St. Hilda’s School Launches Mobile App With Blackboard
Mobile Move Dramatically Increases Student Engagement While Reducing Carbon Footprint
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – September 2, 2011 – St. Hilda’s School in Australia has become the first K-12 school worldwide to launch a custom-designed mobile application powered by Blackboard Mobile™ Central, bringing an interactive campus experience to students’ smartphones and tablet devices, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today. The school has also implemented Blackboard Mobile Learn™ and Blackboard Managed Hosting SM, helping lead to a dramatic 550 percent increase in use of their Blackboard Learn™ online learning environment and a decrease in printing by more than 1 million sheets this year.
iStHildas, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store on Apple® iOS devices including the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®, offers mobile access to campus maps, photo galleries and videos, a staff directory, curriculum information, event calendars, the latest school news, sports schedules and more. Blackboard Mobile Learn is also integrated into the app, enabling students to check grades, post discussions, and browse online course content for a complete teaching and learning experience. The app has proved popular with prospective students, parents and alumni as a way of getting more involved with school life and initiatives within the community.
Since going mobile, school officials have seen a 550 percent increase in daily page views in their instance of the Blackboard Learn™ platform, going from approximately 3,000 to a peak of 30,000. The mobile effort has also allowed the school to drastically reduce paper usage and printing expenses. The Math Faculty alone has decreased printing costs by over 90 percent in the first eight months of 2011, as compared to all of 2010.
“We want to offer our students and staff the best in technology and access, and that means making our services and information available to mobile users,” said Peter Crawley, head of school at St. Hilda’s. “Having all resources and materials available at their fingertips has taken several kilograms out of students’ backpacks – putting less weight on their shoulders and more opportunities in their hands. We’re excited to have a partner in Blackboard that really understands the possibilities for mobile applications in education.”
With the rapid growth of the online curriculum and the increased need for more reliable uptime, St. Hilda’s also implemented Blackboard Managed Hosting. The service provides a secure and high performance data infrastructure that manages installations, upgrades, and day-to-day maintenance. This enables the IT staff to spend more time working to improve overall systems to better support learning programs.
“St. Hilda’s leadership truly has a pioneering vision of using technology as a way to increase student engagement,” said Geoff Powell, director of learning technology at St. Hilda’s. “We hope that our innovative approach will set the bar for K-12 institutions around the world.” St. Hilda’s hosted a TEDx event in July where they formally announced the launch of iStHildas.
The announcement was made this week at the BbSummit® Australasia 2011 in Melbourne where district officials provided examples of their online courses, present videos of students in action, illustrate carbon footprint rewards and discuss system statistics.
For more information about Blackboard’s mobile solutions, please visit http://www.blackboardmobile.com. For more information about St Hilda’s School, Gold Coast, please visit http://www.sthildas.qld.edu.au/
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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