It’s finally July 11! Just a year ago, Blackboard announced the acquisitions of Elluminate and Wimba. Then in October 2010, at Educause, we told our customers to expect Phase 1 of Project Gemini this summer – a new take at what a collaboration platform focused on all facets of the business of education – teaching, learning, and administration – would look like. It would inherit traits from both Elluminate and Wimba but it would be simpler, it would seamlessly integrate with the core learning management system at an institution, and it would fit the needs of educators rather than educators needing to bend their teaching style to corporate meeting tools.
Today, I’m excited to announce Blackboard Connect 5
, the most extensive update to the Connect platform yet. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of schools, universities and local governments across the country send billions of messages, and our team has been hard at work over the past year building on that experience, with a set of features that can help transform your communications strategy, improving your outreach in both emergency alerts and everyday outreach situations.
Connect 5 is all about helping you create and send messages faster
, and sending notifications that are more targeted and relevant
to the people that matter to you.
For those that missed the torrent of communication coming out of Blackboard recently, SP6 for Blackboard Learn 9.1
was released last week. As feedback rolls in, we are looking forward to BbWorld 2011, where we will be discussing the new service pack in detail.
Traveling to BbWorld this year and looking to learn more about SP6? Stop by the Upgrade Center LIVE, Main Blackboard Booth and/or attend one of our suggested sessions.
To highlight two BbWorld presentations that you just shouldn’t miss, make sure to attend “The Blackboard Community Programs That Shaped SP6” and “More, Better Faster – Effective Practices and Training for Administrators Using Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1.” Lingering after these sessions will provide a great opportunity to meet peer institutions who are planning, or already implementing, their installation of SP6.
We hope to see you at the Upgrade Center LIVE, Main Blackboard Booth and our suggested sessions
. Make sure to ask Blackboard employees about SP6!
With summer in full swing, Blackboard Connect is gearing up for its annual user and professional development conference, BbWorld 2011
. This year’s event takes place in Las Vegas, hosting thousands of educators, administrators and other professionals for nearly a week of informative, in-depth sessions developed specifically for avid Blackboard users.
At Blackboard, we are serious about our effort on making our platform accessible to all users. A year ago, when Blackboard was awarded the annual Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award for “groundbreaking work in accessibility,” we decided to reinvest the $10,000 award and put in an additional $15,000 to form the Blackboard Accessibility Grant
to support work enabling education for students with disabilities.
A great number of submissions were received. It was a tough decision to pick out the five awardees, given the amount of good proposals we received, where they all showed great potential to make a great impact to those with disabilities. With the wonderful help of an evaluation committee, consisting of a team of professionals in the Accessibility Community from outside and inside of Blackboard, we’re proud to announce that we have reached a decision in our list of five awardees for the Blackboard Accessibility Grant.