With the new version of Collaborate (WebMeeting) participants can attend meetings from mobile devices such as Apple iOS (iPhones, iPads) and Google Android devices. Both Apple and Google have free Blackboard Collaborate Mobile apps in their respective app stores.
The interface for mobile is limited and does not have all the functionality of the conventional interface. Moderators cannot use it as it is missing moderator tools. Whether it is useful for participants will depend on what kind of activities take place in your class(es).
Mobile participants have access to a subset of functions in Blackboard Collaborate, including:
- Viewing the Whiteboard (but not drawing on the whiteboard)
- Viewing an Application on another user’s desktop (but not taking control or sharing an application themselves)
- Access to breakout rooms.
- Sending and receiving chat messages with the entire room.
- Listening to other speakers and speaking to the room.
- Responding to polls.
Note that there is no video available (either to send or receive) and application sharing and whiteboard use is limited to viewing others contributions. WebTours are not available. If they are using a phone then obviously the whiteboard size will be very small which will make PowerPoints harder to view. Still it is an option to use under some circumstances – there may be times when students need to use a mobile device to attend a live meeting but will be able to view a recording later on a conventional device. They will also be able to “play” recordings on the mobile device.
More about Blackboard Collaborate Mobile: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/idc/webmeeting/faq_webmeeting.html