Blackboard today unveiled Mosaic™, a unique platform that gives schools and universities a radically different approach to deploying mobile apps. While institutions can spend months developing apps and lack flexibility to make changes once they've launched, Mosaic greatly simplifies the process so that anyone who can use a Web browser can create, deploy, and update high-quality, device-specific apps in minutes or days.
Mosaic is the only solution in the education space that enables institutions to implement data once, and deploy separate native apps across all major platforms including iOS® and Android™, as well as Mobile Web. With Mosaic, institutions can choose from 14 readily available features, add custom data, and create a unique interface to match their brand.
"Mobile apps have become a mainstream channel for people to get information about LMU, and the quality of our app reflects strongly on the caliber of our university," said John S. Kiralla, Executive Director, Communications, New Media and Design at Loyola Marymount University. "Mosaic makes it easy for us to update our mobile content and features to keep pace with the needs of our integrated digital strategy and target audiences."
In addition to dramatically lowering barriers to creating an app, officials can also use Mosaic to easily make updates to the app that take effect instantly over the air, without having to rely on developers or wait for app store approval. Once the app is live, a built-in analytics dashboard allows officials to track and evaluate usage data to determine where to make app adjustments.
Institutions can quickly launch features like virtual campus tours, athletics and news updates, telephone directories, library catalogs and transportation schedules. Interactive maps let users find their exact location on campus, search for a building and pinpoint its address. Academic and social calendars can provide a list of upcoming events such as concerts, lectures, and exhibits and alert users to activities near their current locations. Institutions can also include courses from their learning management system in their Mosaic app.
"A sustainable mobile strategy has to be flexible in order to keep pace with the constant evolution of the space," said Dane Iverson, head of Blackboard Mobile. "We have always known that we needed to create an easy way for our clients to manage and update their apps on their schedule-– not ours. Mosaic makes the entire development process fast and fun for our users, giving them more time to focus on creating better content, not the technical implementation of their app."
Mosaic serves as an extendable platform for institutions and commercial partners who want to use the Blackboard Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) in order to develop and integrate mobile apps and services into their institution's app. Mosaic replaces the Blackboard Mobile™ Central platform, which will no longer be actively sold.