Company: Blackboard, Inc., 650 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 6 th Floor, Washington, DC 20001-3796, (202) 463-4860. www.blackboard.com/resources/mobile/mobile_learn_splash/desktop/k-12.html#android
Price: Contact Blackboard, Inc. for annual licensing options that are based on the size of campus communities. A no-cost option is available for some mobile devices. Licensing provides the same native mobile apps on all the major mobile platforms.
Audience: K–12, although high school and college-level campuses would currently probably benefit most.
Format: Blackboard Mobile Learn is an app that enables students to access Blackboard Learn, via supported mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch; Android; and BlackBerry via Wi-Fi and 3G/4G.
System Requirements: Essentially, Blackboard Mobile Learn needs to be used on campuses that use Blackboard Learn, and one of the supported devices is required.
Description: Blackboard Mobile Learn allows students and educators to access teaching and learning wherever and whenever they want through two-way interactions on mobile devices. Blackboard Mobile Learn extends the course experience of Blackboard Learn, a web-based teaching and learning platform.
Ease of Use A
Product Support A
Installation: Installation is standard and involves downloading and installing the appropriate app on a mobile device. Installation/ Rating: A
Content/Features: Blackboard Mobile Learn is an excellent app that enables students to take advantage of Blackboard Learn, a virtual learning environment used on college campuses. I used it during my last graduate-level work a few years ago. The professor set the class up on it so we could get assignments, submit them, ask questions, get resource material for use in and out of class, and so on.
Blackboard Mobile Learn enables use of Blackboard Learn via mobile devices rather than desktop computers only. Options have changed, but the idea is the same. For example, teachers can use it to post news students need to know. Students have instant access to announcements anywhere, anytime just as teachers can post them anywhere and anytime.
Communication is possible through a discussion board where students can ask and answer questions and review and create new threads. Teachers can respond to posts. Students can check their grades and interact with other students on blogs. Teachers can help students track and monitor the progress of various tasks, from turning in homework to creating study guides. Students can mark when projects are started, in progress, and complete. Students can access music, videos, and images uploaded by teachers directly from their mobile devices or use their classmates’ journal posts. Content/Features Rating: A
Ease of Use: As with many complicated, multifaceted programs, taking full advantage of Blackboard Mobile Learn involves learning a fair amount of material. However, experienced users will have no trouble, and the app itself is easy to use. Blackboard has developed an “Adoption Kit” to help promote Blackboard Mobile Learn to institutions. It includes a number of resources, such as a planning guide, student and faculty tip sheets, and graphics. Ease of Use Rating: A
Product Support: Blackboard provides support to system administrators at institutions. System administrators can submit help tickets for Blackboard Mobile Learn via Behind the Blackboard. Student and instructor users of Blackboard Mobile Learn can contact their institution’s help desk for support. This is standard and well-done. Product Support Rating: A
Recommendation: Blackboard Mobile Learn shows the usual marks of Blackboard’s quality programs. I recommend it as another way to take advantage of mobile learning devices on college and high school campuses. Recommended.
Reviewer: Charles Doe (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 12 years, he has written articles and reviews for MultiMedia & Internet@Schools.