#BbWorld15 + DEVCON Keynote – Educational Technologists & Blackboard Working Together to Shape the Future of Learning

Session Description

Speaker: Peter George, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Support and Cloud Services, Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is leading the way with innovative solutions that represent the next generation of learning platforms. In this session, Peter George, Blackboard’s senior vice president of product development, will introduce the foundations of Blackboard’s approach to the learner-centric New Learning Environment, including:
• Integration across and beyond the Blackboard suite of products
• SaaS model that enables greater innovation, quality and scalability
• The easy-to-use Ultra user experience and how to transition your institution
• Mobile capabilities that delivers an always-on environment
• Leveraging insightful analytics to make great decisions Blackboard system administrators, developers, and educational technologists will learn what these initiatives mean for them and their institution and how they can leverage these new capabilities.

Peter will also discuss Blackboard’s ongoing investment in the Learn platform. Don’t miss this kickoff of two days filled with networking, discussion of best practices, and presentations from both Blackboard technologists and your peers.

(Live Streaming Available)


  • One of the largest DevCon’s with almost 400 in attendance this year!
  • Focus areas for product development: Innovation > Quality > Speed
“To Build Great Things and Anticipate Needs”
The goal is to deliver as much innovation as you can as fast as you can.
1. Big Picture 
Education 2020
  • Learner-centric
  • Education truly global
  • Consumer preferences / alternative models
  • Online and mobile everywhere
  • Non-traditional learners
  • Big-data in mainstream
Learning is a “A Lifelong Journey” how can we create a seamless experience across all areas and unify them?
  • Primary and Secondary
  • Further/Higher Ed
  • Ongoing Learning
2. Products and Architecture
The New Learning Experience and the key principles:
  • A focus on the learner
  • A delightful new user experience
  • Connected and tightly integrated workflows
  • An accessible and always-on environment
  • Integrated data and analytics
App Architecture: BEFORE (Mobile Apps, Content Management, Learning Management, Collaboration, Notification, Parental Engagement, Access and Transaction Management, Analytics)
App Architecture: AFTER (Mobile Apps, Browser Apps, Identify, Profile, Other Common Services and in the middle: Content Sharing, Learning Managemnt, Collaboration, Notification, Community Engagement, Access and Transaction Management, Analytics
Deployment options include Self-Hosted and Managed Hosted
Last year added SaaS – it’s not really new to Bb as this has been used in Collaborate and Connect.
Development Priorities and Area of Focus
  1. Next Generation CMS and LMS
  2. Role-specific Mobile Apps
  3. Browser Based Conferencing
  4. Built in Learning Analytics
  5. Saas Deployment
Sneak Peek
  • Blackboard Learn 9.1 – Here to stay and will continue to be around.  An Ocotober release will be coming.  The April release was missed this year, but back on track. Competency Building Block is coming. Bb Student app is now available.
  • Blackboard Learn Ultra Experience – Technical preview will be available this week to all customers. Simplified, enhanced, and empowered user experience where less is more notion.
  • Blackboard Learn Student Insights – As part of Ultra there is analytics embedded within the workflows you need it, such as “My Activity Level”.  Same for instructors for student learning indicators, “Course Activity Related to Grades”.
  • Blackboard Student App – Available now and works with 9.1 and Ultra.
  • Blackboard Collaborate – Works with 9.1 and Ultra.  The new user interface includes WebRTC and it entirely browser based rather than Java.  This is available today!
Architecture and Extensibility
  • Original Experience (9.1) includes some Building Blocks (unfortunately they are not a good fit with SaaS) = Self-Hosting and Managed Hosting Fabric
  • Ultra Experience includes some new features = SaaS Cloud Fabric
  • Bb is the first company to receive certification of the IMS Caliper standard!
Reimagining Education
  • Focusing on the learner
  • Delivering an great experience
  • Beging there when you need us
  • Bonus – Making integration and extensibility robust and easy
Inspire the world to learn…

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