LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 27, 2012) - College students are always on the go. If they don't have their text books, they'll at least have their cell phones.
Beginning this semester, UALR is launching Blackboard Mobile Learn (http://on.kthv.com/wrcgFt), a free app that allows students access to their courses directly from their smartphones.
"I'm excited to be able to use blackboard mobile," says UALR business graduate student Matthew Cox.
Matthew Cox uses Blackboard all the time for class on his laptop. Tuesday he was able to download it to his smart phone.
"It gives you information like class discussion, emails, or assignments, grades. It's everything," says Cox.
Mark Burris is the UALR's director of Scholarly Technology and Resources.
"When they [students] are in line at the grocery store they have access to their course. That's when they can listen to their podcast and read the material," says Burris.
Burris says UALR is meeting a big demand from students and faculty. Before this app was even announced, UALR had more than 100 downloads.
"It gives faculty and students an opportunity to create content in everyday world and everyday life. You can take photos or videos in your work environment and post that as part of discussion,"
The university had to wait a year and a half for the technology to catch up.
This app has only been feasible in the last few months. And students like Cox who just downloaded the app already have plans for it.
"Probably see what things I need to turn in that I missed," says Burris.
The app is being launched for courses taught in Blackboard Learn 9.1. Of the 1,480 courses at UALR that use the Blackboard system, 222 initially will have access to the Mobile Learn app. More courses will will be added as the year progresses.
"Starting in the summer 2012 semester, all UALR faculty and students will be on the latest version of Blackboard and, so, will be able to take advantage of this new avenue of online learning," Burris said.
The new app is available to be downloaded on:
• Android devices
• BlackBerry smart phone devices
• HP web OS devices
• iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad