Scholar.com, a del.icio.us Blackboard?

January 9th, 2007 Karine Joly 3 Comments

Sorry for the would-be smart post title – couldn’t help myself ;-)

As confirmed in a post titled “Scholar’s in open beta!” by Karen Gage on the company’s blog, Educate/Innovate, Blackboard has quietly launched in public beta a social bookmarking web service for its online learning platform clients:

“What makes Scholar different from other social bookmarking services you may have used or heard of (e.g. del.icio.us) is how it works in an education setting. Scholar has all the typical features you’d expect from a social bookmarking service (tagging, tag clouds, RSS feeds, a bookmarklet for browser integration, etc.), but we wanted to make social bookmarking more relevant for Blackboard-powered courses and academic research.

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So we created special tags that let users tag for disciplines or specific courses really easily. We make it extra easy by using the integration with the Learning System to automatically generate your course tags based on your courses enrollments in Blackboard.

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But we took it even further so that Scholar could be used not just as a personal tool, but as a course tool as well. For starters, from within the course you can search Scholar for resources and import them directly into your course – a great way to discover supplemental learning resources for your course.”

While the news might get some academic computing folks all excited, why anybody else not in charge of BB should care?

When a major player of the higher education market starts to integrate Web 2.0 services to its regular offering, it’s just another proof that it’s time for colleges and universities to consider these tools in their marketing and web strategies, as well.

And, if you’ve already tested Scholar, let us know if this new service is THAT better than del.icio.us by posting a comment.