How Could Using Blackboard Facilitate Learning And Interaction In An Online Classroom

In a classroom setting, who would do what for their classmates? Not the person writing the lecture notes.

How Could Using Blackboard Facilitate Learning And Interaction In An Online Classroom

Spike Watkins is the co-founder and Principal of Fresh Academies, a Los Angeles-based chain of K-12 schools and private elementary charter schools. His goal is to infuse experiential learning into the Blackboard® learning ecosystem.


As a school leader, it’s easy to see that Blackboard® is complex. If you are a Blackboard® user, you could very easily see why. Though big, Blackboard is vast and its options and extensions are much too extensive. There are 20 million uses in 155 countries in 29 languages with different price points, compliance levels, content sets, and quality control. In this day and age, it’s difficult to know where to begin. The reason we often want to drill down to an option (like the one we’re evaluating) is to find what works best. What goes into my evaluation? Is it worth the time and effort to get into Blackboard™? What has the feedback been in the comments section? I’ve spent a few hours testing an example of the best program out there.

However, it’s always important to keep one very key metric in mind: HOW? What are your goals, what are your goals for your curriculum?

How can Blackboard be used to improve my students’ experience?

Depending on how you structure your curriculum, the resources within Blackboard® can be used as part of an interactive environment with students or on a separate, standalone environment.

For instance, in your high school students, there’s a great jumping off point for Blackboard® environments: the Blackboard® Newsroom. Newsfeeds are a great place to begin teaching your students through assignments, quizzes, and assessment. Students can now see posts from specific professors (or just the classes they are taking) and begin to understand the context of the information. Blackboard® Newsroom offers access to the entire lecture on Facebook® (via the Blackboard® Facebook Messenger™ program) so that students can connect with faculty to discuss their assignments. Students can also connect and talk directly with each other about assignments for the rest of the class to understand how these lessons are going. This is a great starting point for understanding more of the content being taught through Blackboard® and moving forward on the content they’re studying.

By combining the interactive feel of Blackboard® Newsroom with Blackboard® classrooms, Blackboard® can encourage both interaction and skills mastery. Whether it’s a specific subject area like math or English, or making certain tools accessible via Blackboard® in your classroom, these features may expand the use of content. It helps to see where your students are from in terms of life experiences, interests, and interests; it helps to see where they’re vulnerable (in terms of knowledge and discussion), and it helps them to grow as students. Through a concentrated focus on the more enriching aspects of a Blackboard® school environment, you can invite greater focus to challenge their learning and make it more impactful.

How can I improve my instructional practices with Blackboard®?

Students and teachers don’t learn at a different pace than other students and teachers. Both grow and learn through engaging with each other and through the communities we engage in.

For the most part, Blackboard® has already been implemented into many schools and teachers use it as their standard. But where these companies lack is the ability to connect with many different communities to enable these personalized learning experiences.


· Blackboard® Online allows you to access your lesson plans, assignments, tools, content, and the apps directly within Blackboard®. If you are transitioning to Blackboard® Online, this platform allows you to have a seamless experience as you move from classroom to classroom and across the district.

· Blackboard® Link is a special collaboration app within Blackboard® that provides administrators with a new way to review student work without the use of a cloud service subscription. Administrators can use Link to review comments and use Blackboard® for grading worksheets and assignments.

· Students have Blackboard® apps available to them and can view content in a few of the most familiar places: Blackboard® Dashboard, OpenClassroom, or Blackboard® VideoKiosk. Students can create annotations and see the comments on each subject area.

· Android™ and iOS® apps are available on the market. Students can use this app to access their lessons and make changes to their current pages. They can also create their own stories from this app.

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