Blackboard Instructor Mobile App- ACTION REQUIRED

In early August, Blackboard consolidated the Blackboard Instructor and Blackboard Student apps into a singular mobile app. 

Beginning September 30, the Blackboard Instructor app will no longer be available for download through the App Store or Google Play Store.

Additionally, critical security updates will no longer be applied to the existing app that may have been downloaded previously. 

It is strongly recommended that instructors download the newly consolidated Blackboard app from the App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android) before September 30, 2022 to avoid any disruptions or security threats to your device. 

Downloading the New Blackboard App 

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing

SSPD Grants: September 2022 funding opportunity

The deadline for the submission of grant applications for the Support Staff Professional Development (SSPD) program is September 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. 

The SSPD Application packet and SSPD Guidelines are available on the Grants Department webpage at

Please note that applications must include a supervisor’s approval form, a budget form, and budget documentation. If you have any questions about SSPD grants, please contact Lisa Dopke, Director of Grant Development at 234-3340 or Good luck!

Mindfulness Made Simple is BACK

Are you mind full or mindful?

This series of sessions has been led by our very own Werner Absenger for the last two years. Werner’s passion for mindfulness practice is inspiring and empowering. 

Take the time to do something for your mental well-being [PD credit AND self care bonus points!] and register for a session or all 7!

Workforce Wednesday: Cody Kasper soars to new heights through electrical lineworker training

Cody Kasper smiling.

Cody Kasper worked in a variety of industries after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was working with the Ionia County Road Commission when a friend talked to him about becoming an electrical line worker. After hearing about the work, he was determined to give it a go.

“I tried to get into the program at Lansing Community College and another program in Alpena,” he said. “Space is always very limited. But I kept trying. Then I saw that Grand Rapids Community College was developing a program that was nine months shorter than the others. It was perfect timing!”

Kasper was one of the 12 participants in the pilot program that was offered in May 2021.

“The training was great. It hit all the basics — OSHA, and electrical industry stuff,” he said. “But it’s the fitness portion. That is what kicks everyone’s butt!”

GRCC, in partnership with the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium, began offering a Pre-Lineworker Training program in 2021. The Program includes: OSHA10 certification/safety, Linework Physical Fitness, Basic Electricity, and Energy Industry Fundamentals, followed by climbing clinics, orientation and an 11-week climb school in Marshall, Mich..

“Of the 12 who started the program, only eight went on to do the practice climbs,” he said. “The first time you have to climb up a pole to 40 feet, you find out quickly if you are afraid of heights.”

The process to become a Line worker has many levels of training. GRCC’s program is the first level. Additionally, there are four climbing clinics and a written test.

Kasper is now working for Consumers Energy making more than $40 per hour. As he progresses through the five steps of the apprenticeship program, he will earn even more.

“This training is serious. I felt like being in the Marines really helped me. I had the mentality to stick to it. I’m so glad I did!”

Additional information about the next Pre-Lineworker session is available at

Payroll: Labor Day reminder

As we prepare for the long holiday weekend, the Payroll Team has a reminder about your timesheets for the 9/16/22 pay date (for the pay period of 8/22 – 9/4/22). We don’t want the due dates to sneak up on you!

Because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, 9/5/22, timesheets will be due one day later than normal, on Tuesday, 9/6/22. We know some of you may be taking some extra time off. Please take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the most accurate version of your timesheet is submitted on or before Tuesday, 9/6/22.

And, supervisors, if you’re out for any additional time around the holiday, please ensure you have a backup approver in place to review and approve timesheets by the deadline of Wednesday, 9/7/22 (also one day later, as approvals are usually due by the Tuesday following a pay date). More information on setting up a backup approver can be found here.

As always, please reach out to us with questions at

Teaching, Learning, and Distance Education Open House & Upcoming Events

Have you heard? 

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and Distance Learning & Instructional Technologies (DLIT) have joined forces! 

Please join us for an open house celebration in the new Teaching, Learning and Distance Education (TLDE) space in 373 RJF.  TLDE staff will be on hand to provide snacks, resources, and support for all of your start of the semester needs.

Open House Dates/Times:

  • Wednesday 8/31:  12:30-2:00 p.m. 
  • Thursday 9/1:  3:00-4:30 p.m.

Featured Upcoming Events:.

1. Learning Circle – Think Again: The power of knowing what you don’t know by Adam Grant

“This book has changed how I ask questions in my class,” according to one reader of Think Again by Adam Grant. Did you receive a copy of the book from the CTE this summer? Have you already read Think Again?  Are you intrigued by the author’s premise that in a rapidly changing world, we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking? Please join us for a learning circle

Learning Circle – Think Again: The power of knowing what you don’t know by Adam Grant

“This book has changed how I ask questions in my class,” according to one reader of Think Again by Adam Grant. Did you receive a copy of the book from the CTE this summer? Have you already read Think Again?  Are you intrigued by the author’s premise that in a rapidly changing world, we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking? Please join us for a learning circle to discuss the reading and explore strategies to build cultures of learning in our work. Contact to reserve your book and spot in the learning circle (space is limited to 20 participants). The meeting date/times and session modality will be scheduled once all participants are enrolled.

2. ETOM Fall 2022 Conference @ GVSU on Friday, Nov 4

Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) Fall 2022 Conference – “Moments”

November 4 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Grand Valley State University

Russel H. Kirkhof Center

1 Campus Drive

Allendale, Michigan 49401


Dr. Tazin Daniels is an educational developer, consultant, and coach with over 15 years of experience in higher education and over a decade of experience preparing instructors to teach online. She holds a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology which gives her a unique perspective on how to create equitable and engaging teaching-learning spaces in the midst of a global pandemic. Currently, Dr. Daniels is an Assistant Director at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan, where she consults with graduate students, faculty, and administrators to improve their curriculum and teaching practices across STEM, Health Sciences, Social Science, and the Humanities. She also runs, a platform to connect with educators and educational developers committed to improving education everywhere.

Keynote – Meeting the Moment: Centering equity, inclusion, and care for students during de-stressing times

Workshop – Handling Hot Moments: Strategies for preventing and addressing conflict in the classroom

For more details on the conference, see

Call for Proposals

The conference is back to “in-person.” ETOM’s first F2F conference since 2019! We’ll offer 45-50 minute sessions in four (4) breakouts. This may change depending on the proposals. As always, the FOCUS of our fall conference is on faculty – on what they need to hear and what they have to say! Our theme this year is “Moments.”

Faculty, staff and administrators are encouraged to submit a proposal by October 4. We’ll let you know if your proposal is accepted soon after that. Submit your proposal here.

Registration cost and link will be announced soon! Meanwhile, mark your calendar and please consider submitting a proposal.

3. Community of Practice ImpACT Grant applications due on October 21, 2022! 

As previously announced during the latest Read to Act Collective, this opportunity is still available.  See the attached document for all of the details.

Please visit for the current listing of all Fall 2022 Professional Development opportunities being offered by TLDE!

Get ready for Involvement Day 2022: Sign up to table and meet students

Student Life will host Involvement Day 2022 on Wednesday, September 7 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on the Dr. Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza.

This event is designed to pull together our campus student organizations, departments and programs as well as community organizations to build community and inspire involvement! 

We will provide tables and chairs as well as any other accommodations.

Welcome Week Involvement Day Tabling sign up

Photos from Involvement Day 2021