Roughly a month after tornadoes swept across the Southeast, cities and towns continue to lead recovery and relief efforts. Across the region, communities are hosting fundraisers and donation drives to help those who were significantly affected by the tornadoes. Some towns experienced serious damage and communication lines were limited after the storms, so officials turned to Blackboard Connect to deliver important instructions to residents and provide information about local recovery and relief programs.
In these times of stretched budgets and tighter resources, here at Blackboard Connect we have watched as mass communication has transformed into a useful, effective tool being used every day to overcome a variety of challenges facing district, campus and local leaders. No longer solely reserved for critical situations, many of our clients, most notably K-12 schools and districts, are using regular, routine communication to enhance the quality of education by implementing cost-effective procedures to help collect outstanding fees or balances.
Over the years, we’ve worked with colleges and universities to help ensure safety and security on campuses across the country. Using communication to reach students, faculty and staff with relevant, timely information can shape and improve the quality of the university experience. That’s why we were pleased to hear that Jimmie Brown, Chief of Police for California State University, San Bernardino (a Blackboard Connect client), was recently named Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine. According to a recent article, Brown has reduced part one crimes (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson) on campus by 37 percent, with a drop in larcenies from 106 to 73 and motor vehicle thefts decreased from 23 to four during that between 2009 and 2010. Congrats to Chief Brown and the entire public safety team at CSU-SB. For another example of how you can enhance safety and security on your campus, read about Northwestern University’s use of Blackboard Connect to keep students alert and informed.
We recently hosted a webinar featuring Tom DeLapp, a communications industry veteran with over 35 years of experience, to discuss best practices and proven strategies for effective messaging using multiple modes and methods of communication. These days it seems like there are more ways to communicate than ever before. From phones to text messages to email to Facebook to Twitter, there are numerous ways for people to engage others in a conversation.
In our fourth installment of the Blackboard Connect™ social media integration feature spotlight, we look at Pikes Peak Community College, a commuter college in Colorado Springs, CO, using social media in conjunction with Blackboard Connect to keep students informed. Long ago, before Farmville, Scrabble and Which-Jersey-Shore-Character-Are-You quizzes, Facebook was a place exclusively for college students to interact, converse and share information in a public online forum. Despite the repeated onslaught of friend requests from dear Aunt Millie, seventy-two percent of young adults (18- to 29-year-olds) are using Facebook to socialize and communicate with friends. It is no surprise that colleges and universities are flocking to today’s popular social networking channels, including Twitter, in addition to Facebook, to further expand communication efforts and to reach students in a familiar environment outside the classroom.