Recently at BbWorld 2010, Terry Patterson hosted a session discussing the implementation and utilization of the Blackboard Connect Integration Toolkit for Learn. As the Director of Distance Learning at South Arkansas Community College, Patterson is very aware of the digital divide between higher education institutions and their increasingly tech-savvy student body. To help students and professors stay connected outside of the classroom, SACC implemented the Toolkit earlier this year.

As Patterson explained in an article published in Converge, students rarely check their school e-mail, or even their personal e-mail for that matter. Instead, they're reading text messages, sending pictures and tweeting on their smart phones.

“If you’re going to keep them [students] engaged, the only way to do that is really to look at what technology is in their hands right now," Patterson said. By meeting today’s growing digital expectations, teachers can better engage students thanks to greater access to instant information.

With the Toolkit, students reported more mobility and greater access to professors and coursework. Professors noted better management of courses and more personal exchanges with students. Overall, the Toolkit helped in improving student retention by providing an easily-accessible avenue for constant communication between teachers and students.

In continuing our commitment to provide educators with efficient, effective tools, the Blackboard Connect Integration Toolkit for Blackboard Learn helps strengthen the collaboration and communication between faculty and students.

To help institution’s get started exploring the power of combing Blackboard Learn with Blackboard Connect, to share essential class information with students when it’s needed most,  we’re offering a 60-day limited-use license of this powerful technology that is bringing students and faculty together outside of the classroom to increase overall academic performance.

Apply for your 60 day pilot at www.blackboard.com/tryconnect. Blackboard will waive all setup, implementation, training or support fees during this pilot period. Your 60-day pilot begins after set-up.

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