Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Faculty & Staff: Blackboard Drive Is Here

Previously at SU, users had the option of using WebDAV, a Microsoft technology.  With each new operating system release and updates in multiple browsers, it has become increasing complex to configure and support for Blackboard (Bb). You can also learn more about Bb Drive directly from Bb Inc by clicking here.

Blackboard Drive provides an alternative to WebDAV. 

Prior to the release of Blackboard Drive,  there were basically two options to add or edit existing content in Content Management.
  • Download, edit locally, then upload content to Content Management and overwrite the version that was there. This was complicated if the user just hit Save when downloading the file as most browsers put this in a Temp Directory that was hard to find.
  • Create a WebDAV (a Microsoft technology) connection that is very sensitive to versions of operating systems and browsers.
Blackboard Drive  Blackboard Drive is an alternative to using WebDAV. As a Blackboard developed technological solution we can support it and ensure its compatibility with our platform. It provides a seamless desktop environment to manage content with Content Management by making it easier to
  • Edit files directly from the Web User interface
  • Access a folder’s contents in Windows Explorer or the MAC OS Finder
There are two things required to use Blackboard Drive.

  1. Be an SU faculty or staff member
  2. A standalone software component installed on an end user’s computer.  This standalone software requires minimally
    • Windows 7 or Vista
    • MAC OS 10.5 (Leopart) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
 The Blackboard 9.1 SP6 or later platform will automatically recognize if the end user has the appropriate software installed and configured.

The install files are located within the Blackboard Drive folder within Institution Content on the My Files tab.
  • Installing and configuring Blackboard Drive is a once per user per computer operation.   It can be installed on multiple computers to which one user may have access.
  • A single Blackboard Drive installation on a local computer can be configured for more than one user account and/or Blackboard platform.

Installing Bb Drive Image One

Installing Bb Drive Image Two


Editing a file in Content Management is as simple as clicking the file name, making changes, then saving.  It really is that simple! Bb Drive Edit File
Opening a folder in Content Management is as simple as clicking the Action Link / Contextual Menu and choosing Open with Bb Drive. Bb Drive Open Folder Window

Sharing wuth non-SU Bb users
IntellitachThese features allow the user to access many Content Collection features from Blackboard Drive directly without going through the GUI Bb interface.

Intellitach - Files stored in Content Management for Blackboard Learn can be easily shared with peers, colleagues, or anybody by sharing the link to the file (for users who have permission to access the file) or creating a Content Pass, a special link that is good for a set number of days that will allow anyone to access the file, even if they don't have a Blackboard Learn account or appropriate permissions.

The Intellitach feature (short for "intelligently attach") allows the user to generate this link or a Content Pass right from their desktop via Bb Drive. 
Pass or Link
Versioning is also accessible via this interface.  Users can enable/disable versions and access past versions from the desktop volume in Blackboard Drive.
Versioning from Blackboard Drive

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