New Blackboard Connect, AlertNow Notification Features Drive Robust Communication in K-12 Districts
Product Upgrades Increase Communication with Parents, Students and Staff
WASHINGTON, July 9, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced several enhancements to its AlertNow(TM) and Blackboard Connect(TM) mass notification services for K-12 districts and schools. Following the recent acquisition of the AlertNow service, these upgrades demonstrate Blackboard's continued commitment to the needs of K-12 customers and its focus on improving student engagement and achievement through advances in communications technology.
"K-12 schools continue to expand their use of mass notification services to enhance the teaching and learning process and engage communities in student success," said Ed Miller, President of Blackboard Connect. "We will continue to lead the industry in delivering solutions that help connect parents, teachers and students to meet each of their performance objectives."
The Blackboard Connect platform has added significant feature enhancements, including rich-text HTML e-mail that enables users to create and send e-mails with formatted text, embedded images and hyperlinks using an intuitive interface. Other enhancements include:
- Document links that let users safely share documents via email notifications without the capacity and delivery challenges associated with traditional file attachments
- Enhanced accessibility of Blackboard Connect messages, including automatically detecting teletypewriter (TTY) devices for the hearing and speech-impaired
- Automated weather alerts during severe weather events, based on data from the National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Blackboard Connect is also launching Behind the Blackboard(TM), a knowledge base for both Blackboard's AlertNow and Blackboard Connect clients that includes 24-hour access to on-demand help information, communication best practices for school districts, and community discussion boards.
Blackboard has also introduced enhancements to the AlertNow service for K-12 districts and schools, including the rich-text HTML e-mail feature. AlertNow's email tool also now includes spell-check and database mail-merge functions. Additional enhancements include:
- Sample scripts to create and use pre-sent message templates to ensure uniform communication and speed distribution of alerts in urgent situations
- Print-ready reports, enhanced data integration and automation, and telephone replay options for AlertNow message recipients
AlertNow clients also now have access to Blackboard Connect for Teachers(TM), a powerful service for improving parental involvement released for Blackboard Connect clients earlier this year. Blackboard Connect for Teachers puts the power of mass notification in the hands of classroom instructors, allowing them to communicate easily with students' families - in any of 22 languages - helping parents intervene in their child's academic performance or classroom behavior and avert undesired results.
Keyes Union School District in Central California is among the first institutions to benefit from the combination of Blackboard Connect and AlertNow. The district recently selected the AlertNow mass notification service including Blackboard Connect for Teachers tool as part of their package. "We're excited about the potential that both AlertNow and Blackboard Connect for Teachers brings to our district," said Karen Poppen, Superintendent at Keyes USD. "We're looking forward to putting these tools to work for student safety, parental involvement and academic achievement."
For more information about Blackboard's mass notification solutions, visit http://www.blackboard.com/Alert-Notification/Resources/Landing-Page.aspx
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 May 7, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 9, 2010. 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 July 9, 2010.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.