yonder at Just Plane Fun! We have your ticket to fun at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, where you’ll experience a unique night of flight. Sample an assortment of delicious food and beverages, mingle with your conference crewmates, and plan your own itinerary from a list of fabulous activities:

  • Experience flight without ever leaving the ground in the flight and X-Pilot simulators.
  • Stroll through the beautifully lit Great Gallery, featuring exhibits such as Apollo, devoted to exploration of the moon, and the Tower, which contains a full-scale replica of an air traffic control tower.
  • Step back into history in the magnificently restored Red Barn, birthplace of the Boeing Company.
  • Explore the Personal Courage Wing, an exhibit showcasing 28 fighter aircraft from World Wars I and II and the tales of courage and spirit linked to them.
  • Enjoy a variety of tunes and fly across the dance floor.

Notes: I met with Ed Garay from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Becky Vasquez from Embry Riddle, and Rob Bobeldyk from Calvin College.

Next Year’s Conference – EDUCAUSE 2008 – Orlando, Florida – October 28-32, 2008

  • Call for preconference seminar proposals is January 14, 2008. Call for general conference session proposals Feburary 11, 2008
  • Theme: Interaction, Ideas, and Inspiration
  • See:

Personal Educause Conference Reflections:

  • I would like to again thank Cynthia Springer, Rob Bobeldyk from Calvin College for providing the support to attend this event. It was extremely worthwhile and I benefited greatly from participating and will ensure to use the knowledge gathered from this event to help shape and inform my work and role at Grand Rapids Community College.
  • I would like to work to write an article for Educause quarterly:
  • I would like to contribute to the Educause Wiki at:
  • I would like to see if Kevin Reeve from Utah State would be interested in putting together a 2008 preconference session proposal. Perhaps a podcasting or session about using Techsmith Relay for lecture capture.
  • I need to followup with several contacts that I met at this conference.
  • I need to send an email to several conference presenters for sessions notes or presentation handouts for several sessions that I was unable to attend so I can continue to build up my knowledge.
  • I’d like to investigate CDIGIX help to teach act resources with video resources.

2 Comments so far
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Unbelieveable posts – what a phenomenal resource for those of us in the education community. I wanted to provide some clarity regarding my current employer’s interaction with GRCC.

Regent had the opportunity to present to a group of community college presidents who are considered thought leaders in their field, and are also associated with HERDI It was during the organization’s spring conference the Regent team, was able to interact with President Olivarez for a half day, presenting the Regent Enterprise Financial Aid Management solution. Following the presentation, he lead the discussion in analyzing Regent’s offering, providing professional insight and accolades associated with the offering.

For the team this was a significant opportunity. Dr. Olivarez is well regarded. Most recently, I was with Dr. R. Ewigleben, President Emeritus of Ferris State University who spent a good part of our conversation discussing his leadership at GRCC.

A friend and fan of GRCC since my days at Blackboard,

Len Napolitano

Comment by Len Napolitano

Hi Len,

Thank you so very much for taking the time out of your day to respond to my post! I really appreciate the extra effort you have taken to clarify your comment about GRCC and President Olivarez.


Comment by ekunnen

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