Wayne, New Jersey — November 24, 2009 — ConnectYard, Inc. today announced that Howard Community College has selected its social learning service to leverage Facebook, Twitter and text messaging for providing enhanced academic support and building a greater sense of community among students – both of which positively affect a student’s persistence through graduation. Howard Community College’s Academic Support Services Department will use ConnectYard’s QuickConnect Widget for Blackboard, as an extension of the classroom by encouraging students to ask and respond to lecture and homework questions on their time and with their preferred media, including popular social networking sites and mobile devices. Tutors from the Academic Support Services Department can join in on the discussion via email without the need to log into Blackboard, text students directly or join a social networking site, which is not only convenient, but serves to eliminate potential privacy and security concerns.
“ConnectYard enables us to provide our tutors with the tools they need to reach today’s 21st century learners using the technology they are already accustomed to,” said Debra Greene, Director, Academic Support Services at Howard Community College. “As a community college, we are up against a serious digital divide where not every student has regular access to a computer, so providing the option to use any phone, not just the smart ones, as a learning device is a real game changer.”
Another key benefit of the fully hosted learning service is that it allows students to interact with each other as well as tutors and staff through both Facebook and Twitter without the need to “friend” or “follow” one another, and reveal overly personal information. It also encourages students to share their thoughts and ideas with other students across classes, years and majors in a more social and collaborative way, which is something Howard Community College’s student leaders plan to take advantage of to increase participation within their student groups. This bridging of the academic and social worlds builds community and ultimately improves student learning outcomes through greater engagement outside classroom walls.
“ConnectYard extends the communication capabilities of existing learning management systems and portals by allowing people to connect with and learn from each other anytime and anywhere using the media they are already most comfortable with,” said Donald Doane, the Company’s CEO.
ConnectYard specializes in helping institutions effectively leverage the power of social and mobile media to improve the educational experience by extending the learning environment outside of the classroom into where students live and socialize – online. The Company’s Web 2.0 solutions are built upon a foundation of proven success and customer-driven innovation with a high focus on enhancing learning and building community amongst students.
ConnectYard, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. For more information on how ConnectYard can help your institution maximize student recruitment and retention, please visit www.connectyard.com or contact us at 973-494-8041.
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