Blackboard Collaborate

Well…I definitely learned that there is a lot about the growth of technology that is wayyyyy over my head.  I understand the progressions that were made through the generations of e-Learning but how is all that done?!?  I know that’s not the point of this article but I found myself being extremely humbled by my lack of understanding of how all of this technology stuff works.  Anyway, maybe there’s a MOOC out there that can  teach me some stuff about the technology behind how all these programs were created 🙂

I was intrigued by Elluminate, mainly because I had never heard of it before and because it was described as a “staple” in one of the courses.  I got off to a confusing start with my research of Elluminate.  It looks like Elluminate was purchased by Blackboard in 2010 and the name changed to Blackboard Collaborate.  However, some sites with copyright dates as recent as 2016 talk about Elluminate in the present tense so I’m not really sure…I’m going to refer to Elluminate as Blackboard Collaborate for the rest of this blog…

Blackboard Collaborate offers real-time communication for users.  This allows availability for group meetings, study groups, and online office hours.  Other types of communication that are not real time can also be found on the Blackboard interface? {see, I don’t know technology terminology.  Is it an interface or a platform or what?  You get my point though, right?} so in conjunction with Blackboard Collaborate, teachers and students have multiple ways to exchange dialogue.  When I saw the term “Emmulate” I was hoping that it would be some crazy cool technology that I would be super excited about.  Although I wouldn’t say I’m super excited about Blackboard Collaborate, it does have some really cool features.  I would definitely use some of the features in an online setting but I don’t know how you get set up with Blackboard.  Do you have to have a university affiliation for that and offer the classes through the university?

Northern Illinois University has a communication page that outlines the features of Blackboard Collaborate.

A short video shows how it can be used in an online setting.  It’s pretty cool!

There’s a lot more information about Blackboard Collaborate and how it benefits teachers and students on their site if you want to take a look!

8 thoughts on “Blackboard Collaborate”

  1. Sarah,
    I am with you on being a bit confused about the development of all of these technologies! Maybe we don’t need to understand how they were developed…. just how we can use the technologies that can work best for us in the classroom.

    1. At my young age of 35 (dear God I’m old), I too am confused w/ all of this ‘new’ technology that’s out there. Starting to wonder what’s wrong with what we already have. Even more frustrated with the fact that technology is constantly changing…and once we learn what the kids are using and a way to weave that into the classroom…there will be something else out there to take its place.

      Students (and teachers) have too many choices at the moment… I like keeping things simple and straightforward. Powhatan has Schoology where students can retrieve everything for the class at their fingertips (emails, calendars, handouts, tests, assignments, etc, etc). Why do educators feel the need to incorporate all of this “wonderful / new” technology just because it’s available? What is the benefit of having or requiring students to have multiple tabs/browsers open for each little thing…why not have everything in one place to begin with?

      1. Your post really resonated with me (except the part about being old!) I agree that technology just for the sake of technology is pointless and professionally irresponsible. The technology has to bring some improvement to the class or it’s just not worth the time to learn how to use it.

      2. First of all 35 is NOT old 🙂 But I agree with all of your other statements! One stop shopping is all that students need. Too much technology just mucks up the learning process and the lesson gets lost in the technology. I like Schoology … it does everything we need and everything the students need as well.

      3. I agree. I don’t like how new technologies are imposed on teachers either. I think it is worthwhile to explore new technologies to determine if they have benefits, but often this is not how they are rolled out to teachers. When I have worked with teachers in the past I try to look for problems that exist, and focus on fixing those. Seems to be a better use of time. Its like finding a nail and using a hammer to nail it in, instead of buying a hammer and then running around looking for a nail

  2. I am so “not intelligent” when it comes to utilizing all of the latest technologies. I don’t even know where to begin. I would love to learn more and become more educated on many of the the things I have seen. I found a site through my Twitter research called Zoom In. It is really cool for social studies. I haven’t explored other subject areas yet, but it is where I got my idea for my hybrid project for the course. I am having a gallery walk next week in the hallway for technological advances of the Great Plains and trying to make my learning more autonomous (yes, I used that word) lol I want the students to move around and be involved in the learning. I feel like the Zoom in is very similar to the Mini Qs I learned about last year, only they are more available to me. The more we learn, the more will be produced, and the more we will have to keep learning, my friend. I feel like I am already behind.

  3. Sarah,
    I agree, technology has advanced a great deal and very quickly over the years. Not until I started teaching technology did I realize the vast opportunities “out there”. Some many times I think the average classroom teacher is busy with his/her content there is not enough time to delve into the technology world.

  4. Sarah, I’m with you about the understanding of how it was created and how it works. I do know that several colleges and universities use Blackboard as a means to communicate in online courses. Two of my daughters have utilized it in their college online classes, one at the graduate level and one during her undergraduate work. They felt that it provided a way or was a vessel for being engaged and in touch in the classes they took. I agree with the others that sometimes the best things are the simplistic ones! Peace

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