In a previous post we talked about personalization and user preferences and how they can help improve the user experience. Well, what about how teachers create and present content within their course? The presentation & structure of content has just as much impact on the experience of users with disabilities as the learning management tool does. Blackboard Learn provides teachers with a variety of ways to structure the content they create to best meet the needs of their students. There are different layout options and even different content types that give the teacher all of the flexibility they need. But the key is to keep it simple.
As we recover from last week’s BbWorld 2010 whirlwind, we’d like to take a moment to highlight a great accomplishment as Blackboard was recently featured on the Dominican Republic’s presidential blog. At this year’s Virtual Educa conference, held at Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), Blackboard’s International President, Juan Lucca, hosted a workshop for attendees on “How to Achieve the Campus of the 21st century: Mobile Technology and Education of Today with Blackboard Connect and Blackboard Mobile” (“Cómo lograr el campus del siglo XXI: tecnología móvil y educación de hoy con Blackboard Connect y Blackboard Mobile”). In leading the discussion, Lucca spoke on the importance of providing “equitable access to secondary and higher education” to students of Latin American countries by “reducing socio-economic and ethnic inequities,” while focusing on the most important goals in education. More importantly, Lucca said, as mobile computing steadily gains prominence within educational space, Latin American institutions can overcome significant challenges to best serve and meet the increasingly digital needs of students by utilizing tools such as Blackboard Connect and Blackboard Mobile.
To read more from President Fernandez, check out his official web site and blog.
In our second installment of the Blackboard Connect social media integration feature spotlight, we turn to Dundee, MI who uses Blackboard Connect, in conjunction with their Facebook page, to respond to severe weather.
The Village of Dundee, Michigan is about 30 minutes away from Ann Arbor and has a population of about 4,000 residents. The community launched a Facebook page in November of last year, and it has already been “liked” by more than 1,400 fans.
It’s increasingly evident the important role social media plays in everyday life. From the mundane to the catastrophic, events are being reported by peers minute-by-minute, as they happen. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “one-third (35 percent) of American adult Internet-users have a profile on an online social network site.”
Sites like Facebook and Twitter present new avenues to connect and exchange information, so it’s no surprise more users are logging on every day. That growing audience is one reason social media is quickly becoming a mainstream platform for forward-looking school administrators and government officials that want to establish relationships and maintain open conversations with community members.
This week, we announced the availability of Blackboard Mobile Learn for Android, Blackberry and iPhoneOS, making the mobile learning app available on the most popular smartphones devices. Blackboard Mobile Learn, which was first announced for the iPad in April, recreates the Blackboard learning experience for students and teachers from anywhere. A lot of work went into the development of each of these native applications and for a more detailed perspective on that process, check out this recent blog post from Kayvon on The Mobile Garage.
If you want to see these mobile apps in action, check out these demos for Android, BlackBerry and iPhoneOS . We’re really excited about these innovations and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this blog and next month at BbWorld!