Blackboard Connect Keeps Schools, Universities on Track for Back to School in the Face of Hurricane Season
New Caribbean Clients Keep Students Safe and Informed With Mass Notification
WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq:
BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced two new client
agreements that extend Blackboard Connect(TM) services to the Caribbean for
the first time. Inter-American University in Puerto Rico and the American
University of Antigua will now be able to send urgent news and important
information - within minutes - to students and staff to keep them safe and
In Puerto Rico, Inter-American University has been using the Blackboard
Learn(TM) platform for six years to provide instruction and education
opportunities online, helping to serve their population of 44,000 students
across seven unique campuses. The university has now expanded the agreement to
include the Blackboard Connect multi-modal communication platform, enabling
officials to quickly send voice, text and e-mail messages to Inter-American
students, teachers and staff.
"It is a tremendous relief to have the Blackboard Connect service in place
for the start of our new school year, which coincides with hurricane season in
Puerto Rico," said Manuel J. Fernos, President of Inter-American University.
"We are now able to notify students and staff instantly about urgent news such
as campus closures. In addition, we can promote new class openings, campus
activities and registration deadlines to help ensure our students' academic
American University of Antigua (AUA) is another school that discovered
Blackboard Connect through its experience with the Blackboard Learn platform,
which helps to bridge the distance from the physical campus for medical
students participating in residency programs abroad who need to engage with
professors and stay on course with the curriculum.
AUA will also integrate the Blackboard Connect platform as an important
part of its campus-wide communication plan. The school will be able to reach
students and the community with notices and instruction surrounding hurricane
and tropical storm warnings, as well as volcanoes and earthquakes that are not
uncommon in the area. Blackboard Connect also offers geo-targeting technology
so that notifications can be sent to special groups to quickly address a
specific need, without unnecessary disruption to the entire campus.
Last year, states, cities and schools nationwide, including Houston
Independent School District, successfully used the Blackboard Connect platform
to send more than 87 million messages to residents, students, parents and
staff from August 15 to October 15, during the height of hurricane season.
"Houston Independent School District used Blackboard Connect to update
faculty members 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," said Abelardo Saavedra, Superintendent of
Houston Independent School District.
In New Orleans, officials of St. Charles Parish Public Schools are also
living proof the Blackboard Connect platform is powerful support in the face
of a hurricane or other urgent situations. In August 2005, as the area started
to flood from Hurricane Katrina, the school was able to send a message to
31,000 phone numbers with just one click of a button. Over the next 13 days,
the school sent 279,863 calls to parents, teachers and staff to help keep the
community informed and directed toward safety.
"I truly believe in Blackboard Connect because I lived through Hurricane
Katrina using the system," said Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard, Public
Information Officer for St. Charles Parish Public Schools. "The service
allowed us to get important messages out quickly and reliably, providing
tremendous comfort to all our stakeholders. You simply can't put a value on
For more information about Blackboard Connect 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.
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 6, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the
Company's views as of August 19, 2009. 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 August 19, 2009.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.
/CONTACT: Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., +1-202-463-4860, ext. 2637,
/Web Site: http://www.blackboard.com/Alert-Notification/Connect-Platform.aspx /
CO: Blackboard Inc.; Inter-American University; American University of
ST: District of Columbia, Puerto Rico
IN: EDU HED CPR STW
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4780 08/19/2009 09:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com