Using Blackboard Mobile Learn
Using Blackboard Mobile Learn
A few times throughout this title I've referred to something called Blackboard Mobile Learn, and I even promised to show it to you. I guess I should keep that promise. There is an option that comes built into Blackboard, but that some schools choose not to turn on, called the Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block. If your institution chooses to enable that tool, you and your students have the option of downloading and installing a Blackboard Mobile Learn app on your Android devices, BlackBerry smartphone devices, HP WebOS devices.
As well as on Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and as you can see here, the iPad. What you need to do is search your device's app store for Blackboard Mobile Learn. The app is free but it requires a license. The license is either $1.99 per year, or $5.99 for life, and some institutions choose to prepay that license for you. So, let's take a look at how this app works. I've got my iPad open. I've put this in my Education folder.
And the first thing I need to do is I need to search for my school. So I type, and I'm going to type lynda.com, and it appears there on the right, so I click on it and now I'm ready to log in. I'm going to log in as Jayden Brown, that's that student we've been using throughout this title. So jabrown, his password, and log in. And what this shows is the courses that Jayden is enrolled in as a student, or if he's teaching, the courses that he's teaching.
The thing I want to point out is that Blackboard Mobile Learn is very skew morphic. It's going to look different from device to device, but the same concepts are going to work. So, let's get into this class. We've throughout this title been creating a class. I want to go into the Content folder. And there's my Unit 1, there's my Unit 2, there's my Unit 3. Let's get into Unit 1. Let's see what this looks like. And I've got links to Practical Implications, a Results Chapter, Lipsum. These are all the things that we've been creating throughout this title.
If I click on Practical Implications, it gives me the text that I wrote, but it doesn't actually show me the PowerPoint presentation. If I click on View in Browser, what this does is it actually goes and opens up my web browser and shows it to me. I can actually expand this further and it logs me into Blackboard and I'm seeing Blackboard as if I were sitting in front of a real computer and not just a tablet. And then of course, I can click on the Cognitive Art PowerPoint presentation. Let me close that, I can close that as well.
So again, it's really the students are on the road, doing whatever they want. I'm going to scroll down and click on Assignments. Now, we've got the Instructional Design Paper. Click on View in Browser. It's going to take a second to load, but this actually loads to page. I can see that I've submitted my paper. If my instructor has turned in my grades, I can see my grades there as well. Let me close that. I also want to show you the Mobile Compatible Test that we created. I think this is a really neat design. If I click on the Mobile Test it actually opens up my test.
Now remember we kind of had a funny little test and some really strange questions. Two questions I think were what is the answer? It shows me a blue book and I'm now ready to take my test so what I've got to do is I've got to break this elastic band by clicking my finger and dragging up and now I am ready to take the test. And, it's going to show me the first question, what's the answer, and I'm going to say the answer is B. And, if I want to, I can bookmark this and say no, I think I want to come back and check on that later.
I can scroll to the next, I can say, oops no, C. I can scroll back if I wanted to. So I'm kind of scrolling left and right and when I'm done, I click it. But wait a minute and this is actually hard to see. And we might have to kind of read this out loud to you. But it says, I pledge that I have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work. And the students actually have to use their fingers and sign it and then click on Submit Exam.
And now the exam has been submitted. Remember I can allow the students to take the text over and over again when I set it and he can keep going on. I'm going to click on Back. The great thing about mobile tests, I think, are that if you think about the possibilities of students taking low stakes tests while they commute to and from campus, wait in line, hang out at lunch. Mobile compatible tests have the potential to be significant teaching and learning tools.
Again for low stakes tests, I'd never use Blackboard for high stakes tests. Let me also show you something else. I'm going to go here and we're going to get into the Student Tool panel. I'm going to scroll down and click on My Grades. And Jayden has a way to see his grades on every assignment on his mobile device wherever he is. I think that's just really helpful. There are a couple other things you could do. You can kind of slide things off the page and keep them. In fact, that's what I did here. I kind of slid it down but the grades will open back up.
I can close it if I want to. So, I can open up something and say let's see my grades. Yeah let's go put this over here for now or drag it and put it over here. So, I have the ability to move things around but I want to show you that I've got a dashboard showing me what else is new in my course, and that's also the other really cool feature of this. Blackboard Mobile Learn features push notifications. By default, unless your institution changes this setting or you've modified it in Notifications dashboard on the My Institution tab, students can receive immediate notifications on their mobile devices for new announcements, new graded items, a test being posted, really a whole bunch of course activities.
Now, I think that's really, really helpful. When the students actually are on their iPhone or iPad, they'll see a little pop-up window saying a test has been posted or a class has been canceled. That I think is the killer part of this. Please remember not all institutions have enabled Blackboard Mobile Learn, so check with your institution to see if it's available and if not, see if they have plans to enable it soon. Oh, and I'll let you in on a secret. You don't actually need a special app to access Blackboard on a smartphone or a tablet. Just use your web browser. It's built into the phone. Well, our journey is almost at an end.
I have one more thing to show you, where to go for more help and information. And we'll do that in our next and final movie.
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