Blackboard checked in with 600 students through focus groups and interviews, surveys, and usability testing to come up with a number of new features that appear in the latest service pack update of its learning management system. Likewise, the company said it also worked with 600 educators to refine Blackboard Learn SP10.
Blackboard has started beta testing a new LMS-agnostic, cloud-based learning object repository, xpLor. Seventy-two K-12 schools, colleges, and universities have joined the beta program as of Nov. 5.
After more than two years of deliberation, the memberships of two of the highest-profile organizations producing open source software for the higher education marketplace have voted to go ahead with their long-considered merger. Sakai and Jasig will merge and become "Apereo" by early 2013.
Desire2Learn has launched the first new release of its flagship learning management system (LMS) application suite following the infusion of an $80 million investment into the company.
Instructure has launched a new platform to let users of the learning management system Canvas create online courses--both open and private. The service, Canvas Network, is being made available free to Canvas users.
Univision Communications, an American Spanish language media company, used social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, along with traditional mechanisms--television, in-person events, and phone banks--to promote the attainment of education by Hispanics and draw students and their parents into learning more about their educational options.
A community college in Northern California has struck a deal with Pearson to provide the institution with free use of the vendor's learning management system and charge a flat fee to students for use of digital content and courses
Kno has brought its interactive textbook reader to the latest Android operating systems. Kno Textbooks supports devices running Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and 4.1.x/4.2 (Jelly Bean), including the Samsung Galaxy Note II; the newly expanded Google Nexus family (Nexus 4, 7, and 10); and other tablets and smart phones.
ConnectYard is expanding its footprint in the Blackboard realm by updating its Blackboard Learn Building Block and offering a free emergency notification service.
Microsoft has debuted a forthcoming release of Office 365 for students, faculty, and staff of higher education institutions.