Press release: Sheffield Hallam Becomes First U.K. University to Go Mobile with Blackboard

Sheffield Hallam Becomes First U.K. University to Go Mobile with Blackboard
New Apps Bring Courses and Campus Life to Mobile Devices
AMSTERDAM – 06 July, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced that Sheffield Hallam University has signed a five year agreement for Blackboard Mobile™ Central and Blackboard Mobile™ Learn, making it the first U.K. institution to give students the ability to access both campus services and course content on smartphones and Web-enabled mobile devices with Blackboard’s mobile platform.
As students become more and more familiar with using mobile applications to contact friends, order books and check train times, Sheffield Hallam sees the development of mobile applications as a key deliverable in delivering a first class experience to its students. The university is firmly committed to enhancing the student experience and has invested in Blackboard’s mobile solutions in response to staff and student feedback revealing that learners and instructors desire access to course and campus information directly from their mobile phones.
“Anyone who thinks we are just shrinking what already exists on a personal computer simply doesn’t understand what is possible,” said Aline Hayes, Director of IT at Sheffield Hallam. “We don’t see our students reading 1,000 page reports on mobile devices, but we do anticipate them using their devices to keep up to date with campus life, participating in online discussions, checking for notifications, and sharing ideas with other course members. These activities are common amongst students in other online communities but which haven’t previously been leveraged in an environment that supports learning.”
With Blackboard Mobile Learn, Sheffield Hallam will give students and staff access to two way teaching and learning interactions at a time and place to suit them. With Blackboard Mobile Central, the university will give students and others mobile access to university services including the campus directory and maps, news and events, and contact information. With the apps, new students will be able to get involved with campus life more quickly and existing students will be able to better keep track of what’s new and what’s relevant.
Developed by Blackboard’s dedicated mobile team, Blackboard Mobile Learn is currently available in native applications designed for some of the world’s leading mobile platforms and devices including Android™ and BlackBerry® smartphones as well as the Apple® iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®. Blackboard Mobile Central is available on Apple and BlackBerry devices and through the mobile Web, expanding access beyond smartphones to a range of Web-enabled phones and mobile devices.
“Blackboard’s mobile solutions are already helping students worldwide to find their way around campus, check directories and catch up with news and events,” said Kayvon Beykpour, Vice President of Blackboard Mobile. “The evolution of mobile devices has created so many opportunities, particularly for mobile learning and overall student engagement. We’re excited to work with Sheffield Hallam University, they’re at the forefront of delivering campus life and the classroom experience to mobile users.”
“We considered developing this ourselves but we wanted to be able to stay up to date with global developments and be part of a community of best practice as soon as possible,” said Hayes. “We’re delighted that Blackboard’s mobile solutions come from an educational background and are clearly being developed to meet student needs.”
For more information about Blackboard’s mobile solutions, please visit
For more information about Sheffield Hallam University, please visit

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