Fact: 77% of K-12 parents use smartphones.

Fact: Smartphone users spend 89% of time on their phones using mobile apps.

Fact: 75% of kids aged 12-17 have phones.

Blackboard Assertion: Schools and districts are not driving communication strategies – students and parents are.

Any communications strategy has to start with mobile. This is how and where the vast majority of us are engaging with each other and getting our information across all different aspects of our lives. And education is no different. Parents and students want to connect with schools in ways that mirror the rest of their lives. If schools are able to meet their communities where they already are, they are more apt to stay involved and engaged.

Blackboard is dedicated to creating solutions that truly support parents and students in ways that work for them. And I am very excited to announce our latest effort to do just that: K-12 Central, a mobile app that gives parents access to highly relevant school information – such as lunch menus, attendance reports, grades and class assignments – all within one  central app. In an effort to increase community engagement, the app is designed to eliminate the multiple touch points parents have to schools and districts and make access as convenient as possible.

And it looks great. Check out these screen shots. We designed the app with feedback directly from students, parents and teachers, including Nixa Public Schools. Here is a case study on how they improved parent engagement throughout their learning community.  

digest            notifications            calendar

In addition to being a revolutionary tool for K-12 communications, K-12 Central also marks a major milestone for our company. It is our latest step in integrating our best-of-breed products into a complete solution.  This is a vision that we have talked a lot about. On the backend, K-12 Central combines  technology and data found in Edline and Blackboard Connect , two of the most widely used K-12 Web and mass notification systems, within one, beautifully designed app. I’m excited to roll out what we have been working on over the past several months. And there is more to come.

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