New release of mass notification system

Blackboard Inc. today announced Blackboard Connect™ 5, the newest release of its mass notification system.Blackboard Inc. today announced Blackboard Connect™ 5, the newest release of its mass notification system. Built on Blackboard's messaging infrastructure, Blackboard Connect 5 is a set of multi-modal notification services that allows community leaders to reach their audiences to keep them safer and better informed.

The new release offers additional services that help users create and send messages faster, and send notifications that are more targeted and relevant to their audience, including:

•An enhanced Web interface with a streamlined, one-page message workflow that helps users create complex, multimodal messages. Scenario templates, automated language preference recognition, and real-time delivery reports add flexibility.

•A smartphone application, which allows clients to create, schedule and send messages from an iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch® when they're away from their desktop computer.

•The Connect Access Portal, which gives notification recipients the ability to customize their messaging experience, access previously received messages, and subscribe to content feeds.

•The Blackboard Connect platform APIs, which offer a mechanism for clients and third parties to integrate with the Blackboard Connect service. The APIs provide access to the core messaging and contact management functions through industry-standard Web services that make writing applications and extensions for the Blackboard Connect system easy and scalable.

Prince William County Public Schools, the second-largest K-12 district in Virginia with more than 80,000 students, recently chose to make the switch to the Blackboard Connect service.

"We evaluated a number of systems, and Blackboard Connect consistently came out on top," said Ken Blackstone, Director of Communications Services at Prince William County Public Schools. "We are impressed with the new interface, and we are especially enthusiastic about the power of the community portal to communicate more effectively with parents and the community at large."