Blackboard has announced the launch of Blackboard Mobile in Europe, bringing students the ability to access campus services and content when and where they want, with their smartphone or web-enabled mobile device.
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands is the first European institution to launch Blackboard Mobile Central, an innovative mobile education application that enables students to access campus information on the go, anywhere, at any time. With Blackboard Mobile Central, TU Delft can fully integrate the campus experience with technology, bringing a range of campus life and services into the palm of a student’s hands.
A recent campus survey revealed the iPhone to be the most common smartphone on the TU Delft campus and Blackboard to be the service most desired by students for mobile access. For that reason iPhone users will be the first to have access to Blackboard Mobile Central. However, it will soon be developed to operate on other Web-enabled mobile devices, such as the Blackberry, to dramatically increase the number of students able to access the services they need on the devices they love.
Blackboard Mobile Central will bring the institution and students significantly closer together by enabling student access to a range of campus life and services, including: Map – search for TU Delft buildings by name, pinpoint them on the map, see relative location information and zoom or pan across the map using the multi-touch interface; Events – check out listings from the Delft Calendar; Video – stream course lectures and other video content straight to the phone; News – Check out the latest news from around the campus; Library – search the TU Delft library, check item availability and get links to view source material online.
With Blackboard Mobile’s open architecture, TU Delft can fully customise and personalise the institution’s iPhone and mobile Web interfaces, extend the platform in new directions tailored to TU Delft’s specific needs, and provide its students with an enhanced mobile experience. Also, as TU Delft is an engineering university, students will have the opportunity to extend the platform as part of an elective course.
“Mobile is the future of learning – with the growing sophistication of mobile technology and its interoperability and ease of use we recognized the benefit of embracing this platform to communicate with our students and enhance their overall learning experience,” said Willem van Valkenburg, e-Learning Consultant at TU Delft. “The application has been extremely successful to the point that there have been thousands of downloads from the iTunes Store since the application launched.”
TU Delft is one of Europe’s leading knowledge organisations at which the development, transfer and application of knowledge is imperative. The university is a strong advocate of open content and eager to distribute content via technology to anyone who wants to learn, wherever they are. The European Union is giving high priority to the development of the “Europe of Knowledge.” European universities like TU Delft play a central role in the realisation of this ambition and it will be high on the European agenda in upcoming years.