As the Product Specialist at Blackboard Collaborate, I am passionate about my responsibility of sharing my expert knowledge of Blackboard Collaborate products with customers and prospects.  That passion can be seen daily while I showcase the value of Blackboard Collaborate’s capabilities and by supporting the overall “Everyone Educated” mission.   Since joining in 2006, I have helped establish Blackboard Collaborate in both educational and corporate agencies across the nation and have hosted Community User Conferences across the southeast US.  I proudly hold a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.  Boomer Sooner!

Shannon’s Bright Ideas Center grew out of my excitement to help our users be successful by increasing their skills and knowledge, and to learn at their own pace over time.  Shannon’s Bright Ideas Center is archived at LearnCentral and will continue its mission of sharing bright ideas about Blackboard Collaborate capabilities here in the blog site and on Twitter @virtualforte.

Some of these bright ideas are my own; others are inspired by colleagues, customers, family, friends and the global community of virtual learners.  You are encouraged to share your own bright ideas as well.  Here is the first of many bright ideas that I will share here and I look forward to hearing yours.

Telephony Integration Makes Blackboard Collaborate Accessible in a Variety of Ways

Recently, I was asked to conduct a product presentation of Blackboard Collaborate’s web conferencing accessibility power as it relates to integrated telephony.  Simply put – yes, integrated telephony increases access by allowing audio to be transmitted via telephone in addition to VoIP within the same session.  This makes Blackboard Collaborate’s web conferencing more accessible in a variety of ways.  Here are my own ideas, and I hope to read your even better ideas:

  • It empowers those with a less than solid internet connection to participate via telephone instead of using bandwidth for VoIP
  • Some phones are specially designed for the hearing impaired, VoIP is not yet optimized for hard of hearing
  • Many non-traditional students juggle family and school, integrated telephony accommodates non-traditional students who may be juggling many things – like family and school – allowing them to participate in a class discussion even if they need to be away from their computer
  • Integrated telephony is a great way to accommodate rural or economically disadvantaged populations who don’t have solid internet connections
  • Hardware required for VoIP (headsets for instance) might deter users that have a lower comfort-level with technology, most folks are comfortable using the phone


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