Day 2 in NOLA: Kahn Academy and more…

After a great first day, I was ready for day 2!

Right before the start of Sal Kahn's session at the New Orleans Theater, Ernest M. Morial Convention Center

I was definitely looking forward to hearing Sal Khan, Founder, Khan Academy. He came to Pace back in December of 2008 as a keynote for the national Pact Pitch Contest.

Here at BbWorld 2012 Khan provided insight into the evolution of his academy and how we (as educators) can rethink education. One thing that stood out to me was that The Kahn Academy started as a weekly (online) tutoring session that he was giving with his niece who was struggling with mathematical conversions. Every week he would tutor his niece over the phone, which then turned into YouTube videos, then to a personal website. From there it grew to his entire family with about 10-15 nieces and nephews. It quickly spread to their friends and went viral. From there many people used the videos and his site and is now up to 6 million+ users—all because he just wanted to help tutor his family!

The Kahn Academy is now working with school districts across several states in changing the way they teach. Rather than going from course subject to course subject (with potentially having knowledge gaps in students) to building upon what a student masters before going to the next subject–despite the length of time it takes to learn each subject.

My next session was titled “Increasing Course Quality and Blackboard Adoption through Exemplary Course Review Process” with Carey Smouse, Instructional Designer, Jacksonville State University. She went onto explain the process that she uses with her faculty in shadowing their courses in Blackboard using the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program rubric to evaluate online and hybrid courses. I look forward to enhancing our Teaching Online Certification process with taking some of Smouse’s methods.

During lunch at the Bb Bistro I met several people at my table; some from Arkansas, California, and Texas. It’s funny to hear stories and situations from other institutions that sound just like ours. Next to the Bb Bistro is the Bb Social Lounge; here are some photos of the Bb Social Lounge–there’s even a DJ taking music requests!


Going to all of these sessions are great. There are tons of them taking place concurrently. Sometimes I wish I could split myself into threes, just so I can see all the sessions that I want to! I look forward to coming back to the team and share with them everything I’ve learned and sharing tips from other institutions so we can better serve our faculty.

It was a great couple days here at BbWorld 2012 (even though I missed day one). Now it’s time to explore the City of New Orleans….I hear the beignets at the French Quarter calling my name….


- Julio







PS. Watch a brief video clip of the day


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