Cities, Schools & States Send Over 87 Million Blackboard Connect Messages During Hurricane Season
Mass Notification Keeps Residents, Parents and Students Aware of Storm
Warnings, Evacuations, School Schedules & Volunteer Programs
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq:
BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology, announced
today that cities, schools and states nationwide successfully used the
Blackboard Connect platform to send over 87 million messages to residents,
students, parents and staff during the height of the 2008 hurricane season ---
from August 15 through October 15 --- marking an unprecedented level of
outreach during such a limited period of time.
In addition to standard outreach coinciding with the busy back-to-school
period, safety officials used the Connect platform to communicate with
residents, parents, students and staff affected by hurricanes Gustav, Hanna,
Ike and Tropical Storm Fay. Officials sent a variety of time sensitive
messages including alerts and updates for evacuations, school and road
closures, activity schedule changes, and volunteer programs. Officials also
used the platform to communicate through voice and text messages, enabling
them to mobilize staff and let their communities know when it was safe to
"The 2008 hurricane season marks the largest number of messages sent via
the Connect platform and we are pleased to have been able to help cities,
schools and states successfully communicate with their constituents throughout
the season," said Thomas Motter, President and Chief Operating Officer,
Blackboard Connect. "Quick, efficient and accurate communication is critical
when it comes to public safety and Blackboard Connect's clients did an
excellent job notifying, updating and providing direction to their communities
in a timely manner."
The Connect platform can be used to reach thousands of recipients through
home phones, cell phones, text messages and e-mails, and is used by federal
agencies and military organizations in addition to state and local
governments, K-12 schools and districts and higher education institutions.
"Connect-GOV(R) allowed us to quickly contact thousands of residents who
could have been affected by Hurricane Gustav," said Mississippi Emergency
Management Agency Director Mike Womack. "Governor Haley Barbour was able to
remind people to be prepared as the hurricane approached the Gulf Coast."
The Connect platform requires no additional hardware, and can be used from
any telephone or computer with Internet access, allowing officials to send
time sensitive messages from wherever they are located. After the messages are
sent, officials receive reports listing which contacts did not receive the
message, enabling them to resend the message or follow up through an
alternative means of communication.
"Parents and staff were so thankful to receive the messages that the
district sent during the hurricanes," said Houston Independent School District
Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. "For some, it was the only communication
they were receiving due to loss of electrical power or being evacuated and it
was comforting to have this information sent to them over the phone and
through text messages. Because the Connect-ED(R) service allows the district
to send unlimited messages, we were able to update our faculty and parents on
a regular basis, keeping them connected to what the district was facing during
the storm and then helping everyone get back on schedule throughout recovery."
To ensure that important messages reach residents, students and parents
quickly, regardless of their location or preferred method of communication,
the Connect systems send voice and text messages through four different modes
-- Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones and e-mail
-- Text messages to cell phones, PDAs, networked digital signage and
other text-based devices;
-- Text messages to e-mail accounts; and
-- Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.
For more information about Blackboard, 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 November 6, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the
Company's views as of November 13, 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 November
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.
CONTACT: Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860, ext. 2637,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Elizabeth Freeman of Edelman,
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Web Site: http://www.blackboard.com