Blackboard Finds Mass Notification Encourages Parental Engagement
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Education technology company Blackboard reported that its Connect-ED mass notification service is now able to send messages to one out of five student households, reaching parents of 11 million K-12 students in the United States.
The company said a growing number of K-12 schools and districts have adopted the mass notification platform to encourage parental engagement, increase student safety, and support student achievement. The service has been leveraged for parent outreach programs aimed to address a range of academic and student safety needs, including efforts to improve student attendance.
For example, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in San Diego County, CA recently saw a significant increase in average daily attendance after sending absence and truancy notifications to parents, which resulted in a $450,000 increase in funding to the district from the state.
"Having technology to reach parents and staff during an urgent situation is important for the safety of our students, which is our top priority, but the service has provided an important financial benefit," said Brian Marshall, district superintendent. "In this economy, we cannot lose a single dollar, and Blackboard Connect has directly resulted in increased revenues for our district."
The platform allows school leaders to schedule, send, and track personalized voice messages through a Web browser or phone for up to six phone numbers and two e-mail addresses per student and staff member. It uses four different modes of communication:
- Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones, and e-mail addresses;
- 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.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.