Earlier this week at Blackboard World in Las Vegas Blackboard officially unveiled its synchronous meeting tool based on the two acquired products Wimba and Elluminate.  Current users of the two legacy products will be able to upgrade to the new official Blackboard product, Blackboard Collaborate at no cost; this includes all Moodle using institutions working previously working with Elluminate and Wimba.

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According to the press release [link],

The platform integrates seamlessly with an institution’s learning management system and can also be used independently to enable a wide range of informal interactions across the institution including office hours, school services, student-to-student interaction, and more. The enhanced platform can also support administrative interactions, staff meetings and professional development sessions as well as larger events. The platform’s versatility allows for engagement across the academic community and drives outcomes by promoting a deeper level of interaction…

While the new release includes many features that will be familiar to current Elluminate and Wimba customers, improvements include a simpler user interface, enhanced video conferencing capabilities, and support for learning that evolves from ad-hoc to formal to on-demand.

It’s the end of two known brands in education and the solidification of a new brand name product in Collaborate.


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