Blackboard leverages AWS to support remote learning in the Middle East

The Collaborate Ultra virtual classroom solution offers both synchronous and asynchronous course capabilities, easing the transition to a fully digital education environment

Blackboard, AWS, Amazon Web Services, Elearning, Education

Blackboard has leveraged the cloud infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support the increase in number of users on it’s virtual classroom solution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaborate Ultra saw an increase of nearly 3 million active users who clocked 2.3 billion virtual classroom minutes across the region during the period from March to May 2020.

The company has announced that it has successfully supported hundreds of institutions in the Middle East with their rapid transition to fully remote learning by leveraging its Blackboard Collaborate Ultra virtual classroom solution.

Blackboard worked closely with AWS to increase computing capacity for its platform to manage the unprecedented surge in users in the Middle East during this time, scaling the platform 50x to support the increased demand from hundreds of institutions.

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“We are proud that our hundreds of clients in the Middle East entrusted Blackboard Collaborate to support their rapid transition to fully distance learning during the pandemic,” said Robert Speed, Vice President of Middle East and Africa at Blackboard. “We worked hand-in-hand with our strategic partner AWS to scale the platform to meet the unprecedented demand and to ensure users have uninterrupted, anywhere-anytime access to our virtual classroom solution.”

Blackboard’s virtual classroom solution is specifically designed for educators and learners and can ease the transition to a fully digital education environment by offering both synchronous and asynchronous course capabilities. The virtual classroom solution connects students and instructors via both desktop and mobile devices.

Designed to simulate a physical classroom, the tool includes features that connect students and promote collaboration, engagement, and accessible learning through features such as hand raising, whiteboard, chat, breakout groups, and polls. The solution integrates seamlessly with all leading learning management systems (LMS).

“Over the last months, the world of education has had to adapt fast, with technology becoming critical in helping educators innovate and embrace virtual classrooms at a rate that we have not seen before,” said Paul Grist, International Head of Education at AWS. “Blackboard has leveraged its wealth of experience in the region during this period and we were happy to support them to meet the increased demand for their solutions. We look forward to continuing to work with Blackboard to provide an agile, secure and reliable environment to support the region’s learners however they learn be it in-class, remote, or a hybrid of both.”

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