The following are some common questions that you and other users may have when using the Connect-ED service.
Parents in my community have Caller ID blocking. Will our messages get through?
Yes. Because the Connect-ED system sends your schools (or district's) Caller ID information, your calls will not be blocked by the Caller ID blocking feature.
Will my messages only be delivered to a live person?
No. The Connect-ED service will deliver your messages to a live person, an answering machine or voicemail.
How does the system let me know that my message was delivered?
Once the message has been delivered, a report is e-mailed to you with a summary of the results, including how many contacts received your message and, more importantly, who didn't receive your message. The e-mail report also provides a link back to your account so you can view details such as the names and phone numbers of each contact, allowing you to follow up with those who didn't receive your message.
What are the categories I will see on my summary report?
Live Delivery and Answering Machine indicate messages that were successfully delivered. You will also see categories such as Bad Phone Number, Fax/Modem, Busy, Hang Up, etc. that indicate contacts that did not receive your message. When you are logged into the web site you can click on any of these categories to get a detailed listing of these contact's names and phone numbers so you can contact them directly.
What if I have forgotten my Connect-ED Username and/or Password?
Go to www.blackboardconnect.com and click the Sign in Here button. Click the Get Help Here link, and then enter either a valid e-mail address or your Connect-ED Username. The Username and Password will be quickly e-mailed to the registered Connect-ED user.
What happens if there are three children in the same household attending the same school? Will they get three messages?
The message will only be sent once. The system recognizes duplicate phone numbers and automatically protects against repeat calling. However, if there is more than one absent child per household and text-to-speech is being used to announce the student's name in the Attendance Notification message, a separate message will be sent for each student.
When can I schedule a message to be delivered?
You can send your message any time - 24 hours, 7 days a week. Rest assured, we will deliver an Are you sure message just in case you happen to select 1:00 AM instead of 1:00 PM!
What if we have a very important call that needs to go to ALL the phone numbers in our contact list?
Record your message as an Emergency Message and the Connect-ED system will attempt to deliver your message to ALL phone numbers for the selected contacts. If there are six phone numbers available for your contacts, the system will attempt to deliver the message to all six numbers simultaneously.
Does the system try again if the message wasn't received the first time?
If there is no answer, the system will retry that number two times making a total of three attempts. If after all attempts the message is still not delivered, the system will cease its delivery attempts. The Connect-ED user who sent the message will receive an e-mail with a link to a detailed report that tracks the delivery of the message to every intended recipient.
What if we have an emergency and do not have access to the Internet?
Each user should print out a personal Dial-In Messaging Card that can be kept with them at all times. In case of an evacuation or power loss, for example, you can use the information on the card to call the Connect-ED system and send an Emergency Communication message using only a telephone. Please note that you must create a Dial-In PIN before you can utilize this option.
Can I make changes to a message before it is sent?
Yes. You may change any aspect of a message before it is sent, including the message you want to send, the contacts you are sending it to, or the date and time you want it delivered. Go to the Log tab and click Edit for the message you want to change, make the desired changes, and then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the message sending process.
How long should my message be?
We recommend that you limit messages to 30 to 45 seconds. Keep in mind that many answering machines only allot 60 seconds for messages. Our experience shows that the more succinct the message, the more powerful its impact.
Is there a limit to the number of messages I can have scheduled at one time?
No. You may schedule an unlimited number of messages. However, we do not recommend scheduling messages too far in advance. Please keep in mind that if you make updates to the contacts in your Student Information System after a message is scheduled, those contacts will not receive the message at their new numbers.
Under what circumstances would I want to use text-to-speech rather than a recording of my own voice?
You may want to use the text-to-speech option if you want to create a message that contains information specific to each contact, such as a student's name, periods absent, date, balance owed, etc. A computerized voice will read your scripted message for you. Additionally, we now offer the Blend-It! feature, which allows you to record a voice greeting before the text-to-speech portion! Many schools choose to use this for Attendance Notifications, cafeteria balance messages, and for communicating bus route information.
What if I have a problem scheduling a message after business hours?
The Blackboard Connect team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 435-7684). If you receive a recording when you call, please leave a message, and we will respond within 15 minutes.