Mobile Computing | News
Blackboard Builds Tool To Simplify App Creation for Schools
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Blackboard's mobile team has taken what's it learned about developing apps for education environments and created a tool that allows non-developers to slam together their own apps. Mosaic, as it's named, is intended to simplify the process of developing an integrated campus program for devices running Apple iOS, Google Android, and web browsers.
The new program lets the institution choose from 14 functions, add custom data, and create a branded interface. The software's backend validates the data and generates the mobile app. Once an app is created, it can be submitted to Apple, Google, and other marketplaces for distribution. Mosaic lets authorized users make updates and track and evaluate usage data to determine what users are going to most among the function set.
App features that can be added include:
- Virtual campus tours;
- Telephone directories;
- Library catalogs;
- Transportation schedules;
- Mapping and navigation;
- Academic and event calendars;
- Access to the learning management system;
- Emergency contacts;
- Important campus links; and
- Campus images and videos.
Mosaic works with the Blackboard Mobile Software Development Kit to allow integration of other apps into the campus app.
The company said in a prepared statement that Mosaic replaces the Blackboard Mobile Central platform, which will no longer be sold.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.