Welcome Back

Things have been hectic around Tri-C as we all prepare for the new semester. Students have been waiting in line to register for classes and buy books, while faculty have been preparing materials and furiously building online courses. Here at the Office of eLearning & Innovation, we’ve been working to provide outstanding faculty and student support for Blackboard. We’ve also been working on some fantastic new things for the coming year, which will culminate in our transition to Blackboard 9.1 over the next two semesters (keep checking the blog for more details!).

While we were on holiday break, I came across an article about teachers in Madison, Wisconsin. It was essentially about how some educators were using technology in meaningful ways to improve the learning experiences of their students. But there was one passage that stood out to me:

I have a student who misses a lot of school. But I’m aware of her presence online at night, keeping up with the class, and doing her work. In the past, this is the kind of student who would just fall behind, and be at a real risk for failure.

via The Cap Times

This quote came from an Algebra II teacher, who uses an online course to help teach her class. It’s amazing, isn’t it? This one student went from drop-out risk to active participant, purely because she had the ability to access the course from any place with a Wi-Fi connection.

eLearning courses are having a dramatic impact on education, and have made courses available to students who may not be able to regularly come to a campus and meet in a face-to-face classroom. Students with jobs, with families, with responsibilities, or with a simple preference to work at their own pace, are now all being served by Web-Based and Hybrid courses.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more success stories, statistics, infographics, videos, App reviews, and some other great content that will be new to the blog this year. But for now, as the first day of the semester begins, I’d like to simply wish you luck. May the bookstore have all your books, may your syllabi be error-free, may your room assignments be correct, and may your first day (online or face-to-face) go beautifully.

-Michael

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