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Blackboard Connect used to communicate Swine flu updates

Many U.S. school and government leaders used notification technology, such as that provided by Blackboard Connect, to proactively reach parents and residents with important updates and information about Swine flu. It’s the latest example of the way that time-sensitive communication has advanced far beyond the days when it might have taken officials days to reach all of their constituents with little or no way to confirm that the were received.

In just eight days, from April 27 to May 4, education technology company Blackboard says its Connect platform sent some 9.79 million messages direct to users in support of school and government Swine Flu outreach efforts.

Approximately 40% of the messages dealt with the flu outbreak and helped officials quickly reach parents, staff and residents. Officials communicated a wide range of information through email, voice mail and text messages, including updates on potential cases and precautionary measures being taken to help control the spread of disease and eliminate undue panic in communities.

For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District used Blackboard Connect on April 27, within the first hours of public concern over the flu, sent reassuring messages, in English and Spanish, to 713,000 unique recipients.

Drawing on the experience gained in delivering hundreds of millions of messages for nearly 2,500 K-12 organizations, college campuses and cities nationwide, the Blackboard Connect platform allows officials to send an unlimited number of messages, requires no additional hardware, and can be used from any computer with Internet access or telephone. This ensures that administrators can send vital messages from wherever they are located–even if they are evacuated.

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