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Blackboard Adds Messages to Connect for Teachers

Blackboard has released an update of the Blackboard Connect for Teachers service, intended to assist teachers in getting parents more involved with their student's education. This Web-based notification application, part of Blackboard's Connect product line, allows teachers to communicate directly with parents via phone or email. Since the program's release in 2010, the company has found that customers use Connect for Teachers to get the word out about assignments, tests, grades, class conduct, work habits, general updates, and other standard teacher-parent fodder.

There are two primary changes with the upgrade. The first is an increase in the number of prerecorded messages made available to teachers; that has grown from about a hundred to about a thousand. Also, the messages are available now in 23 languages; previously, it was 22.

"Not a week goes by that a parent doesn't stop me and say 'thank you' for the messages they receive directly from teachers," said Dan Diehl, principal for Bedichek Middle School in Austin Independent School District. "Parents and family members are increasingly becoming more actively engaged in their student's educational experience and we want to do all we can to help them stay connected with us."

"Competing demands often make it difficult for teachers to communicate effectively with parents outside of the classroom," said Blackboard Connect President Ed Miller. "By providing a tool that facilitates regular, routine communications with parents, we are creating an opportunity to make a powerful impact on in school performance. Parents no longer have to wait for a quarterly report card to make a difference in their student's behavior and achievement."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.