WAYNE, N.J., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ConnectYard, Inc., the leading provider of social media-based communication solutions for higher education, today announced the integration of the ConnectYard Building Block with the Announcements and Discussions sections of the Blackboard Learn platform. Seamless integration of the ConnectYard platform now enables notifications via Facebook, Twitter, and text message, as well as email (including institution provided and personal email accounts), when new announcements or discussion threads are created.
"One of our biggest challenges at our institution is when announcements have to go out, our faculty have to respond to each student individually by email. Often fielding the same question multiple times. ConnectYard permits us to allow them to reply once and address the question for the entire class," said Rene J. Aube, LMS Specialist at College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. "In addition, faculty will be able to view and reply to new discussion threads directly from their email without being logged in to Blackboard, while students will be able to do the same from their Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones, which is truly exciting!"
ConnectYard also allows for two-way communications so students are able to reply to Announcement and Discussion posts created in the Blackboard Learn platform from their preferred channels of communication without signing in to Blackboard. All posts and replies, regardless of where they originate, are recorded in the university's Blackboard software instance where they are both visible and searchable by all course members.
"Centralizing social media communication within Blackboard Learn definitely drives greater student engagement. It allows students to digest the information in a way they choose while the professors can maintain a controlled and cohesive environment," said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer of Blackboard Inc.
The new ConnectYard Building Block simplifies the ability to leverage social media and mobile technology to better engage students since faculty are able to continue using the Blackboard Learn Announcements and Discussions section in the same manner as before without the need to friend students on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or exchange personal cell phone numbers.
"We have had positive feedback from our clients about the new integration with the Blackboard Learn Announcements and Discussions section," stated Donald Doane, CEO, ConnectYard. "Tighter relationships and integrations with key partners like Blackboard will continue to be a key driver in creating value for our clients in the future."
ConnectYard will be showcasing the new Blackboard Learn platform integration at the Blackboard Partner Symposium at Jacksonville State University on April 21st and 22nd. The session will focus on how ConnectYard customers are using the latest social media and mobile technologies to securely extend communication beyond the classroom in order to increase student engagement and awareness.
ConnectYard provides a centralized social media communications platform for higher education that simplifies and unifies communications across a variety of social technologies, including Facebook and Twitter. The platform also can be used by various departments for institutional messaging, notifications and emergency alerts. In addition, the platform seamlessly integrates into existing portal and learning management technologies, providing increased communication capabilities for both administrative and academic purposes.
ConnectYard, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. For more information on how ConnectYard can help your institution maximize student recruitment and retention, please visit http://www.connectyard.com or contact us at 973-494-8063.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. 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.
Blackboard, Blackboard Building Blocks and Blackboard Learn are the trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackboard Inc. All rights reserved.
SOURCE ConnectYard, Inc.