Connecting Blackboard to Facebook

This influence Facebook has over the social networking of university students across the world is undoubtedly significant and probably growing. The dominant learning management system used in universities is Blackboard. However by design Blackboard is a closed system within each institution and it would be very difficult to emulate Facebook’s global reach.

It is quite natural therefore that Blackboard should seek to link with Facebook so that students can be notified of significant Blackboard information changes within their favourite Facebook social environment. Thus we now have BBSync, a Facebook application that synchronises information changes from Blackboard. To allow institutions to control which information, if any, finds its way into the potentially public Facebook network Blackboard now provide a building block. This component also monitors and logs the use of the Facebook application.

Blackboard tells us:

Blackboard Sync is an application that delivers Blackboard course information and updates through the Facebook interface to keep students in touch and engaged with their academic studies.

Blackboard Sync enables students to connect with their classmates through Facebook, thus creating social learning opportunities.

Blackboard Sync offers several options for participation to give the institutions as much control as they need.

Students will certainly want this feature. Will my institution be ready to encompass it?

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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