WASHINGTON, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced the launch of a Beta program for an interactive mobile application for Blackboard Collaborate™, the leading Web conferencing platform built for education. The new app would let learners participate in live Web conferencing sessions from smartphone and tablet devices, significantly expanding access to sessions delivered through the platform.
The app, Blackboard Collaborate Mobile, would let users join a live Web conference through a learning management system (LMS) link, email link or calendar invite. After the session launches automatically, users would access a range of interactive tools enabling them to view content, communicate through chat and audio, respond to surveys, raise a hand, see the status of other participants, join breakout rooms and more.
"Education is changing and students are driving the demand for new mobile and social learning opportunities at a rapid pace," said Maurice Heiblum, president of Blackboard Collaborate. "We're pushing further on the traditional boundaries for learning and collaboration to allow learners to participate in courses and meetings from anywhere."
Development of the app responds to client feedback and great interest among users for mobile support for their collaboration and Web conferencing initiatives. The effort is also part of Blackboard's broader focus on adding innovative mobile applications across its full suite of products and solutions.
"We are extremely pleased that Blackboard Collaborate, a key component to our online strategy, is accommodating our growing mobile device community with an excellent mobile product and roadmap," said Allen Taylor, chief technology officer at Marshall University. "The deep integration of Blackboard Collaborate with our e-learning suite and the flexibility of the mobile client would allow us to accommodate our live collaboration objectives."
The Beta program is made up of K-12 and higher education institutions that will provide feedback on the design and functionality of Blackboard Collaborate solutions while in development. Many of the institutions are also members of the Blackboard Collaborate Product Advisory Council, comprised of about 60 institutions.
"We have seen double digit growth yearly with use of mobile access by our faculty and students to our learning management system, Blackboard Learn," said Marcel Bechtoldt, System admin-principal and senior lecturer at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "Having a mobile collaboration app such as Blackboard Collaborate Mobile will be the icing on the cake for our campus to provide the innovative degree programs our students so richly deserve."
The Blackboard Collaborate platform's Web conferencing, instant messaging, and voice authoring technologies are used by thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations worldwide. Launched less than a year ago, Blackboard Collaborate continues to release innovative solutions that allow today's active and mobile users to teach, learn and collaborate even more effectively.
Blackboard Collaborate Mobile is planned to be available later this year in initial applications for the iPad™ and iPhone®.
To learn more about Blackboard Collaborate, please visit www.blackboard.com/collaborate and to register for Blackboard Collaborate Connections Summit 2012, visit http://www.connections-summit.blackboard.com/content.asp?id=2107.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. Statements regarding Blackboard's product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent Blackboard's current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available.
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SOURCE Blackboard Inc.