Original posting appeared on The Mobile Garage blog.
This past week, the Blackboard Mobile team hopped across the country, and then the pond to attend and participate in Online Educa Berlin (OEB) (December 1-3), the largest global e-learning conference for corporate, education and public service sectors. Online Educa Berlin brings together more than 2,000 participants from 90+ countries, making it one of the top events for technology-supported learning and training professionals.
This year, Aaron Wasserman (@a_wass) was invited to deliver one of the keynote speeches. For those unable to attend OEB, you can watch Aaron’s keynote address here, where he talks about the Blackboard Mobile team’s roots at Stanford University and how mobile devices and applications are changing life in and outside the classroom at universities around the world. Especially interesting is how schools are utilizing Blackboard Mobile Central to engage their communities with native applications, the ability to take self-guided tours directly from the app and even drop classes through the app, a controversial topic with Stanford’s Provost, Tom Black, that he thought would result in a new phenomenon of accidently adding or dropping courses that he termed “drunk dropping.”
Check out #OEB10 for more of the backchannel conversation from the event.
Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to visit an elementary school in Arlington County, Virginia and witness kindergarteners and third graders using iPads and iTouches to practice writing letters, combining phonetic elements to make words, and adding coins to make $.25. As a former second grade teacher, I have to admit I was amazed at how facile these young students were with these devices, but not at all surprised at how engaged they were.
Earlier today we announced that Blackboard Mobile Central is now available on the Android, making Mobile Central available as a native application for all major mobile platforms. We’re excited to bring Mobile Central to the Android as it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular smartphone devices, with very cool Android-only features like widgets and shortcuts.