At last year's EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, it seemed like everyone was talking about mobile technology. Whether or not a product was actually ready for human consumption made little difference to some companies as mobile dominated most conversations. With the acquisition of Terribly Clever, Blackboard made a big splash by coming out with Blackboard Mobile. The Terribly Clever team, made up of students from Stanford, injected West Coast energy into Blackboard's East Coast dominated endeavors.
The Blackboard Mobile Central Northwestern University video was a fantastic introduction into the functionality and capabilities of Blackboard's mobile platform. One of the best aspects of the clip was that, while a promotion for Blackboard Mobile Central, it wove a terrific amount of stats and commentary into a 3 minute video.
Fast forward to this year's EDUCAUSE Annual Conference and Blackboard is on the move with its mobile development. The mobile team is much more mature -- figuratively and literally. John Dennett, the new Director of Product Management for Blackboard Mobile, was brought on to add depth to the endless amounts of creativity coming from the "clever" team. Dennett's knowledge of Blackboard and Higher Education adds a much-needed maturity and knowledge-base to the Blackboard Mobile team.
With nearly 3 million downloads and more than 1,100 schools using a Blackboard Mobile solution, the future of the Mobile team, and in some ways the future of the entire company, is looking good. In fact, with the ubiquity of mobile content access, a gorgeous user interface (UI), and a dated desktop UI, Blackboard Mobile may become the go-to solution for the entire company. It's no longer "mobile," it just "is."
The latest video from Blackboard showcases connectivity in all facets of life. While I can't mention specific enhancements to Blackboard Mobile, I can say that what I have been told has me very excited about future releases. Blackboard, via mobile, has suddenly and subtly, positioned itself as a major player in strategic enrollment management. When Blackboard gets their analytics package working in conjunction with the massive amount of user data that they collect, school officials will have access to a wealth of information from the very beginning of a student's experience to well-after they graduate. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the West Coast folks at Blackboard are trying really hard to make Blackboard's offerings "cool," and for that, I think we're all appreciative.
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