Over 2.5 Million College Students, Faculty & Staff Now Reached by Blackboard's Mass Notification Service
Connect-ED(R) Service Sees 1 Million Person Increase This Year as Colleges & Universities Leverage Technology to Increase Preparedness
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc.
(Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology,
announced today that more than 2.5 million college students, faculty and staff
at nearly 500 U.S. campuses are now reached by the Company's Connect-ED(R)
multi-modal mass notification service.
The reach of the service in the higher education market has expanded by 1
million recipients in the past year, as colleges and universities have
increasingly leveraged notification technologies to improve campus
preparedness plans and campus-wide communication. Blackboard also provides
notification services to K-12 schools and districts, state and local
governments, and federal agencies and military organizations.
Blackboard's Connect-ED mass notification service offers a unique benefit
to campus leaders by supporting enrollment management, time-sensitive
notification and campus outreach efforts through a direct communication
channel with students. In addition, the system can be used to notify entire
campus communities of closures and contingency plans due to unforeseen events.
"A number of incidents have happened on college campuses in the past year
that have prompted many universities to evaluate campus preparedness plans and
include a mass notification service," said Margaret Lutherer, executive
director of communications and marketing at Texas Tech University. "These
services are important for student safety and campuses should encourage
students to sign up to receive messages."
Built exclusively for postsecondary institutions and drawing on the
experience gained in delivering hundreds of millions of messages for K-12
educators, Blackboard's service enables campus leaders to schedule, send and
track personalized voice messages at up to six phone numbers and two e-mail
addresses per student and staff member. In all, the multi-modal service helps
officials reach out to their communities through:
-- Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones, and e-mail
-- Text messages to cell phones, PDAs and other text-based devices;
-- Text messages to e-mail accounts; and
-- Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.
This year, the University of Northern Iowa used this service to send a
message to 16,200 students, faculty and staff when university police learned
someone was threatening to bring a gun to campus.
"Our goal was to inform students, faculty and staff quickly to help them
remain calm and control the spread of misinformation," said James O'Connor,
University of Northern Iowa assistant vice president for marketing and public
relations. "Because we had just performed our first full scale system test two
weeks earlier, our campus community was aware of the system and generally
pleased with how we handled the situation."
The Connect-ED service allows officials to send an unlimited number of
messages and requires no additional hardware. The service can be used from any
computer with Internet access or telephone, ensuring that administrators can
send vital messages from wherever they are located -- even if they are
evacuated. Additionally, officials receive detailed reports on contacts that
did not receive a message, enabling them to follow up through alternative
means as needed.
"Today's campus leaders understand that communication is a key component
to student safety. The choice to use the Connect-ED service to send messages
to nearly 3 million students, faculty and staff is a testament to their trust
in our capabilities," said Thomas Motter, President and Chief Operating
Officer of Blackboard Connect. "In addition to augmenting campus preparedness,
many schools also enjoy the positive impact the service can have on student
services and outreach. From sending messages to students about registration
deadlines to fee payment reminders, Connect-ED has become an integral part of
For more information about Blackboard Connect(TM) solutions, please visit
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology
and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students
and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow
thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government
organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus
commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their
communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C.,
with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and
prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes,"
"anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute
forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those
indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important
factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our
Form 10-Q filed on August 7, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the
Company's views as of October 14, 2008. The Company anticipates that
subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change.
However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking
statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any
obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied
upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to October
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.