On Friday, UEN and Blackboard enabled the text messaging module in Bb 9.1. This means students can opt in to get alerts on a variety of things, and they choose what they get. For example, if they want to get a text message alert or phone call regarding a overdue assignment, or an assignment that is coming due or an announcement. There are many checkboxes they can choose from. There is also an instructor notification tool, so the instructor can send out a notification to students should he need to get a message to them right away. There is a need for this. Again students have to sign up to receive texts, and they can choose not too.

This module is a integration of Connect ED, a tool Blackboard has for emergency notification. Now they have integrated it with Bb Learn so text messaging, email alerts etc can be added to the course.

Utah State University uses Connect Ed for the emergency alert notification SMS, voice, and email. However I am told that using the system along with the Learn Platform (Bb 9.1) is a separate license and cost.

I am excited to try this out and see how valuable a tool it becomes for both instructor or student. With this generation, it should be a winner.