Mark O’Neil, long time community advocate, Blackboard Administrator, President of OSCELOT and now a Blackboard Learn Product Manager gave the closing key note yesterday and handed out the Blackboard Catalyst awards with me.
We had a great conference with over 330 attendees, program tracks for system administrators, dba’s and developers. We were able to demonstrate our commitment to open standards by having presentations from IMS staff members of Common Cartridge and Basic LTI. Blackboard’s Steve Feldman conducted a day long workshop on high performance environments on Blackboard. I’d also like to thank Anya Kamenetz author of DIY U for sharing her perspective with our community.
I felt surrounded by makers, creators and innovators in eLearning. I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their passion and ideas. I hope you found it inspiring and informative. As I leave Orlando to return to my family, I’m bringing back creative energy and inspiration. I look forward to seeing everyone in Vegas next year. Please feel free to leave any feedback in the comments below.
A quick report from DevCon 2010 in Orlando Florida. This is our largest ever conference with over 330 attendees including 290+ clients and a number of Blackboard staff. I just finished my keynote where I talked about some of the promises kept in the last year and announced the availability of the openDB. Blackboard has made a major shift in its position with regard to transparence of the underlying database schema for customers. Today’s we’ve made documentation available on Behind the Blackboard that enables customers to analyze and investigate the Blackboard Learn(tm) database schema. We’re also providing tools integrated with BIRT to make developing and sharing reports through Blackboard Building Blocks(tm). This is really going to be a revolution. Working with customers we’ve already seen some incredible results from this effort. Seneca College and GRCC have created a project under a greenhouse grant called “ASTRO” which creates some powerful reports. I also spoke with a representative from Hofstra who was using the open database information to put together a multi-million dollar grant proposal.
The second major piece of news was an update on Blackboard’s Commitment to Standards. I called Ray on stage and had him make some clear commitments about timelines on LIS and LTI two key IMS standards that are showing real traction in the market. He also gave an update on our partnership with SunGard and how we are working with them to create a defined profile that will lead the way for the rest of the community. This raises our level of engagement to move forward on this standard.
Finally I was able to share a White Paper I’ve written on Blackboard’s technology vision for collaborating with customers in the web 2.0 world to enable education innovation. I hope to have this white paper available for download in a few days.