Mobile Computing | News
Blackboard Goes Native with Student Debit Cards and Mass Notification Settings
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Blackboard has developed two native mobile apps, one that allows users to access functions for managing their campus debit card accounts, and the other to manage their campus mass notification subscriptions.
eAccounts Mobile, the new campus debit card app, works on Apple iOS smartphones and tablets running iOS 5 or later to allow students to access their Blackboard Transact accounts. The program allows them to check their campus debit card account balance, view transactions, make deposits, and manage security features. Users can download their campus-specific versions of the app from the Apple iTunes store and it will automatically integrate with their institution's instance of Blackboard Transact.
A similar program, eAccounts, has been available for use through browsers. Blackboard Transact is an application that provides a way to do cashless transactions in the campus community. The app doesn't replace the student's need for a university identification card for gaining access to buildings, checking out books from campus libraries, or other uses an institution may have.
"This new mobile app provides a user-friendly and convenient way for our students to manage their accounts online," said Jackie Barnaby, manager of the Saints Card Office at North Georgia College & State University. Students there have had eAccounts since 2009, and it has gained in popularity in the intervening years. "I have no doubt this momentum will continue with the addition of mobile access," Barnaby said.
The company's second native app announcement is for a mobile edition of Blackboard Connect, allowing recipients to get campus alerts and to personalize their messaging preferences on their mobile devices. This app is available for iOS and Google devices. Schools that use Connect can make the app available right on the program's interface.
App users can subscribe to Blackboard MyConnect topic-based subscription lists, identify message mode preferences, and review messages. The app also allows users to manage notifications that come from other sources or organizations using Blackboard Connect as well.
"We live in a world of texting and tweeting, and people today are more likely to get the message if it is mobile-friendly and easily accessible," said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard's administrative platform group. "Blackboard MyConnect makes it simple for users to stay connected to the issues and the institutions that matter to them."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.