I admire and respect Wainhouse Research analyst Alan Greenberg, so was quite interested to read his recent post in which he reflects on changes that Blackboard introduced at this year's Blackboard World. I, too, was impressed with the "new Blackboard" while at Blackboard World this year, and am really looking forward to diving into some of the work we (the PAR team) will be doing with the Blackboard team.
Please refer to Alan's newletter for the complete article and especially for his take on why Blackboard's changes are a big deal.
Here are a few "nuggets" from his post to whet your appetite for more......
Blackboard Reboots @ Blackboard World
Alan D. Greenberg
In an effort to give institutions and schools more value and greater exposure to its technology sets, Blackboard has completely revamped its product line, now integrating together its product portfolio with a totally new user experience (UX) and a declared focus on learners. All teaching and learning solutions will now include Blackboard’s “base” learning management system (Blackboard Learn) and provide a full-featured online environment with course delivery, synchronous collaboration tools, mobile apps, and integration with and access to content. Technology adoption services are also included.
A tiered set of solutions are aimed at helping the educational user community address challenges such as retention, student engagement, learning analytics, communications and standards preparedness. There are four higher education teaching and learning solutions, four higher education campus commerce and security solutions, and five K-12 solutions that center on teaching and learning and community engagement. The company is considering adding more solution sets for international markets.
Blackboard also plans to launch a new version of its learning environment that is delivered via the public cloud. Now the company is providing customers a full set of options: self-hosted, hosted in Blackboard’s private cloud, or via the public cloud. Word is this public cloud offering will be fully available sometime this month or in September. Being piloted in the public cloud is Blackboard’s Open Education powered by Blackboard, also announced at Blackboard World. This is a course platform that allows teachers and faculty to run public online courses and/or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
The company has created a customized learning and analytics offering available to the 259 higher education Internet2 members. The Internet2 NET+ offering will not only provide access to Blackboard’s solutions, but also will include robust analytic and learning outcomes tools, a cloud-based, cross-institutional content repository that supports most competitive LMS’s, and help desk and adoption services. Cornell University; the University of Nebraska — Lincoln; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Texas at Arlington; and Virginia Commonwealth University had representatives who guided and shaped the Internet2 NET+ certified solution.
At the core of the offering, which is fully deployable now, is Blackboard’s Learning Insight solution, which is a full-featured online and mobile version of Blackboard Learn LMS and Blackboard Collaborate.
(Ellen's aside: yes, this means that Collaborate works in the browser. NO more Java downloads!)
FOR MORE, click here and scroll down for Alan's full article.