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APAC Newsletter
February issue
Photo taken at the Korean Association of Center for T & L 2019 Summer Symposium in Seoul on 30 January
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Highlights
 
Blackboard Learn Achieves LTI Advantage Certification
We're proud to announce that Blackboard Learn, has achieved certification for IMS Global Learning Consortium's Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) Advantage standard. The new standard will be available in upcoming releases for all Learn clients, across the different deployment types and user experiences. Blackboard is among the first edtech companies to meet the rigorous IMS certification requirements for all components of LTI Advantage.
Galileo Global Education selects Blackboard for its 37 schools and 80 campuses across 10 countries
Galileo Global Education, a leading international provider of higher education and Europe's largest higher education group, will roll out Blackboard Learn with the Ultra experience as the common Learning Management System (LMS) for its network of 37 schools with 80 campuses across 10 countries. Blackboard Learn Ultra was selected over other cloud-based solutions for the ease of use, the powerful features, and the unparalleled level of support provided by Blackboard.
Coming Soon
 
Blackboard Events
Digital Learning Days 2019
Join us in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Philippines this March!
March 5, 7, 20, 22, 26, 28
Registration is now open for March cities and #BbDLDays kicks off in Singapore and Hong Kong on 5th March and 7th March! Join us as we deliver the latest updates in innovations from our teaching & learning portfolio, see where we're at with our SaaS momentum globally, and hear all about the exciting new developments in Ultra.
Tradeshows
SoTEL 2019
Auckland, New Zealand | 14-15 February
SoTEL 2019
We're excited to be a Gold Sponsor for the SoTEL Symposium in 2019! The main aim of this event is to encourage passionate education practitioners from Higher Education, Schools and the education community to showcase the results of their work promoting Technology Enhanced Learning in student learning environments. This symposium will provide a showcase for both the beginner and expert practitioner to inform and enlighten colleagues and peers of the outcomes of TEL. Showcasing and sharing knowledge, skills, innovations and results from evidence-based practice, collaboration and co-operation will definitely be encouraged and supported.
Universities Australia Higher Education Conference
Canberra, Australia | 27-28 February
SoTEL 2019
Blackboard is looking forward to exhibiting at the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference later this month. This annual event that takes place in Canberra, and will be a great opportunity for all delegates to get inspired by an impressive program of speakers from within Australia and across the globe. Blackboard is partnering with Akari Curriculum Software for this event and we will be demonstrating how our partnership can help institutions improve outcomes, enhance employability and ensure pathways to success.
Webinars
STEMTeach in the Philippines: Bridging Partnership and Passion through Blackboard
APAC | 19 Feb, 10am SGT or 1pm AEDT (check your local time here)
For Mapúa University and Malayan Colleges Mindanao, STEMTeach has been a dream community project exploring partnership with government and the private senior high schools. Using Blackboard, this university and its sister colleges have realised a program that empowers faculty to take education to the next level. Join them for this webinar to learn about this inspiring implementation and its effects.
Client Spotlight
 
Mapúa delivers online course training for teachers of the new general education
Mapúa University offers a fully online training for teachers of the new General Education (GE) courses called the Responsive Outcome-Based Online Training (R.O.B.O.T). Headed by the Mapúa School of Social Sciences and Education (SSSE), the training aims to prepare faculty members in teaching the courses in the New General Education Curriculum (CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, s. 2013
Product Updates
 
Changes coming with the March Release of Collaborate Ultra
To better support users of Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra Experience, we are excited to announce these changes to browser support in the March release:
  • Adding native WebRTC-based support for users in Safari® 11 on macOS, Safari 12 on macOS®, and Microsoft Edge® on Windows® 10. 
  • Adding (beta) native WebRTC-based support for users of Safari in iOS 11 and iOS 12. 
  • Ending support for browsers that do not natively support WebRTC, and require the use of Adobe Flash® for media - this means ending support for Internet Explorer® 11 on Windows and Safari 10 on Mac OS.
Collaborate Attendance Integration with Blackboard Learn
Let Collaborate take attendance for you. In this Collaborate release, Blackboard Learn instructors can host a Collaborate session without tracking attendance manually.

Based on criteria you can set, Collaborate tracks if a student is present, late, or absent from a session. Collaborate then sends that information directly to the Attendance page in your Blackboard Learn course.

Attendance from the Collaborate session is counted in each student's average attendance in the course, which can also be used in calculating student grades.
Open LMS 3.5 MP1
All client sandboxes have been updated on 7 Feb 2019, and all production sites will be updated on 14 Feb 2019. More details are available on our Blackboard Open LMS Community page and Blackboard Help site, but here are some teasers: 
  • With Open LMS 3.5 MP1, Snap now supports "expected completed date" on activities for the “deadlines” section on the personal menu. This is especially useful to show forum activities in the deadlines section. 
  • Drift subscription is out of Beta status and is now pre-enabled for all sited administrators! Site administrators have the option to receive notifications about important news and updates directly from within Open LMS. You can still manage your subscription preferences on User profile -> Miscellaneous -> Drift subscription. 
  • Template-based courses restored via conduit now support activity dates offset.
Exciting highlights from Ally 1.24 Release
There were 3 releases in January for Ally, and already one on 4th February, but here are some exciting highlights from Ally 1.24 released on 28 January: The instructor feedback will now show in-browser previews for PDFs, Word documents and PowerPoint documents. These previews are then used to identify where in the document specific accessibility issues can be found. Highlights are currently provided for these items: 
  • Images without an appropriate alternative description
  • Text fragments with insufficient contrast
  • Tables without table headings 
The instructor feedback for other accessibility issues will just show the content preview without highlights. This feature should make it significantly easier to identify issues in a document, and should help cut down remediation time dramatically.
Also worth reading
 
Griffith University Transitions to the SaaS Deployment of Blackboard Learn
Griffith University, a leading higher education institution recognised across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region for its innovation and research, has transitioned its Blackboard virtual learning environment (VLE) to a Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model. This deployment removes the complexities of running or updating the University’s software and infrastructure and provides Griffith University with several enhancements, including reduced costs of change management processes, zero downtime updates and quicker delivery of new features.
PolyMall Uses Blackboard on AWS for Continuous Learning
Developed jointly by Singapore’s five polytechnics, PolyMall is a one-stop portal to access online learning content across multiple sectors and disciplines. In PolyMall, students are able to access high-quality learning resources at their fingertips for an engaging online learning experience. PolyMall provides a common platform for the five polytechnics to share online learning packages among both students and staff.
5 Predictions for the Future of Education in 2019
Kaltura’s Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development, Jeff Rubenstein, discusses the big trends and advancements hitting education with our new white paper, “5 Predictions for the Future of Education in 2019.” Download your copy of these predictions. Get the new year off on the right foot!
Would you like to submit your stories or suggestions for our next edition?
Please send your comments to Asia@blackboard.com or Anz@blackboard.com.

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Kind regards,
Your Blackboard Team