The world of collaboration has been much talked about in every enterprise regardless of industry but with a special focus on Education this week I thought that I would look at a product that many of my clients have been raving about…
Now I am far from an expert Enterprise Software but in 2011 connecting information with users is the key to the success of any organization and that is the very principle that Blackboard strives to accomplish with their services. Their Mission Statement lays it out quite nicely:
Blackboard works with our clients to develop and implement technology that improves every aspect of education. We enable clients to engage more students in exciting new ways, reaching them on their terms and devices — connecting more effectively, keeping students informed, involved, and collaborating together. Through this innovative technology, services and expertise we work with our clients to build a better education experience.
From looking through their site www.blackboard.com I did learn a great deal about the future of a Connected School and the leveraging of a combination of their 6 main products:
- Blackboard learn
- Blackboard connect
- Blackboard analytics
- Blackboard collaborate
- Blackboard transact
- Blackboard mobile
Now at first glance looking through these product lines there are some great similarities and overlaps between them and in having worked with several clients that are leveraging the power of this tool set it is exactly that overlap that makes this a complete Education Tool that can be built and expanded in a natural and organic way unlike some packages out their that require an all or nothing investment.
As we see education budget shrink, schools close down because of enrollment losses or all the rest of the things that my clients struggle with every day…Blackboard might just be a way to expand Technology in the Classroom, expand the connection and services available to students and to teachers and make the investment in education a top priority to ensure that their future is bright!
Now not being one to look at just one product here some some other Education Collaboration Products available but most are focused exclusively on Higher Education and seem to miss the opportunity of K-12 that Blackboard has built upon:
- Jenzabar – More focused on the Business of Education but include a Collaboration Platform called e-Racer
- SunGard Higher Education – The soup to nuts coverage of top tier Education Management Software but their Collaboration Platform is called Luminis
- Pearson Learning is an integral part of most educational facilities and has fought to remain current with technology as they built out from a Textbook publisher to what they are today, their LearningStudio is the latest iteration of what tomorrow will be for education today.
This list is not comprehensive but with the importance of education to me and to my family, I have always embraced the power of technology to be able to expand my own horizons and have promoted that same philosophy for my entire family.
Cheers and have a great day…I am actually taking the day off and heading up to Goderich, ON to lend a hand where ever I can after the small town was devastated by a Tornado on the weekend. If you would like to lend a hand or make a donation reach out the the Canadian Red Cross.
Chris J Powell