Communications Breakdown

Graphic+by+Francesca+Hart+11

Graphic by Francesca Hart ’11

 

Graphic by Francesca Hart '11
Graphic by Francesca Hart '11

Inklings Editorial

Staples’ transition from eChalk, its former electronic communication program, to Blackboard, was marked by disarray
and indifference.

But it didn’t have to be that way.

Despite the administration and technology department’s best efforts, Staples simply cannot reap Blackboard’s benefits if it refuses to use it. In an “Inklings” survey conducted last May, 45 teachers responded that they rarely or never update their Blackboard accounts.

Blackboard and Roundcube are capable of providing everything that eChalk was able to– and more. To not use Blackboard because of supposed technological deficiencies is no longer an excuse; it now is capable of much more than any other school program ever was.

Many students choose to avoid Blackboard because the setup is not uniform between classes, as it was with eChalk. Different courses have different formats. On top of that, some Blackboard pages have events in chronological order, while others have them in reverse.

To encourage Blackboard’s use, the school should adopt a uniform format for the design of the Blackboard pages. If the program is unable to be user-friendly, the administration cannot expect it to be used.

A similar problem plagues Roundcube. It will only be an effective method of distributing school announcements if students check their accounts. The root of the problem lies not with a lack of technology, but with a lack of student participation. The school can utilize the resources available to it, or waste the effort and money that the town invested in it. Now that it is the start of a new year, students and teachers should give Blackboard and Roundcube another chance.