Blackboard Announces Next-Generation Mass Notification Service
Blackboard has released Blackboard Connect 5, the newest release of its mass notification system.
Built on Blackboard's messaging infrastructure, Blackboard Connect 5 is a set of multimodal notification services featuring several innovations that allow community leaders to reach their audiences more quickly and effectively, helping to keep them safer and better informed.The new release also offers additional services that help users create and send messages faster, and send notifications that are more targeted and relevant to their audiences, including:
- An enhanced Web interface with a streamlined, one-page message workflow that helps users create complex, multimodal messages in a minimal amount of clicks. Scenario templates, automated language preference recognition, and real-time delivery reports all serve to put more power in the hands of users.
- A smartphone application that allows clients to create, schedule, and send messages from an iPhone, iPad; or iPod touch when they're away from their desktop computers.
- The Connect Access Portal, which allows notification recipients to customize their messaging experience, access previously received messages, and subscribe to content feeds. Along with the release's enhanced geo-mapping tools, the portal makes it easier for leaders to send targeted and more relevant messages to their communities.
- The Blackboard Connect platform APIs, which offer a mechanism for clients and third parties to integrate with the Blackboard Connect service. The APIs provide access to the core messaging and contact management functions through industry-standard Web services that make writing applications and extensions for the Blackboard Connect system easy and scalable.
"In our increasingly fragmented and mobile information environment, trusted communications are critical to keeping communities safe and aware," said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard Connect. "Blackboard Connect 5 helps leaders communicate what their recipients need to know by making it easier to send messages in the preferred modes and languages of their audiences. Today's schools, campuses, and communities depend on voice calls, text messages, social networks and other media for sharing critical information, and this release makes that easier than ever before."
Prince William County Public Schools, the second-largest K-12 district in Virginia, with more than 80,000 students, recently switched to the Blackboard Connect service.
"We evaluated a number of systems, and Blackboard Connect consistently came out on top," said Ken Blackstone, director of communications services at Prince William County Public Schools. "We are impressed with the new interface, and we are especially enthusiastic about the power of the community portal to communicate more effectively with parents and the community at large. We're excited to get this new version up and running in time for the coming school year."