Important: Major Upgrade to Blackboard and Upcoming Training Programs

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On May 30, 2011, NIU will be upgrading to Blackboard Next Generation (NG). This is the most significant upgrade of Blackboard since it was first introduced at NIU almost ten years ago.

In addition to delivering a redesigned, updated interface, Blackboard NG will simplify the process of creating and editing courses, will facilitate classroom collaboration and allow for better organization of course materials and assignments. Additionally, it will streamline the notification system of course updates and will allow for a variety of course customizations.

It is strongly recommended that current faculty, instructors, teaching staff and teaching assistants attend any of the upcoming May, June and July training programs on Blackboard NG. Please be aware that in August 2011 priority registration will be given to new faculty, instructors, teaching staff and teaching assistants.

Information about Blackboard NG can be found at

Blackboard NG

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center has started to offer a wide range of training programs and resources to assist faculty, instructors, teaching staff, and teaching assistants with the change. Spring and Summer 2011 workshops and programs on Blackboard NG will include:

Blackboard Next Generation Preview Session
  • Preview sessions prior to upgrade
  • Hands-on workshops for new users
  • "Tune-up" workshops for experienced users
  • "Blackboard Boot Camp" for in-depth all day instruction
  • Open Lab sessions every day of the first week of summer and fall 2011 semesters for individual assistance

Below you will find the Blackboard NG workshops and programs for Spring and Summer 2011:

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

  * = workshop designed for new users
** = workshop designed for experienced users
Note – All workshops following the Blackboard upgrade May 30th will be hands-on, with the exception of online workshops.

You can also find our full Summer 2011 program schedule online at We look forward to seeing you at our programs.

Thank you.
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
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Service Learning Workshops with Patrick Green

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Patrick Green

Patrick Green, a nationally recognized expert in experiential learning, service learning and civic engagement programs in higher education, will offer a pair of workshops for faculty Friday, April 1.

The first workshop, scheduled from 8:30 a.m to noon in the Lincoln Room of the Holmes Student Center, is titled “Service Learning: When to, Why to, HOW to!” Intended for faculty who have not yet taught a service learning course, registration is limited to 30 people.

The second workshop, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Room, is titled “Service Learning: Taking it up a Notch.”

It is for faculty who already have employed service learning but want to delve more into philosophical underpinnings of service learning as it relates to civic engagement, higher-order reasoning, structured reflection and focusing on the tenets of reciprocity as dictated by the interests of the group. Registration is limited to 15.

Green is the director of the Center for Experiential Learning and clinical instructor of experiential learning at Loyola University in Chicago. His current research focuses on the impact of experiential education programs on skill development, core competencies and career development.

To attend either workshop, or for more information, visit the NIU Engaged Learning website or contact Lindsey Myers at or (815) 753-5969.

Apple in Higher Education Hands-on Event at NIU

iPod, MacBook, iPad

Learning beyond the lecture hall

Come to this Made for Learning event and explore the ways Apple products are helping teachers increase student engagement and achievement. You’ll see how Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and iTunes U make it easier than ever to deliver dynamic lesson plans, presentations, and podcasts to students anytime, anywhere.

You’ll also learn about Challenge Based Learning and see how students and teachers use Apple products to collaborate and create solutions to real-world problems.

Register now at

Location, Date & Time:

Date: Tuesday, February 22
Time: 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: Northern Illinois University
Holmes Student Center
Capitol South Room
1255 Lincoln Drive
Dekalb, IL 60115

iPad in Higher Education Seminar at NIU

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Join Apple Inc. at NIU on Thursday, February 10, 2011 to see how iPad is making learning more engaging and accessible than ever.

Today students are learning in more places than just the classroom, and educators are finding new ways to reach them anytime, anywhere. At this event, Apple will share its mobility strategy with the iPad and how it is beginning to change higher education. With numerous education applications, as well as strategies for textbooks, research and integration, the iPad is becoming a tremendous tool for 21st Century Learning.

We will spend time learning about the Apps that are native to the iPad, and then investigate some of the resources that are available on iTunes U. We will also look at some of the Apps that are available from 3rd Party developers that enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.

Additional Information
Please feel free to pass along this information to other interested faculty and staff at your institution as well as neighboring educational institutions.

Lunch will be served to all registered attendees and seating will be limited so be sure to reserve yours at the registration link provided below.

Location and Date
Date: Thursday, February 10
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Where: Northern Illinois University
Holmes Student Center
Illinois Room, 2nd Floor
DeKalb, IL 60115


Who Should Attend?
Faculty and staff interested in enhancing the educational experience through the use of Apple’s mobile devices.

Location Instructions
Visit the following URL for directions and parking information:

Using Twitter for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development in Higher Education

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Have you wondered what Twitter is and what if any practical applications there are for teaching and learning? Perhaps you are among the 30% of faculty who now use Twitter in some capacity and you would like to learn some tips and tricks for better utilizing Twitter in education context. Join us for this FREE online session sponsored by the Northwest eLearning Community where we’ll explore best practices for using Twitter in teaching, learning and professional development.

Session details:

Date / Time:

Thursday, January 27, 2011, 2PM Pacific (4PM Central)


Details and resources can be found at:

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