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Blackboard Ally Accessibility Tool Expands to D2L Brightspace
With Blackboard’s expansion of its accessibility solution, it covers all major ed-LMS vendors including Canvas, Moodle, and now D2L Brightspace. This underscores Blackboard’s commitment to ensuring all students and users have access to digital content and that administrators can create an inclusive environment.
Blackboard Ally uses artificial intelligence to process course materials to find accessibility issues and offers reporting on the current state of accessibility at the course and institution level. It auto-generates other formats from the original content, including mobile friendly HTML, audio, ePub, electronic Braille, and translations.
Since launching in 2017, Blackboard Ally has grown quickly and is now in 600 post-secondary institutions in 21 countries and in 20 languages.
Source: Blackboard at SoftwareReviews, Date Accessed: August 13, 2019
Blackboard made a smart move when it launched Ally. It created a product that required a lot of development hours that other competitors haven’t invested in, and that meets customer need for creating accessible material easily. This product is a secondary revenue stream since it integrates with other platforms. With over 22 million courses and over 620 million content items, the appetite in the market for Blackboard Ally is ravenous and expected to grow.
Some major LMS conference cancellations or online alternatives have been announced in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, though not all have canceled.
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Plans to require four online high school credits in Ontario, Canada, have changed: the required credits have been reduced to two and made opt-outable.
Instructure has responded to pushback from both users and investors about their proposed sale to a private equity firm.
This is the third maintenance release since Sakai 19 was released in spring 2019. Thanks to its open-source community, Sakai is continuously providing fixes, security updates, and improvements to its users.
Pearson released the results of its Global Learning Survey. This is the first time that Pearson has undertaken such a study to capture the opinions of 11,000 learners across 19 countries. The study uncovered eight key trends indicating a shift to life-long, learner driven education.
Following on the heels of Blackboard Ally accessibility integrating with D2L, D2L announced a strategic partnership with Aria, a service for blind and low-vision people.
Moodle, an open-source Education LMS, released an update on Sept. 9, that removes the ability to share courses on moodle.net as well as removing the community finder block. This is in anticipation of the relaunch of moodle.net in November 2019.
Sakai has recently launched its 2019 version, which includes many new features that target areas like communication and collaboration tools and facilitate content creation and delivery.