Monday Musings – February 18, 2013

18 Feb
Image representing Blackboard as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Good morning!  I trust everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s and weekend.  Some are still enjoying a weekend today because of the holiday.  Get some rest if you are enjoying an extra day at home today.

Be prepared.  This is really long but full of important info.  Please excuse the length but recognize the importance of the included information.

There have been a couple of personnel changes here at the RCU. Dr. Suzanne Tribble has transferred into the Curriculum area.  She will now be working with teachers concerning curriculum.

Emily Johnson has transferred into the PLC department.  Welcome, Emily!  She will be assuming Dr. Tribble’s former duties.  Just in time training and credits will fall to her plus she will continue the awesome job she did last year with our summer conference.

Speaking of summer training, Emily asked that I update everyone regarding the summer training schedule and other relevant information.  Here is the link for you to use to find the most up-to-date information for training that is scheduled and ready.  More is still to come.

Flo, our Blackboard enrollment lady, asked me to remind everyone of procedures regarding enrollment.  Over the last few months, I have emailed the steps for you to follow to enroll students in your courses.  These students were already in the system.  However, students who do not have logins will need to be sent to Flo for processing.  Her email address is

Please do the following when creating your batch file in Excel to send to Flo for enrolling NEW students.

Open Microsoft Excel.  Any version of Excel will work.

The first thing you should do is create the column headings.  Key the column headings into the Excel spreadsheet in the following order:

Username, Last Name, First Name, Email, Password, Course ID

You will notice that some of the column headings do not actually fit the space.  Don’t worry.  We will take care of this in a later step.

Before proceeding, PLEASE read the following:

  1. The username MUST be a student’s MSIS number.  If an MSIS number has zeroes (0) preceding the actual number, please remove them.  Ex – 0026178 would be entered as 26178.  If an MSIS number has a zero (0) in the middle of the MSIS number, you will use that 0.  Ex – 0026078 would be entered as 26078.  Keep the middle 0 but still remove the preceding 0’s.  If students do not have MSIS numbers (private schools will not have an MSIS number), send us names and other information as required.  You will need to tell us that we need to generate special IDs for those students.
  2. Use their MSIS number for their password.
  3. You must include the Course ID for your Blackboard class.  However, refer to the steps below regarding finding the Course ID.
  4. An email is required IF the email address is a school sanctioned and legitimate email address for only that student.  Do NOT enter a fake email address or one that is shared by multiple people.  Leave the email address blank if needed.
  5. To move to the next cell in the spreadsheet, press the TAB key.  SHIFT+TAB will move you back one cell.

If columns are too narrow to show all information in a cell, click the line between the column headings – the line between A and B column heading.  You will see a two-headed arrow if you are in the correct spot.

To find your Course ID, click the Courses tab at the top of your Blackboard window.  You will look in the Course List at the Courses where you are:  Instructor.  Look at the name line of one of your courses.  Your Course ID will be the information that is BEFORE the colon.

When you finish creating the batch spreadsheet, you should review ALL information that you have typed.  Make sure that the last name is entered in the correct column as well as the first name entered correctly.  We have many teachers who send files with the names reversed and realize it too late.  At that point, users are created, and these are not changeable.

When saving your document, you will click File and choose Save As from the drop down menu.

When saving your document to your computer it is IMPORTANT to change the document file type to Text (Tab delimited).  This option is obtained by clicking the down arrow on the Save As Type option.

Enter your file name as Your First Name Last Name School Year Class Roster with no spaces.  Example – JaneDoe2013ClassRoster

Be sure to save the file somewhere you will find it!

After clicking the Save button, you will receive an error message.  Simply click OK on that message.

You will then receive another error message.  Click the Yes button that message.

Your class roster is now saved.

Email the list to the following email address:

I trust the above information will be helpful for many as you proceed with using Blackboard in your courses.

Those who need to get their COOL certification.  Please be aware of the following.  There are only two sections of COOL Essentials with a few seats left this spring.  If you need to earn the certification before June 30, you must enroll in the session that begins March 4 or March 18 immediately.  There are less than ten seats available.  No further Essentials courses will begin and complete before the June 30 deadline.

We have a new course offering that may be of interest to many counselors.  The new course begins March 4 and earns 3 CEUS.  It is only $30!  This course is called IHL Online College Knowledge for Middle School.  The course is strictly online and lasts 4 weeks.

Those who are interested in learning how to use Twitter will be interested in the Twitter in the Classroom course.  It begins March 11 and lasts for two weeks.  It is strictly online and earns 1 CEU.  While taking this course, you will create a Twitter account, learn some fundamentals for using Twitter, and obtain ideas for using Twitter in your classrooms.

To see a full line-up of upcoming professional development, check out our course listing online. This course listing changes and updates frequently.  I suggest that you bookmark this link for future reference.

This email has gotten quite lengthy; however, I wish to share a couple of awesome resources that I have come across lately.

Today we are recognizing our presidents by observing President’s Day.  Look at this link from Technology and Learning regarding Great American Presidents’ Sites and Apps.

Technology and Learning has also published a great article regarding social media.  Look at this link.


One final thing – the old BRIDGE and PACE sites are no longer available.  All teachers in Career and Technical areas should be enrolled in a new PACE site that begins with a number and has the name PACE in the Course ID.  Example – agricultural instructors belong to the 01PACE site.  If you are not enrolled in your appropriate PACE site (the PACE sites are organized by career clusters), please let your MDE coordinator know immediately.  They will assist you in getting enrolled in your appropriate site.


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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in General News, Links


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