Putnam County School System has selected Blackboard Learn™ to replace its current learning management system (LMS) after determining the need for a more flexible and secure platform for online and blended learning, Blackboard Inc. announced.
The deal will bring Blackboard technology to 11,000 students and the largest non-metropolitan high school in Tennessee.
In a review of commercial and open source LMS options, a committee of faculty and administrators found the latest release of the Blackboard Learn platform superior to alternatives in meeting a list of desired qualities in an LMS, including a wide range of robust features, support for IMS Common Cartridge standards to easily import and export content, and flexibility for teachers to create their own courses.
The committee also considered how other K-12 districts in their region leveraged technology in the classroom, visiting Cobb County Schools in Georgia. Putnam County officials were impressed with that district’s use of Blackboard technology for blended learning, professional development, and a virtual learning program.
“We were looking for flexibility—a broad solution that would not just address virtual learning, but something we could build out as our expertise in using online tools grows,” said Sharon Anderson, 7-12 Curriculum Supervisor at Putnam County School System. “Working with Blackboard will allow us to push the envelope of virtual and blended learning without compromising the security of our students’ personal information or limit what we can do in the future by restricting course content.”
Schools officials were dissatisfied with the capability of their previous LMS to accommodate adaptive release in online courses, and concerns about the security of student information and the prior system’s lack of flexibility to export courses also played into the decision to move to Blackboard Learn.
The partnership with Blackboard also includes Web conferencing with Blackboard Collaborate™, which Putnam County Schools will use for synchronous classes and professional development, and Blackboard Mobile™ Learn, which will give students the option of accessing courses, content, and organizations on a variety of mobile devices.
Putnam County Schools is in the process of building courses in Blackboard Learn with the goal to run most online and blended courses in Blackboard Learn by fall of 2013 as well as adding professional development options. The Blackboard Learn platform will ultimately house a virtual class on personal finance that meets the district’s requirement for every student to take an online course. District officials will also work on creating professional development courses in Blackboard Learn this spring.
For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Overview.aspx.