Day one of Blackboard World 2010 is in progress.
My first surprise was the initial keynote. Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea”, and creator of a foundation that has been building schools in Afghanistan. He gave a great, human, important opening keynote, well beyond the issues of education and technology that is Blackboard’s bread and butter. He shifted the focus from technology and education to the war in Afghanistan and the lessons he has learned working at the local level with village elders in the Afghani countryside to accomplish his goals of building schools, especially schools for girls. His reporting on interaction with the U.S. military on this front was exciting and enlightening, if not directly in line with what we hear about our involvement in this long war.
It was a passionate, great, and …. unexpected. I felt the need to go back and change my slides for my presentation based on his opening keynote to really focus on the goals and reasons we’ve moved in this direction with Blackboard central.
I’ve now completed my presentation on our Northwestern Mobile story. The room was packed and the audience was receptive. I opened the presentation with the video produced by Blackboard about our experience. I’ll post my presentation here later.