Blackboard Launches Android App for Web Conferencing Platform

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, May 13, 2013

Blackboard Inc. today announced a new mobile app for its leading online collaboration platformBlackboard 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 conferencingmobile collaborationenterprise instant messaging, and voice authoringtechnologies 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 visithttp://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Overview.aspx or follow @BbCollabNews on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc. 
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered inWashington, D.C., with offices in North AmericaEuropeAsia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc. Use of these trademarks are subject to Google Permissions.

Apple, iPhone iPod touch and iTunes U are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

Kindle Fire is a trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.