Blackboard Bumps Learning Platform to Version 9.0

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Blackboard has released an all-new version of Blackboard Learn, formerly known as the Blackboard Academic Suite. The new 9.0 release adds social learning and Web 2.0 tools, as well as capabilities for integrating the software with open source systems like Moodle and Sakai.

Blackboard Learn 9.0 focuses heavily on Web 2.0 and social and collaborative learning tools. These include a variety of enhancements to existing features, as well as some completely new capabilities, in the areas blogs, group tools, journals, notifications, and the UI itself, which has undergone a redesign and is now built on Web 2.0 technologies.

Some of the other new features in release 9.0 include:

  • Facebook integration, including access to course information and alerts within Facebook;
  • SafeAssign for plagiarism detection and prevention;
  • New navigation capabilities, including enhanced keyboard navigation;
  • "Standards based design for ease of use with assistive technologies such as screen readers"; and
  • New integration capabilities for using Blackboard in conjunction with open source and home-grown learning management systems.

According to Blackboard, more than 50 schools, colleges, and universities participated in the Blackboard Learn 9.0 beta over the last three months, and some 70,000 hours of testing went into the release during development.

"The Blackboard platform is a part of our district's DNA, a powerful tool that enhances instruction inside and outside of the classroom," said Sheryl Abshire, chief technology officer at Calcasieu Parish Public Schools in Louisiana. "We are excited to see the Blackboard platform evolving in ways that make it a more meaningful and effective tool for daily instruction and a significant part of our efforts to expand learning opportunities and engage students and parents more effectively."

Further information about Blackboard Learn 9.0 can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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