Yesterday, we kicked off the 2011 Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit, welcoming both the Wimba and Elluminate communities into one event for the first time ever. The day was jam-packed, our team was all buzzing, and we officially announced the launch of Collaborate 11 – our newest platform for collaboration that combines the strengths of the Elluminate and Wimba products. As you may know, we’ve been talking about this launch for some time since many people have participated in the development of the product over the past 10 months. In fact, during Maurice Heiblum’s afternoon keynote presentation, he noted that 85 institutions helped shape the new Blackboard Collaborate 11 with their advice and feedback.

You can read more about the launch in this write-up from ZDNet’s Chris Dawson: Blackboard Collaborate Formally Launched at BbWorld 2011.

Here’s what else happened yesterday:

  • We introduced the Blackboard Collaborate 11 Cohort Program, providing an overview to a bunch of schools about what to expect by participating in our cohort. More info to come about the cohort program soon.
  • Our product advisory council (PAC) and its members met face to face to further exchange ideas and discuss future product development
  • We interviewed 8 clients about the benefits they have received from Collaborate. You’ll have to wait a little bit to see those videos, but I can tell you the stories are incredible.

The evening concluded with the Hall of Fame reception which recognized our clients for their incredible work in collaboration. (You can read my speech here). A few of the winners include Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Ivy Tech, and Clay County, FL. We’ll share the full list of inductees with you soon.

What a great day for us and there’s more to come! Keep following along on Twitter with #bbcollab.

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