This presentation provides an opportunity to consider Blackboard Mobile – a learner-centred virtual learning environment for smart devices. The new Blackboard Mobile app uses Web 2.0 functionality which create new opportunities for course and module leaders and course administrations, as well as learners. The apps’ functionality and potential for promoting learner engagement and a personalised learning experience will be discussed.
In 2007 students reported that a version of Blackboard Mobile for the HP IPaq device had made their learning easier: the user interface was intuitive and provided easier ways for them to communicate and access learning materials stored in Blackboard (Trajkovik, 2007). However, like the desktop version of Blackboard, Bb Mobile replicated an instructor-led model of learning (McLoughlin & Lee, 2008) missing the opportunity to promote a more student-centred learning paradigm.
Pocket PCs (sometimes known as PDAs) have evolved into the smart devices of today in the form smartphones, tablets, and mini-tablets. The Blackboard Mobile app has also evolved. The new Blackboard Mobile version contrasts with the generally deployed desktop version of Blackboard. It offers staff and students additional Web 2.0 functionality and enables students and staff to shape and personalise their learning experience. Web 2.0 technology offers and interactive and social paradigm and provides users with the means to easily communicate, share their personal reflections and data in a timely fashion (O’Reilly, 2005). Whereas the desktop Blackboard 9.1 lacks social tools, Logan and Neumann (2010), for example the discussion forum far less developed than desktop Moodle, Bremer and Bryant (2005).
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