There are a number of avenues where you can get help with Blackboard; but you can start by reaching out to District Communications Coordinator Alia Wilson at email@example.com.
This is a site maintained by Blackboard that is focused on best practices. With examples of school districts using different features effectively.
This site is the official support page for Blackboard. Here you can submit a help ticket. You can browse through the support knowledge base. And participate in the support blog and community section for tips and tricks from actual users. This site is also available within Blackboard by clicking the "Community and Support" link at the top of your site manager.
There is also the "How Do I ..." tab in your site manager. This is context-specific help that is searchable. You can also find quick reference help "Cards" as well as more comprehensive documentation in their "Guides" and "Workbooks". Searching on those keywords will bring those topics to the fore. And you will find videos and webinar archives for most topics.
The template that we are using with the Blackboard product is called a "responsive template". This means that the pages will automatically resize according to the device being used.
First, take a look at your page on every device you can view it on. A smartphone, a tablet, a computer, a chrome book, etc. That's the one way to ensure that you know what the end user will see when they use a similar device.
Having said that it would be almost impossible to check every conceivable device. So some basic issues to think about:
1. Choose your apps based on the task they are supposed to perform. While you can mix and match app functionality to suit your needs, make sure you check the result on mobile devices.
2. Stay away from the Flex Editor app. It's not that there is anything wrong with this app. But it's not really designed to be "responsive" to different sized screens. The "Content App" is often a better choice. If you do use the Flex editor, make sure you check and double check on different devices.
3. While images, slideshows, and videos enhance the functionality of a site, they can also be overdone. Making a site awkward to navigate. Especially on a small device. The responsive template helps with this issue, but in general, a website needs to be informative while easy to access. Balance your visual content so that it doesn't distract from the message you are trying to send.
The Sunnyvale School District has defined a number of elements that need to be on every district website. For the most part the organizational structure has been defined in advance. But there is a lot of variation possible within those parameters. To see the elements defined by district, site, and end user pages refer to the following Google Doc:
Start by creating a location for your twitter feed to reside. That is, on the page you wish to have the twitter feed displayed, pick a layout that suits your needs. Then add the Embed Code app to the section of the page you want the code to reside.
To get your embed code you must log into your twitter account on twitter.com. Create your own embedded timeline right now using the new timeline settings page on twitter.com
Go to your twitter settings. Select the Widgets link. And create a new widget. The program will generate the code you need to copy and paste into your embed code app.
Instead of "naming" the picture in your home page rotator, you can use the following code to ensure there is no label on your pictures:
This code will not be displayed on your picture. By using this for the "name" you will be able to save the picture to the rotator without having a name presented on the picture.
A teacher may choose to use another 3rd party website provider to host their web pages. To facilitate this, it's possible to redirect a teacher's school wires website home page to that preferred third-party provider.
The steps are:
1. Log in with your account
2. Go to site manager
3. Click on the icon for your website
4. Change the address for your home page by:
a. Clicking on the Actions Button
b. Choosing Page Options
c. Placing the preferred address in the redirect field
This process is demonstrated in this video:
Please ensure that if you are using a website provider other than Blackboard that you include a link back to your school site as well as the district website in your navigation.
This link will take you to a Blackboard quick help pdf of best practices for developing a functional teacher website: