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Both my undergraduate (in the UAE) and graduate (in the USA) universities rely on Blackboard. I have used this platform for more than 5 years now and I think it's the best educational tool out there for schools and universities. It is very easy to navigate and you cannot go wrong with Blackboard. With Blackboard, you can easily carry out collaborative work with fellow classmates (though it is seldom used, thanks to Google Drive), create new tasks and manage them effortlessly, all your grades and notes are in one place etc. Organization of notes and assignments can be done efficiently on Blackboard. The different tabs help segregate the sections which makes it easy to navigate. I have heard of its competitor, Moodle, but never really had the chance to use it since both my universities used/use Blackboard and I am quite comfortable using it. The only negative aspect that I have noted is that sometimes professors tend to avoid using Blackboard altogether and find it easier to email the notes/assignments to students. I can only think about a training CD as the solution to this problem or making the user interface easier at the professors’ end. As a student, I personally find it very easy to use. It is also possible to integrate third party software as well. For example, Digication. The Blackboard Suite also includes Blackboard Collaborate which offers video conferencing capabilities.
Pros : - Best platform for organization of notes and assignments - Very good for collaborative work - Breakdown of grades using the weighted average method can be done so you can keep track of your grades along the way (no surprises!) - User-friendly interface - Mass messaging is easy - Easy to insert links
Cons : - The interface is not at all exciting and could do with a spruce up - Minimum training is required since not all professors are excited to use Blackboard - Pricey from management’s point of view
Edmodo is an online communication classroom that is free for educators. It can be used in many ways for many purposes. It can be used for a classroom for teachers taking a professional development class to improve their skills as educators, it can be a means to communicate with parents about their child and their grades. It allows everything to be on the same platform and parents like it too! Parents, students, and teachers have accounts and Edmodo has the platform to allow everyone to be on the same page and no miscommunication. The best part about Edmodo is that everyone can connect to it via mobile device and has apps for Android, iPad, iPhone, and Windows!
Wednesday 23 September 2015
Blackboard Use Cases and Deployment ScopeBlackboard is the enterprise course management solution at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). All faculty, staff, and students have accounts on the system and every course each semester has a Blackboard course site available for faculty to use in their teaching. In addition, organization sites are used by a wide array of departments and student groups. In addition to traditional face to face courses, the Blackboard learning environment is used by GVSU's online and hybrid classes as the virtual classroom, enabling faculty to deliver engaging content and media while providing active learning-based assignments and assessments which include student feedback. Blackboard powers a collaborative and high-touch campus community with communication tools that span the range of asynchronous (announcements, email, discussion boards, etc.) to synchronous tools that include Blackboard Enterprise Instant Messaging and real-time live capabilities with Blackboard Collaborate. By leveraging the system to provide role-based information through personalized information with the Blackboard Community system portal, the university can fine tune messaging and help to communicate through the clutter. In addition, the Enterprise Survey tool within the Blackboard system helps to deliver surveys and serves as an effective way to learn the pulse of the faculty, staff, and students. Blackboard powers the networked learning environment at GVSU.More about Blackboard Connect
Wednesday 30 September 2015
Edmodo Use Cases and Deployment ScopeI use Edmodo as a way to enhance (not replace) the experiences that parents and students have with what I would already normally be doing in my classroom. I teach in a setting where I only see my students a few times a week, so being able to communicate with them while working from home has been essential. Posting assignments on Edmodo gives students a chance to see written reminders of directions and due dates that I've stated orally. Putting assignments online also gives me the chance to attach files, link websites, and allow students to learn 21st Century skills all while saving paper and ink. Posting my learning targets, success criteria, and assignments for parents and missing students to see creates transparency and helps absent students get caught up. I never have to worry about losing an assignment... and it's helpful to have saved and organized digital copies of assignments that my students turn in. Sometimes I'll be able to have conversations with students through Edmodo that would be uncomfortable for students to initiate. Linked parent accounts create total transparency and trust regarding such conversations. I completed my Master's thesis on the topic of using Edmodo in an alternative learning environment and the results were overwhelmingly positive. Teachers, once you go to Edmodo, you won't go back!More about Edmodo
Thursday 01 May 2014
They offer an integration with Joomla but unfortunatly that does not work for users on mobile devices. Since everyone uses that lately the integration is pretty much worthless. The platform itself is pretty good tough.More about Blackboard Connect
Friday 25 September 2015
Edmodo Use Cases and Deployment ScopeEdmodo was being used by most of our teachers as a classroom management tool. It began as being used only by a few of us, but turned into a whole school initiative, where we trained all of our staff on how to utilize it with our students. It solved the problem of how to distribute information to our students, assign assignments, as well as hold class discussions both in and out of class.More about Edmodo
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