Blackboard iPhone App

People have been contacting me all day about the Blackboard iPhone App. Both Blackboard and the Chronicle of Higher Education posted blogs about its release.

I find it interesting Jessica mentioned a Georgia student is the inspiration in the Bb blog post. There are over 200,000 students in Georgia who cannot use this application because it relies on Blackboard Sync which only operates for Academic Suite (Classic) products. Blackboard says the Sync product isn’t available to the CE/Vista products used by all but a few schools in the University System of Georgia.

The odds are good the poor student who needs the app can’t use it.

Also, the USG is exactly the kind of client who Blackboard says should wait and see before migrating to Learn.


7 responses to “Blackboard iPhone App”

  1. Andy Fore Avatar

    What is that makes USG the kind of client that should wait before migrating? Is it just the sheer scope of the project?

  2. Ez Avatar

    Large Vista 8 clients are supposed to wait. Because critical features like learning contexts, cross-listing, templates, and ability to disable tools are scheduled to return in various Application Packs for Learn 9 culminating in somewhat parity by Learn 10 (2012?). So much is missing many large customers like us consider Learn 9 a significant downgrade. Eventually, by the time we get to Learn 10 it will only be a minor downgrade.

    Multiple institutions in a single database are just gone. So to go to Learn 9, we will have to manage 32 institution databases. Managing 10 is pretty bad. The dangling carrot is Blackboard will support us having multiple installations per server.

    Because of the move away from Weblogic to Tomcat and loss of replication, it might make sense to completely change our approach to hardware entirely. Which scares the hell out of me… We had a strange issue with a single machine today. Looks like no one noticed. If we had the same issue with a single machine, then everyone at that school would be down.

    I personally haven’t looked at Learn 9 yet. So my perceptions could be wrong. Its also possible I could find new things which cause issues.

  3. Ezra F Avatar
    Ezra F

    BTW, the scope of upgrading doesn’t scare us. Essentially migrating to Learn 9 is the same size of a project as migrating to Vista 8:

    1) Our approach for the Vista 3 to Vista 8 migration is similar to what Blackboard advocates for CE8 users. Namely stand up the new system and migrate sections from old to new. The main differences are: 1) Bb doesn’t offer a tool for instructors to pick which sections migrate and 2) we don’t have a single place for all users to reach either. Admins and instructors have to know both URLs. So we have a hard cutover.

    2) Running both Learn 9 and Vista 8 in production worries me. We could easily be saddled with running both for a really long time. Hard cutover dates give people motivation to work quickly.

  4. Ezra S F Avatar

    Wow… Two years after this post (March 2011) the features were not added to Learn 9 and we were nearing the completion of a selection process where D2L was picked as the #1 choice. Another year later (March 2012) we had started the migration.

    In March 2013 we should have completed the migration of 29 schools to our D2L and 1 school off to D2L hosting. We will still have 1 to migrate, 2 to onboard, plus merging 6 schools into 3, and send send one off to merge with a school at D2L hosting.

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