Blackboard Collaborate is an essential tool for us to allow for synchronous communication among our online instructors and students. It has been a valuable tool to support this real-time communication in these courses, especially for things like office hours and student presentations to the class.
As Blackboard Collaborate is dependent on Java, we have had issues with users accessing the tool depending on recent Java updates and compatibility issues with browsers and operating systems. However, Blackboard's new version, Collaborate Ultra, will be moving away from Java which should resolve many of these issues.
Blackboard Collaborate is a great fit for an academic setting compared to some of the other products. Its layout is intuitive and user friendly, while providing many advanced features that other tools do not offer.
A web conferencing tool is an essential component of any online education initiative that promotes synchronous communication. Blackboard Collaborate is specifically suited to those schools who already use Blackboard Learn as their course management system because of the high level of integration between the two products.