In September 2008, the HTS IT Department began the process of introducing and implementing a web application called Blackboard. This product allows teachers, at its simplest level, to post materials as they would on websites, but it also provides much more elaborate functionality, such as on-line testing, discussion groups, guided learning activities and Wikis. It is a quantum leap forward from traditional educational websites that will allow for the development of the 21st Century skills that students need in the Web 2.0 world.
Here are some of the benefits that Blackboard will provide HTS:
- A much easier and faster programme for teachers to use than traditional websites. It will free teachers to do more vital work than web updating.
- A much richer environment that will allow teachers to employ a wider variety of strategies for their classes, thereby increasing avenues for student success.
- More access to student grades so that parents do not have to wait until report cards to see how their children are progressing.
- Blackboard is used by many of the universities our students will attend. Exposing them to working with Blackboard aligns with our mission of preparing students for university studies.
Early in the school year Blackboard parent accounts will become active that will grant them access to the course content.