The Blackboard app sucks more than Blackboard itself. The mobile app is teacher unfriendly. In fact, it’s downright teacher-hostile. Remember, the medium is the message. Since Blackboard has yet to master mobile-responsive design, the mismatch between the website and mobile app causes users to get mixed messages. This is a huge headache for teachers and students alike.

Additionally, instructors cannot access the grade center, or grade anything, which renders Blackboard Mobile pointless for teachers.  The app is just an added burden for instructors to address in course design, without much payoff.

What the app is useful for

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Scramble with Friends

I play Scramble with Friends, the only phone game for me. My score drops precipitously without regular play, but more significantly, my self esteem drops too. Scramble with Friends is the best life coach and personal cheerleader ever. Although Zynga games don’t deserve free advertising, I highly recommend playing this one because of the audio rewards when you score. A voice shouts: “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Excellent!!” “Amazing!!” “Good!!” The soundtrack is better than the game. In fact, people should say these things to the friends and loved ones in their lives in the course of a conversation throughout the day at random moments. Picture it! ThatRead More →

In Interpersonal Communication we have an assignment in which students describe what it’s like to unplug for a weekend. I decided to blog about the assignment because…well..you’ll see… Class Assignment Select a 48-hour period during which you will “unplug” from your computer-mediated communication (CMC) technology. This includes email, Facebook, interactive computer gaming (MMORPGs, etc.), texting, and chatting. You may use your cell phone for phone calls only. What was the experience like? How did your family, friends, and coworkers react? How long did you last before you became uncomfortable? What forms of communication or what activities did you replace your technology with? Write a fiveRead More →

Smart phones have changed the easy e do business, to putt it mildly. i Swype with my druid and voice text orvoice tore sulk the tinge. Come again? Smart phones have changed the way we do business, to state the obvious. I use the Swype keyboard app or the voice feature on my Droid (not druid, though it is a druidic phone, in my opinion), so I’m forever making gross errors. I typically use the voice feature while driving – friends don’t let friends text and drive – so correcting errors is rarely an option. Worse still, voice texting ignores vocal inflection, so my textsRead More →

Yesterday when I just woke up and was early morning cat-napping, I got a text from someone asking my opinion about a project. I was excited about it, and we exchanged some ideas through texts. I got a “grand idea” that was too complicated to explain in texts. I texted her that I would email her to explain if she would give me a minute. She laughed and said, “Why don’t you just call me instead?” It’s a smart PHONE! Not a smart texting device. A PHONE! It can be used for things besides games, Facebook, and texting. Like CALLING PEOPLE. Donna Haraway, my favoriteRead More →

Stealth texting or crotch texting in class. What a nightmare. I can’t make up my mind about permitting mobile devices and other technology in class. Even though I geek out over the latest tech toys, my class policy alternates every semester. Lately, my approach has been NO DEVICES whatsoever (without a disability services accommodation letter). This works best when students hear a thorough explanation and rationale. Unfortunately, last year I decided to “flip” some classes, creating situations where students need tech for activities, and causing a quandary. So, here’s my general NO TECHNOLOGY approach: Students get upset when it comes to outlawing technology in theRead More →

(In no particular order) 1. Droid I bought my Droid in November 2009 and it has changed how I interact with people, sometime for the worse, but usually for the better. On the one hand, even though I’m a technophile, I really don’t like the 24/7 culture of new communication technology. I used my first cell phone only to call out and for emergencies. On the other, the convenience and entertainment value of a smart phone make me wonder why I went so long without one. I still have a bad habit of leaving my ringer off, missing calls, and forgetting all about the phone’sRead More →

We have arrived in Tokyo. The time adjustment is crazy, but the logistics are smoother than predicted. All the little things that you take for granted are up for grabs when traveling in a non-English speaking country, and I was predicting doom and disaster for the most minor needs and requirements.  The greatest concern was getting lost.  Other concerns were bizarre bathrooms and money conversion. So far, due to the Droid’s superpower capabilities, I have been victorious over these challenges. Of course, this is only Day 1. 1. Money – A nifty money conversion app solves switching from Yen to USD and back.  I haveRead More →

I now own a brand new Amazon Kindle, acquired just before Thanksgiving in a recent tech splurge. Reviews all over the net are fairly accurate. The weight, screen’s readability, size, forward and backward buttons feel great. I don’t like the five-way toggle button or the lack of lighting to read in the dark. I don’t care about lack of a touch screen since I despise fingerprints and smudges in almost OCD proportions. I found a cute Vera Bradley bag that fits the Kindle perfectly. I’m happy. DRM is an annoyance. It’s true, you give up “owning” the book due to intellectual property rights. It’s inconvenientRead More →