Blackboard unveils real-time collaboration platform for education


Blackboard announced the launch of Blackboard
Collaborate, an education-focused platform for real-time collaboration that
helps institutions shift more learning, networking, and communication online to
improve education quality while reducing the cost of academic operations.


Combining the strengths of the Elluminate and Wimba
products, the innovative, easy-to-use platform goes beyond Web conferencing to
deliver robust Web, video and voice conferencing as well as presence, instant
messaging and voice authoring. 


The platform integrates seamlessly with an institution’s
learning management system and can also be used independently to enable a wide
range of informal interactions across the institution including office hours,
school services, student-to-student interaction, and more.


The enhanced platform can also support administrative
interactions, staff meetings and professional development sessions as well as
larger events. The platform’s versatility allows for engagement across the
academic community and drives outcomes by promoting a deeper level of


To reach my students, I need to capture their attention
in new and different ways while simultaneously delivering valuable content,”
said Debbie Faires, assistant Director for Distance Learning, School of Library
and Information Science at San Jose State University.


Blackboard Collaborate delivers on my requirements; I
can present a lecture, engage in a discussion, leave multilevel messages and
connect with my staff – all in the same environment – to personalize the
learning experience and promote richer interaction,” Faires added.


While the new release includes many features that will be
familiar to current Elluminate and Wimba customers, improvements include a
simpler user interface, enhanced video conferencing capabilities, and support
for learning that evolves from ad-hoc to formal to on-demand. The entire
platform was designed with input from professional educators and students who
participated in a Product Advisory Council to help guide its development.


There are lots of Web conferencing solutions, but this is
the only education-specific collaboration platform built from the ground up in
partnership with teachers and learners to help ensure it meets their needs,”
said Maurice Heiblum, president of Blackboard Collaborate.


The new platform continues Blackboard’s commitment to openness
and interoperability, and can be integrated with learning management systems
including Blackboard Learn, WebCT, and ANGEL as well as Desire2Learn, Plateau,
Pearson LearningStudio, Sakai and Moodle. The platform also includes an open
Application Programming Interface (API) to support custom integrations and


By Team
[email protected]




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