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ConnectYard Offers Free Emergency Notification for Blackboard Customers

ConnectYard is expanding its footprint in the Blackboard realm by updating its Blackboard Learn Building Block and offering a free emergency notification service.

ConnectYard provides a service that bridges the gap between a learning management system and the channels that users prefer to use for communication. The newest, a version of the ConnectYard application for Blackboard and released as a building block, enables an instructor to turn a Blackboard course, group, or org into a "yard" that enables secure communications. The student can specify what types of notifications he or she would like on various media--Facebook, Twitter, texting, or email--and Blackboard activities will show up there. When an instructor sends out a Blackboard announcement, for example, the student will receive it via the means specified. Students can also reply to announcements in their chosen mode, and, in the case of discussions, those responses will be recorded back into the Blackboard discussion forums.

The new edition of the building block also adds new reports and analytics, an application programming interface for customized integration, and support for LinkedIn as an additional notification channel to Facebook and Twitter.

The company said it was also introducing a free service that would allow Blackboard Learn customers to use the ConnectYard communication service for emergency notifications.

"The program we've put in place will allow schools around the world to take full advantage of ConnectYard's multi-modal communication platform for campus and district-wide notifications," said CEO Don Doane. "Our goal is to help institutions develop more informed, engaged and secure communities by enabling them to communicate with people in the mode they prefer."

ConnectYard products have been used at Cornell University in New York, Loyola University Maryland, and Appalachian State University in North Carolina, among other institutions.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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