Professional Development | News

Arizona Department of Ed Shifts Professional Development to Blackboard

Arizona's Department of Education is expanding the use of Blackboard products in the state, this time to help its educators pursue their professional development. The department will be using the learning management system and related tools to deliver courses and collaboration opportunities to 60,000 public and charter school teachers and administrators. Blackboard won a contract to become the "preferred contractor" in delivering a software-as-a-service LMS.

The project entails importing existing courses and instructional content from the department's legacy system, IDEAL; delivering instructional content to support Arizona's move to the Common Core standards; and providing the capability for the schools themselves to opt into the use of the LMS for delivering online learning to students. The system must also integrate with other state applications to allow teachers to register for classes, pay course fees, and track progress toward certifications from within the LMS.

"The K-12 educational landscape is quickly changing and teachers need professional learning opportunities that support their individual goals, but also help them set their students up for success through new, innovative approaches to teaching," said John Huppenthal, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction. "Blackboard’s comprehensive, mobile-friendly teaching and learning environment will allow Arizona to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and meet the needs of our education community."

The deal will also enable other state education entities such as regional centers and county agencies, to adopt Blackboard as well.

The company said in a statement that it already works with "nearly 70 schools" in the state across multiple products, solutions and services.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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