June 2012 Newsletter
End of Life Extension for Release 8.0

Announcing an End of Life Extension for Release 8.0 of the ANGEL Edition LMS

Previously we had announced an end of life target for Release 8.0 of the ANGEL Edition LMS for October 2014. In order to ensure that you have sufficient time to plan and execute a move to Blackboard Learn 9.1, we are extending that end of life window beyond the previously announced EOL date. Blackboard will evaluate the decision on an ongoing basis and provide sufficient notice of any future change to plans for support.  We plan to make select enhancements to ANGEL 8.0 over time to ensure that the solution is a viable platform until you are ready to plan a migration.  We have opened an ANGEL Suggestion Squad Forum for you to submit ideas for enhancements. Please join that forum and provide your feedback.

Please note, while we are extending the end of life date for ANGEL 8.0, the end of life date for ANGEL 7.4 remains as previously communicated. ANGEL 7.4 will move to Operational Support in October 2012, and support for ANGEL 7.4 will officially end in October 2014. We encourage you to upgrade to ANGEL 8.0 before the end of this year in order to make sure you are on a fully supported version of the product.  

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New Behind the Blackboard Status and Update

It’s been a few months since we implemented the new Behind the Blackboard for ANGEL clients. We’ve needed to address a number of issues since the rollout, but overall things to be going pretty well. We’re seeing a continual increase in the number of ANGEL administrators using the system and people are successfully entering and managing cases, accessing knowledge base articles, and downloading files they need. All in all it seems we’re off to a good start as evidenced by some of your feedback:

          “All in all - I think this was definitely an improvement over the last version - so kudos to you                   and all your hard work!”

           “Snazzy improvements to BtBb. Very nice & clean.”

If you haven’t yet used the new system, we urge you to go and play around with it before you need it. There is nothing you need to do differently when you go to login to the new Behind the Blackboard. You’ll go to the same URL and you’ll use the same username and password you have been using, and all of your case history will be there. If you need them, a host of help resources are available here. This Knowledge Base article provides access to a getting started guide, general FAQs, a training PowerPoint presentation, a Knowledge Base guide, and a number of how-to videos. If you’re having problems using the new system, please reach out to your ANGEL Engagement Team for help. You can submit issues via a case in the system, or you can call ANGEL Support at 317.333.7300 and select option 2.
https://secure.eloqua.com/editor?xsrfToken=#topAs a reminder, now that we’ve implemented the new Behind the Blackboard, we are suspending ANGEL service pack and hot fix announcement emails in favor of Support Bulletins via an RSS feed. You can sign up for the Support Bulletin RSS feed directly from the “Home” page or from “My Subscriptions” (accessible from the “My Accounts” area in the top navigation). We urge you to sign up for these RSS feeds the first time you use the new system so you will receive important notifications.
We hope you find using the new Behind the Blackboard an improvement over the current system. As always, we’re interested in your feedback. There is a link to “BtBb Suggestions” in the lower left corner of the footer navigation.

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Need Support Escalation in a hurry?   New Support Managers Email Now Available.

Are you aware of the Support Managers email distribution? This important support escalation mechanism is available to all Blackboard customers including ANGEL. If at any time you are having a problem with timeliness or responsiveness to a support related concern, simply send an email to supportmanagers@blackboard.com. This email distribution is continually monitored by managers in the Blackboard support organization. Someone in the group will either handle your concern or make sure it gets escalated to the right person. When you use this email distribution, be sure to reference the case number in question, provide a brief explanation of your concern, and include your contact information.

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Have Enhancement Ideas for ANGEL 8.0?  Join the new ANGEL Suggestion Squad Forum today!

The ANGEL Suggestion Squad forum is an online forum where you can help us prioritize future development of the Blackboard Learn- ANGEL Edition. We’re leveraging crowd sourcing  technology so you and your team of ANGEL users can add product enhancement ideas, view ideas submitted by other ANGEL users and vote on which ones you would like to see implemented in the product.  Please watch this short program overview  so that you have the appropriate information. Once you view the program overview, please go to the ANGEL Suggestion Squad forum homepage and create an account - http://bit.ly/ANGELideas 

This program is intended for system administrators, educators, designers and generally anyone who uses ANGEL on a regular basis.  It is also important to note that the development efforts are focused on ANGEL 8.0, not previous versions of the software.  If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact Klaire.Marino@blackboard.com or Community@blackboard.com.

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Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 Upgrade Cohort

If you would like to learn more about Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 and planning and executing a migration, consider joining the 9.1 Upgrade Cohort.
This free series of virtual meetings provides step-by-step instructions, best practices and advice from Blackboard experts and peers. 90% of past participants say they felt better prepared for their upgrade as a direct result of the Upgrade Cohort Program. See what Meghan Pereira, Senior Instructional Designer at Buffalo State College has to say about the program.

 “The Bb9.1 Upgrade Cohort for ANGEL campuses provided useful resources for planning our migration, and having the Blackboard staff available to us weekly to share their expertise and take our questions was invaluable.“

Participation is easy and flexible so whether you are undecided, just getting started or about to migrate, now is the perfect time to join the 9.1 Upgrade Cohort.  Register today at www.blackboard.com/cohort.

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Bringing Together the Best of Both – ANGEL’s Influence on Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, Service Pack 8

Blackboard Learn™, Release 9.1, Service Pack 8 (SP8) has a new look from previous versions of Blackboard that has been influenced by the ANGEL LMS.  SP8 makes it easier for users new to Blackboard to start teaching and makes it more enjoyable for everyone: students, teachers, and administrators alike. SP8 improves workflows for both educators and administrators, increases openness and flexibility with new technologies, and provides improved insight and pedagogy support across the entire education experience.

  • Instructors will see improved administrative workflows in areas like grading, assessments, and course management.
  • Instructors, administrators, and academic leaders gain increased insight into learning outcomes.
  • Administrators can delegate roles, streamline course management, and more easily integrate SP8 with campus systems.

 One of the questions we often hear from our ANGEL clients is 'When will ANGEL features be in Release 9.1?“With Service Packs 6 and 8, we now have some real proof points that ANGEL is influencing the Blackboard product, and we can answer that question by saying “Now!” These two most recent Service Packs increase the interest we're seeing from ANGEL clients in developing plans to migrate to Release 9.1. They certainly show our commitment to the ANGEL community, and there's more to come in future service packs.
 Go to the Feature Showcase to see a short video regarding use cases in SP8 that were influenced by ANGEL.  Specifically, the video focuses on:

  • Core workflows
  • Increased insight
  • New administrative delegation
For more information on how ANGEL has influenced Release 9.1 or if you’re interested in a demo of Release 9.1, please reach out to your sales representative.

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Why Attend BbWorld 2012 in New Orleans?

BbWorld 2012 is now just a month away! Don't miss out on the best opportunity to connect with the ANGEL and larger Blackboard client community - come to BbWorld, July 10-12 in New Orleans.

Blackboard has several engaging activities lined up just for ANGEL clients. Here are just a few reasons to attend BbWorld this summer:

  • Connect with over 2500+ fellow educators and industry leaders
  • Learn from 200+ sessions with tracks dedicated to critical topics in education including Technology Adoption, Digital Content, Social Learning, Analytics, and Mobility
  • Engage with 60+ Blackboard partners
  • Participate in ANGEL track with Blackboard and client-led sessions
  • Celebrate at the ANGEL client appreciation reception!

Register at BbWorld.com!

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Especially for K12 Clients

Blackboard at ISTE 2012
Blackboard is traveling to San Diego for ISTE 2012, and we hope to see you there! Blackboard is planning a number of exciting activities during the conference, and we invite you to connect with us at these events. Be sure to stop by booth #4301 to meet the Blackboard K-12 team and learn about the latest news from Blackboard, including our most recent K-12 content partner to be announced on June 25! Visit blackboard.com/ISTE2012 for more information.
Check Out Blackboard Events at ISTE

K-12 Highlights at BbWorld 2012

Focus Groups

Let your voice be heard. Join us for discussions with your peers and members of the Blackboard Product and Support teams about topics you are passionate about. Your feedback will help shape the future of Blackboard! Sign Up Now

Dedicated K-12 Sessions

Choose from nearly 40 sessions designed for the K-12 audience, presented by schools and districts from across the country. Topics include but are not limited to online and blended learning, mobile strategies, communications programs and more. Check out all of the K-12 sessions by schedule and by track here.

K-12 Dessert and Drinks Reception

Join the Blackboard K-12 team for an evening reception in the Parish Room at the House of Blues, Wednesday, July 11 from 8:00 to 10:00pm. Grab a drink and some treats after a long day of sessions, and catch up with colleagues and friends before hitting the town in the French Quarter.

K-12 Networking Lounge

Swing by the K-12 Networking Lounge located in the exhibit hall to learn about the latest news and solutions for K-12. Have technical questions? Visit the “Ask an Expert” section to chat with one of our knowledgeable solutions engineers. Be sure to pick up a flashing K-12 pin to show off your K-12 love throughout the conference!

Register for BbWorld 2012!

NEW WHITE PAPER! Embracing the Inevitable: How to Create K-12 Acceptable Use Policies That Harness the Power of Mobility

Blackboard's latest white paper examines the key issues to consider when introducing mobility in the K-12 environment, and offers the best approaches to address these issues while harnessing the power of mobile technology among today’s new era of active learners. Read real examples from savvy schools and innovative educators who are leveraging the power of technology to enhance learning experiences for their students.

Download the White Paper

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