Blackboard mobile is another example of how mobile and location are changing everything

I’ve been telling people that there have been three major movements on the Web.

The first major movement was pages and search.
The second major movement was social and interactivity.
We’re seeing the third major movement now, which is the addition of mobile and location.

A great demonstration of just how mobile and location are opening new opportunities and changing everything we do is Blackboard’s mobile app.

What kinds of things does it do? Well, it shows you where transit is on your University Campus. It lets you sign up for classes (when I went to college I had to wait in long lines to do that). The app also shows you assignments and grades and lets you interact with other people on campus.

Why is this important to pay attention to?

Well, you might remember that another important company, Facebook, started on college campuses just a few years ago. Enjoy this look and interview with Kayvon Beykpour, vice-president of Blackboard Mobile, at a ground-breaking app for college students, but think about how much our world has changed due to smart phones and location-based services.

This originally was run over on Building43, the place Rackspace and I discover world-changing startups and technologies.


10 thoughts on “Blackboard mobile is another example of how mobile and location are changing everything

  1. “Well, you might remember that another important company, Facebook, started on college campuses just a few years ago.”

    Blackboard has been around since Zuck was 13 years old. Hopefully their products have improved since I last had to use them about 8 years ago.


      1. I fully expect Blackboard as a company to manage to completely kill this product with buggy updates and half-assed features that they think people want. Blackboard’s main product demos well, and has the right feature list to sell to administrators, but is complete crap to actually use. A new division may help, but I am not optimistic.


  2. That’s a very cool app and I would definitely use it on my campus. Every morning before going to school I have to check on my laptop where’s my classroom and try to picture it in the building. Hope the app will grow and be adopted by more and more students…


  3. I’m with you Robert, I waited in line for 1-2 hours to register for school and then another 1 hour a different day to register for classes. I am very pleased and believe this will help many students in all aspects of attending college.

    Hopefully they expand to different platforms besides Apple. Great interview and look forward to watching others.


  4. I’m working as a social media intern at my school and have been researching iStanford and its impact on Stanford’s campus. I read about the buyout of Terribly Clever by Blackboard and am very interested in the prospects of increased campus expansion as well as those for an Android app!


  5. Robert, I’m a business school professor, and I use BlackBoard every single day. Trust me on this one: using BlackBoard brings exactly the same feeling as using Windows 95 today, and most of our technology-savvy students say so. The only reason why universities go with BlackBoard is the customer service: not particularly good, but it allows them to place the responsibility in somebody else’s shoulders if anything goes wrong.

    I’d never advise anyone to invest in a BlackBoard campus license: ridiculously expensive, and provides no more functionality than the one you can get with open source products such as Moodle or others. And besides that, there’s no added value in teaching our students how to use a platform that they will not find anyplace else as they leave the university: it makes much more sense to teach them how to turn in their assignments via personal blogs, discuss in open fora, work in shared documents or social bookmark repositories, etc.


  6. Robert: thanks for informing us about Blackboard Mobile. I added this post to my Amplify network. After viewing the video interview you did with Kayvon Beykpour, the guy who had this idea, I realized this is another one of those great, life-changing ideas that makes you say “why didn’t I think of this?” or “why didn’t anyone else think of this before?”. It’s a great idea and it’s a wonder no one else made it happen before. Sounds like the relationship between Kayvon and Stanford University was a key factor in bringing this particular idea to life.


  7. Despite Blackboard’s reputation for being neanderthal – this really IS a cool app. (they didn’t make it – they bought it!) Unfortunately it is very expensive, though. But if you are the kind of university that likes to pop the hood, and customise things yourself there is a great open source alternative being used in Oxford University, England. It is called “Mobile Oxford”, and the source code is available as the “Molly Project”. Check out


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