At the recent London Blackboard user group Julie Usher from blackboard gave us a brief introduction to Blackboard Labs.
The purpose of the new Blackboard Labs team is to be more agile in terms of the development of new ideas in education and technology. The releases from this team will not always be finely honed products but products that ‘might be a good idea and we’ll put it out to see what people think about them’.
Their website is http://www.blackboard.com/sites/labs/
On the website there is a share your ideas suggestion box where anyone can submit an idea to the Blackboard Labs team for them to develop further and maybe turn into a product.
The most recent product to come out of Labs is Blackboard Polls. There are two ways to access Polls. Firstly on a browser just go to http://polls.bb or secondly, via the app which is available just in ios app store ‘Polls by Blackboard’. Julie then gave a quick demo of bb.polls. At the moment you have to use Facebook to set up bb.polls but if you don’t want to use your own Facebook account it’s possible to set up a fake Facebook account. You don’t have to be a Blackboard client to use it.
Depending on the feedback there might be plans to integrate further into the full Blackboard product.