ConnectYard, a company that integrates text messaging, social media, email and learning management system communication tools to build strong learning communities, today announced a new partnership with Florida Virtual School (FLVS), an accredited, public, online e-learning school serving students in grades Kindergarten-12 worldwide. The partnership is designed to enhance student performance and retention by enabling more rapid and efficient communication and collaboration.
Today, text messaging and social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are high school students’ communication tools of choice, and millions of middle school and even elementary school children use social media platforms as well as texting to check in, chat and stay up to date. But since educators tend to rely on email and learning management system tools to communicate, the popularity of social media and texting among younger people has caused a communication gap between teachers, school administrators and students.
With the ConnectYard solution, FLVS students, teachers and administrators will be able to communicate on the platforms they prefer to use. FLVS and its teachers will not be required to “friend” or “follow” students on Facebook or Twitter – or vice versa; ConnectYard enables schools, students and teachers to seamlessly send and receive messages on their preferred platform, which can speed message receipt and response times and create a more cohesive, connected learning environment. Training is already underway, and ConnectYard will go live at FLVS this summer.
“FLVS has always been on the cutting edge and is very receptive to using new technology to improve their students’ experience,” said Donald Doane, ConnectYard’s CEO. “Together, we can transform the way students learn by reaching them where they already spend time online. We’re proud to work with an innovator like FLVS to make that happen.”
In addition to integrating text messaging, social media, email and learning management systems such as Blackboard, ConnectYard gives educators and students social-media inspired tools like a trending topics feature to keep tabs on popular class and study group discussion subjects. Teachers can also access a views tool to make sure students are receiving their messages and send communication to individual students or entire classes.
“The most appealing benefit to us is ConnectYard’s ability to connect students, teachers, parents and staff using social media without requiring them to change their behavior,” said John Logan, Vice President of Curriculum Innovation for Florida Virtual School. “Each user can choose their preferred method of communication. We think this will increase the adoption rate well beyond social media tools that force students and teachers to use a proprietary platform.”
In addition to improving student-teacher communication, ConnectYard will enable students to collaborate with one another more easily via online study group tools. FLVS will also use ConnectYard to provide academic support outside the classroom, communicate with parents, deliver online tutoring and support a range of school-wide initiatives. An event notifications tool will streamline distribution of routine notices, and ConnectYard will enable instant distribution of emergency notices on the platforms where FLVS administrators, faculty and students already spend the most time.
FLVS joins ConnectYard’s growing client roster, which also includes Cornell University, the United States Air Force Academy‘s Air University, Anne Arundel Community College, Concordia University, California University of Pennsylvania and Dominican University. Find out more about ConnectYard at http://www1.connectyard.com/. Learn more about FLVS at http://www.flvs.net.
About Florida Virtual School
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an established leader in developing and providing virtual Kindergarten-12 education solutions to students all over Florida, the United States and the world. A nationally recognized e-Learning model and recipient of numerous awards, FLVS was founded in 1997 and was the country’s first, state-wide Internet-based public high school. Today, FLVS serves students in grades Kindergarten-12 and provides a variety of custom solutions for schools and districts to meet student needs.
ConnectYard provides a centralized social media communications platform for higher education that simplifies and unifies communications across a variety of social technologies, including Facebook and Twitter. The platform can also be used by various departments for institutional messaging, notifications, and emergency alerts. In addition, the platform seamlessly integrates into existing portal and learning management technologies, providing increased communication capabilities for both administrative and academic purposes.
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, retention, and much more, please visit http://www.connectyard.com or contact us at 973-494-8063.