2016 Message from the President

John Lane serves as the Director of Technology Learning Services at the University of Houston Downtown

John Lane serves as the Director of Technology Learning Services at the University of Houston Downtown

Hi everyone!

It just seemed like yesterday we embraced over hundred of your Texas educators who enjoyed our workshops and shared experiences at our annual T-BUG conference last year in Granbury, Tx.  This year’s conference theme is “Blackboard On The Bay Sailing Towards Success in 2016 and is in Kemah, Tx and is just one month away and I can barely contain myself!

Our keynote this year is Alicia Baturoni Cortez who is the program manager for NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars, or NCAS, a STEM education program that gives students an authentic NASA experience and encourages them to finish a 2-year degree or transfer to a 4-year university to pursue a NASA-related field.
We also have Michelle Malizia who is the Director of Library Services for the Health Sciences at the University of Houston where she is in charge of program planning and implementation for the university’s new health science library to be open in 2017

At this year’s conference, you’ll get a chance to visit with several Blackboard officials as they discuss the New Learner Experience, Blackboard Ultra, SaaS, and Collaborate, Blackboard Mobile Apps and other exciting Blackboard announcements.  Other hot topics in higher education that we will discuss include designing new online modules, distance learning leadership, gamification, accessibility and UDL and more!  And with eighteen vendors that are sponsoring or exhibiting, we’re certain you’ll find something to bring back to your home institution.

I know you’ll find the newly remodeled conference and resort center at South Shore Harbour in Kemah Texas a great place to get away from the stress of work for a few days, catch up with old friends, make new friends, and learn how to better utilize Blackboard on our campuses.   And the world-famous Kemah Boardwalk is just a few minutes away and only 25 minutes away to Galveston Beach!    If you’ve never visited or heard of Kemah, it’s about 40 minutes south of downtown Houston.  While you’re here for the conference, I hope you’ll take some time to visit the fun shops and boardwalk fun owned by Landry’s .

Speaking of Landry’s we’ve arranged an elegant evening of luxurious dining aboard their Fantasea Yacht which will take us on a three-hour cruise across the bay.  It’ll be a great evening to watch the city lights and visit with your colleagues while enjoying fresh surf and turf menu.

So if you know anyone interested in these topics, encourage them to register for the conference and book hotel accommodations as well.  Of course, we will continue our focus on teaching and learning, instructional technology, and system administration.  We will also hold elections for 2017 officers and we hope you’ll consider stepping up to a leadership position within T-BUG.

We look forward to seeing you at #TBUG2016!


John Lane

T-BUG President (2016)

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