(Washington, 8 May 2013 /PRNewswire) Blackboard Inc. today announced a new mobile app for its leading online collaboration platform, Blackboard Collaborate™, making it available on smartphones and devices running Android™, the world’s most popular mobile operating system. The app also makes the synchronous collaboration platform available on Kindle Fire HD devices, and joins a native app for iPad® and iPhone® released last year.
Native-built for Android devices and available on the Google Play™ app store and the Amazon Appstore for Android, the app lets users participate in live, interactive web conference sessions by viewing whiteboard activity and presentations, communicating through chat and audio, responding to surveys, raising their hand to get the instructor’s attention, joining breakout rooms and more.
“Many of our students have Android devices, and addressing those student needs directly will help increase the access to sessions and overall participation in classes,” said Jessica Anderson , executive director of California Pacific Charter Schools. “The Blackboard Collaborate mobile app provides students with more options to attend the live sessions and gives them no excuse to not attend.”
In addition to the new mobile app, the Blackboard Collaborate platform was also updated with a range of new enhancements: Users can now record classes and presentations and make them viewable on any mobile device, through learning management systems (LMS), iTunes U®, or Web portals as MP3 or MP4 files; When scheduling a new session, a conference call number is assigned automatically to provide an alternative to the platform’s integrated voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) for those who prefer using phones or who have insufficient bandwidth to support VOIP, without incurring extra costs for clients and users;The platform features new usability enhancements including expanded chat capability, extended options for setting permissions and accessibility improvements to improve the experience for learners with disabilities.
“Today’s learners expect to be able to access and engage with their instructors and each other on their own time, on their own devices, and on their own terms,” said Maurice Heiblum, president and general manager of Blackboard Collaborate. “These upgrades in synchronous collaboration reflect Blackboard’s commitment to making education available and accessible to everyone.”
The Blackboard Collaborate Web conferencing, mobile collaboration, enterprise instant messaging, and voice authoring technologies are used by thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations worldwide.
The Android app is available as a free download for users. The new release of Blackboard Collaborate is available this week to customers in North America at no extra cost. The release will be available globally later this year.
For more information about Blackboard Collaborate, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Overview.aspx or follow @BbCollabNews on Twitter.