Learning Management Systems | News

Blackboard Mobile Learn 2.0 Embraces Multimedia, Gets Threaded Discussions

Blackboard has also launched a new service to help institutions develop custom Mobile Central apps.

Blackboard Mobile Learn running on an Android OS-based device.

Blackboard has released a major update to its cross-platform mobile learning management system, Mobile Learn 2.0. The new version expands the types of content users can create via their mobile devices and also offers an enhanced UI and support for some Angel and WebCT customers.

Mobile Learn is designed to mimic the full functionality of the Web-based Blackboard Learn platform, including two-way communication between students and teachers, access to gradebooks, blog access and commenting, discussion board participation, and student-to-student e-mail communications. It's available on three major mobile device platforms: Android, Apple iOS, and BlackBerry. Blackboard said Mobile Learn is currently in use at more than 500 institutions around the world.

The new update, version 2.0 (released six months after the debut of version 1.0), adds capabilities allowing users to create and upload a wider range of media, including video and image files, as well as other types of documents. It also now provides support for discussion threading and allows students to tag courses as "favorites" to provide improved navigation to the information students might want to access quickly.

Blackboard has also updated Mobile Learn to support Angel LMS 7.4 and WebCT CE Enterprise, CE Enterprise Limited, and Vista 8.

Blackboard Mobile Learn 2.0 is available now for Android, iOS, and Blackberry devices. It can be downloaded free through the appropriate app store once the user's institution has enabled access via a supported version of Blackboard's full learning management system (Blackboard Learn 8 or higher, as well as the newly added Angel and WebCT editions). Blackboard is also partnering with Sprint to provide Mobile Learn at no additional cost to institutions for users of some Sprint Android and BlackBerry devices.

Further information about Blackboard Mobile Learn is available here.

In related news, Blackboard today launched Blackboard Mobile Technical Services, a suite of services designed to help institutions that are using Blackboard Mobile Central. The app, adopted by more than 100 institutions so far, is custom-built for each institution then made available to the campus community for free. It provides navigation on campus maps, access to course catalogs, event calendars, campus news, sports schedules, and a campus directory that allows users to call or e-mail professors and classmates directly from the app.

The new Mobile Technical Services team will work with colleges and K-12 schools to develop and customize apps specifically tailored for their institutions. The team will also provide training to institutions' developers who might be looking for help grappling with the Mobile Central SDK.

Like Mobile Learn, Mobile Central is available for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry devices. It's also available as a Web-based application. Further information about Blackboard Mobile Technical Services is available here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .