Over a year ago, Blackboard acquired UK-based organization txttools and has been hard at work bringing our organizations closer to develop a version of the popular two-way messaging service for North America. We are happy to announce that as a reflection of the progress we have made so far, txttools has officially become Blackboard ConnectTxt. As we continue to integrate, existing clients of both platforms stand to benefit from our combined efforts to improve and invest in enhanced messaging technologies.
Blackboard ConnectTxt provides powerful two-way text messaging to half of the colleges and universities in the United Kingdom. SMS is a powerful tool for engagement because it’s immediate, it’s conversational, and – unlike other forms of communication – it’s focused on a single subject. That’s why SMS is often more effective for your outreach efforts – it cuts through the clutter of modern communication.
ConnectTxt’s two-way messaging tools allow a wide range of applications:
- Colleges and universities can use shortcodes in advertisements, building a database of potential applicants.
- Instructors can use SMS in lectures to conduct surveys, replace clickers, and provide a back channel for Q&A to encourage class participation.
- Academic departments and deans of students can send encouraging texts at targeted intervals to at-risk students, helping them to overcome obstacles to degree completion.
- Communities can use SMS shortcodes to encourage residents to sign up for messaging alerts.
That’s also why young people have adopted SMS at astounding rates: according to Nielsen, the average teenager sends and receives over 3,200 SMS every month. (Even for average users, that number is 1,500 messages.) We have certainly noticed strong growth for SMS here at Blackboard Connect, as our president, Ed Miller, pointed out in a recent blog post. In 2011, we saw a dramatic 124 percent increase among users in the amount of text messages compared to 2010.
In the next few months, we’ll be highlighting ConnectTxt users on the blog to illustrate how they are sending out communication via SMS and effectively utilizing two-way texting on their campus or in their community.
You can learn more about how Blackboard Connect™ can help enhance your communication strategy by visiting our website.