Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"I'm going to talk about that at a higher level"

This is a quote from the second keynote The Road Ahead - 2007 Blackboard Keynote and bearing in mind that is coming from Michael Chasen we know that is going to be no mean feat!

Michael was excited to be here, to see us all, to celebrate 10 years of Bb, to welcome the huge "joint" Bb/WebCT community, to share the Bb roadmap etc etc etc, basically he was pretty excited. Started with the launch of the new iBoard not yet publically/commercially available but will be given away as a prize in tomorrow night's dance competition....if only Liz was here :-)

The grand unveiling of new stuff was a bit flat, on account of having been given a sneak preview at steering committee. Big headlines are...App Pack 3 released yesterday (Mary and I are thinking we may skip 7.2 and go straight to 7.3) and that Bb has purchased safeassign, this is now freely available for all enterprise clients and hosted as part of BbBeyond which means it will facilitate cross institutional comparisons. safeassign is a bit like Turnitin (we'd been looking at it anyway, but whenever Stuart tried to contact them, they said they weren't taking any new we know why) but better integrated into Bb and, of course, free rather than not. We'll have a good look at it when we get back.

There was a whole lot of other "coming soon" stuff too but all of them had the "conceptual image, subject to change" disclaimer on the slides so, speaking from experience, are not worth bothering about.

There was one point when MC had been on the same, punctuation-free sentence for several minutes and we thought that if he didn't breath soon, he would keel over - as always the Chasen experience doesn't disappoint!


Abbi said...

Good news travels fast - there's already been a question today around experiences of SafeAssignment in Blackboard on the JISCMail Plagiarism discussion list in response to this news. Should make our decision about Turnitin alot easier...

gs said...

so just how high pitched is a higher level michael chasen, then? i was going to ask if you'd recorded any of it so that andrew could podcast lx it, but i guess there are some sounds that just can't be recorded. bless.

the 7.3 move seems to make sense on a lot of levels [she said having no real idea of what is involved] and safeassign looks like it'll be well worth a proper look.

as for the dance competition, what can i say - apart from the fact that so many hundred conference delegates are breathing a sigh of relief that they're being spared the aspden, erm, experience (*shudder*). well, i'll take my glittery eyeshadow and dancing shoes to copenhagen with me, and will be with you in spirit - a much safer and less humilifying experience than being there in person. oh yes.

Louise said...

You're right Abbi, it's certainly created a stir here too, one woman "whooped" when it was announced in the keynote - a bit extreme perhaps. Although not really a lot of point in asking about past experiences of it (typical jiscmail), cos it looks pretty different to me (although I think I've only seen it a couple of times before) - they have spent the last 3 months re-developing it to make it work better. I think our plan will be to download it and test it - by that, of course, I mean for Stuart and Brian to download it and test it :-) Turnitin definitely looks expensive now providing safeassign does what it is supposed to, of course.

main thing about 7.3 is to make the discussion boards nicer (ie fixes the horrors of 7.1) - I've also asked Mike about 7.3KB so let's see what we know by next week.

...and finally - sadly no, I wasn't able to record the audio when it hit 2+ chasibels (mostly cos only the dogs were picking it up...hmm that's just reminded me...all those dogs we saw at the start of the week...haven't seen them since...curious).

Brian said...

I only wish they had announced it a bit sooner, so we would have more time to look at it before the start of the year.