Wednesday 24 March 2010

Integrating Web 2.0 with Blackboard

Untitled from Anne Marie Cunningham on Vimeo.

This is a presentation that I gave yesterday at a Cardiff University conference on Technology-Enhanced Education. You can see the Twitter stream here. It is about my experiences trying to use free social media tools with Blackboard. These are simple tools that any one could use and many of the people who read this blog will be very familiar with them. But I hope you might find it interesting.
The presentation uses Prezi. You can navigate your own way through it here on the Prezi website. I reused a template and you can reuse my presentation as well.
Near the start I mention that Web 2.0 is an old hat term. That refers to a tweet I saw in the last few days saying that social media is rising in popularity on google, as web 2.0 sinks. But I don't have a link to the source! (EDIT: The very helpful @sarahnicholas sent me this link which explains all)
Here are some of the services that I refer to:
Delicious (social bookmarking)
Diigo (social bookmarking)
Screenr (Quick and easy screencasts)
SNAPP (for analysis of networks in discusion forums)
Mindmeister (collaborative mindmapping)

Oh, and if you have any views on how we should model developing PLEs for students please leave a comment.


  1. As a student who is currently involved in the Family Case Study project I find a lot of these tools very useful, particularly the mindmap, which is great for collating information in groups in a clear and structured manner.

    Blackboard feels very outdated to me, whereas the use of mindmaps, diigo and the screencasts is refreshing and innovative. I would like to see more lecturers using screencasts or at least making podcasts of lectures. These tools are available to make use of and I think more could be done with them.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I'm about to begin the development of a post graduate course on Health Advocacy using Blackboard, so it was quite interesting to hear about your experience.

  3. Hi Nat,
    Always great to get feedback from students, and even better if it is positive. What approach do you think we should use to introducing students to these tools? As I say in my presntation, I think that to have staff modelling good use is probably one of the best ways. I'm not a fan of making 'courses' to do this as it is hard to see why it might ever me useful. You and the others did great work in modelling use of the mindmap! Thanks!

    Hello Deirdre,
    I'd love to know more about how others present their courses through VLEs. Look forward to hearing more from you:)

  4. Great preso, AMC!
    My first attempt at Web 2.0 in Blackboard was Google Calendar. This is end of 3rd yr using it to manage schedules and events - I have several calendars going and create feeds for specific courses. Students can sync mobile devices with the calendars, too.
    2nd attempt was RSS feeds but every time the courses rolled over the feeds broke. Very frustrating.
    and work the best for Google Reader feeds, Delicious lists, and Twitter streams, although the Twitter widget got spit out so I use HootSuite instead.

    One thing I could never get to work was PBWiki (PBWorks). Our course wiki is private (login required) and I was unable to login successfully through the Blackboard frame, so we have the link open in a new window.

    I believe that faculty as well as students need training, support and demonstrations of tools in order to develop robust professional learning networks via social media.

  5. Hi Anne Marie, great work! I love your tool selection and will check out vimeo (again). I have been having trouble with formatting in screencast when I upload a ppt pres from Mac. Cheers, Anita

  6. hi! Loved it! loved it!! Loved it!!!
    Absolutely brilliant! I hope to see you in Barça! You have so much to share!

    Congratulation! You have been doing an amazing work!

  7. Hey Anne Marie

    How did you manage to make a video of your Prezi it a screencast?

  8. @carrie You are way ahead of me! It would be great if you could record a screencast showing how these thinks work/look. I'm always looing for inspiration:)
    I think a calendar may come next for me. What did you use for RSS feeds in Blackboard? This is something I'd like to try. Did you just embed a feedreader? Which one?

    @Anita Do you mean you have problems using Slideshare from a Mac? I'm pretty much a PC user and have found it worked very well. I'd love if it could support prezi too!

    @Sarah Yes, this is a screencast recorded using Camtasia. I put extra info on the Vimeo site but SHOULD do a blogpost!

  9. Anne Marie,
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    I found you through the Prezi community.
    You presentation brought the great idea of using minmaps in Prezi to me!

    I tested Mindmeister and founf that it's graet for collaboration (what your presentation is all about). For creating more visually appealing pictures is found more suited. And here is another free mindmap tool:

    Fantastic work,
    thanks again for sharing,
    - ironstevie

  10. Thanks ironstevie! Really appreciate the feedback and will check these out!


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