HP's eReader will be available on campuses this summer.

Blackboard Inc.’s Mobile Central application, released this month on more than 100 college campuses, will be usable on Hewlett Packard’s TouchPad, an eReader device that could gain traction in higher education almost a year after the Apple iPad first proved popular with faculty and students.

Students and educators who use HP smart phones – powered by the webOS mobile operating system — will also be able to use Blackboard’s Mobile Central application, which offers access to campus news, course catalogs, maps, event calendars, and a campus directory that students can use to eMail or call fellow students or professors from the application itself.

Students can use the Mobile Central application to access their campus library and locate books and articles. The app also will give students directions to the library and give contact information for the campus librarian.

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The app’s map feature gives access to bus schedules and lets students track buses in real time, according to Blackboard. A student also can see parking lots and garages and how many spaces are remaining in each.

For freshmen new to campus, the Mobile Central app offers interactive, self-guided tours.

Blackboard’s latest app allows campus technologists to customize the program with school insignias and colors, according to the company’s Feb. 17 announcement.


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