Blackboard has announced a new way it is offering the mobile course app...
In the past, the app was offered free of charge. However, the app came with restrictions: Apple users could use the app only when connected via
Wi-Fi. Android users could use the app only if they were using Sprint as their carrier.
Now this has changed...
Starting in mid-September, Blackboard will charge the following for their mobile app:
$1.99 per year or
$5.99 one-time fee
Why is Blackboard charging this fee?
This covers the cost of Blackboard's expanded services (once partly covered by a partnership with Sprint). For example, Apple users are no longer confined to Wi-Fi. They can now connect on-the-go to Blackboard using their carrier's 3G (or 4G) network. And Android users are no longer limited to one carrier.They can use any of the major carriers such as Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon.
What will happen to my current Blackboard Mobile app?
About mid-September you will no longer be able to use the current app. You will need to download and install a new version of the app. This app will prompt you to choose either the $1.99 annual option or the
$5.99 one-time payment option.
How do I obtain the new app?
Follow the steps you would take to find any app for iOS or Android devices.
To find this particular app, search for 'Blackboard Mobile'.
Do I have to pay for multiple devices?
When you purchase either the annual or the one-time license, you can use your license with multiple devices (as long as the devices use the same OS). For example, if you purchase a license to use Blackboard Mobile on your iPhone, you will not have to pay extra to use the app on your iPad. The one license fee covers both devices.
You will have to pay extra if your second device has a different OS. For example, if you purchase a license to use Blackboard Mobile on an Android phone, you will have to purchase another license to use the app on an iPad. That's because the devices use distinct operating systems.
Am I required to purchase the Blackboard Mobile app?
No. The Blackboard Mobile app is optional. You will not be required to use it. However, the app makes it possible for you to check course announcements, read course material, and respond to Discussion Board posts while on the go. In today's mobile culture, that's a nice advantage (and not a bad deal for $1.99 per year).
Will I be able to do all my course work using Blackboard Mobile?
There are some things you cannot do via the Blackboard Mobile app. For example, you cannot submit Turnitin assignments or take most kinds of online tests. However, there are many things you can do. You can check announcements. You can read and respond to posts in the Discussion Board. And you can view your grades.
How will I obtain support?
Since app users are purchasing the license directly from Blackboard, Blackboard provides direct assistance (whether student or faculty):
- In-app help (also known as the BbMobile Resource Center) can be accessed by clicking the app’s gear icon and then “Help.”
- Blackboard in-house staff can be reached by filing an issue through the app or via Twitter (using the Twitter handle @BbMobileSupport).
How do I connect to my courses?
As an example, here are the step-by-step directions for the iPhone app. This is close to how it works in all the apps:
- After the app is installed, click the app icon to open it.
- Start typing Southwestern Baptist in the search field:
- The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary link will appear. Click this link.
- Enter your Blackboard username and password and click the Go button. (The Go button will appear when you start typing in the password field.)
We will be posting more as we obtain more information!