is one of the biggest educational events of the year, and this year’s conference was no exception. With many of our clients in attendance, we had the chance to collaborate with several educational leaders to present notable sessions, providing the higher education teaching and learning community with interesting insight and information.
One of the more memorable sessions focused on using social media within courses and on campus to better engage and communicate with students. Dionne Curbeam of Coppin State University
led a discussion on how the university has used social media and mobile notifications from Blackboard Learn
and Blackboard Connect
to enhance the student experience on campus. Located in Baltimore, Coppin State University has more than 4,000 students. Its student population is increasingly mobile and technologically inclined and, as a result, university leaders have set out to engage students on their mobile devices.
With many still without power, last weekend’s unseasonable nor’easter
serves as a timely warning of what is likely to come in the next few months. This particular storm was especially damaging due to its unseasonable occurrence, where the quick accumulation of snow on mostly leaf-covered trees had branches and limbs bending and collapsing under the extreme weight, hitting power lines and blocking roads. Over the course of the storm and the ensuing aftermath, administrators, educators and local leaders turned to Blackboard Connect
, sending nearly 5.4 million messages
with updates detailing class cancellations, road closures and local recovery efforts.
Now is the perfect time to review your communication and preparedness plans in the event of extreme winter weather.
The rise in popularity of the major social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, has caused a shift in the way higher education institutions communicate with campus stakeholders. Many colleges and universities are using social media, in conjunction with other multi-channel communications, to engage and exchange information with current and former students alike.
Although it has been in existence longer, the text message continues to change the way people communicate. It comes as no surprise to hear that 31 percent of adults prefer to be contacted via text
, as reported by the Pew Internet and American Life Project
. Not surprisingly, young adults (aged 18 – 24 years old) were found to be the most avid texters, exchanging an average of 109.5 messages
on a normal day. With such proclivity for texting, our college and university clients have found the ability to send out text messages with timely information and notifications
to students and the surrounding campus community is to be increasingly vital.
The birth of the smartphone, with easily accessible and convenience-enhancing applications, has had a profound effect on how we use and interact with our mobile phones. Recently, Nielsen
published its quarterly Report on Social Media
, finding that nearly 40 percent
of social media users access content from their mobile phone. Nearly half of the Nielsen survey participants reported to have social networking features on their phone, thus demonstrating how the rise of smartphones has affected communication consumption habits.
Last Thursday’s national earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut
, was a great success. Roughly 8.6 million people across several Western states participated in this year’s event with drills, education sessions and emergency exercises.
Many institutions in earthquake country use the ShakeOut event to test their mass notification systems, and this year was no different. In fact, schools, universities and local government officials used Blackboard Connect
to send more than 1.9
2.5 million messages or on Thursday, with no significant disruptions in service. That’s a 74
131 percent increase in traffic over last year!