ConnectYard – a new platform for education

Tue 3 January 2012 20:04, Qin Hu

ConnectYard – a new platform for education

It is not new that more and more students prefer to interact via mobile devices and social media sites rather than using traditional forms of communication such as e-mail.

However, according to Doane, the co-founder of ConnectYar, it is clear that faculty members are not always keen on adopting new technologies and many do not want to intrude upon the personal space of students on social networking sites.

As you can see, there are communication barriers between students and their professors. In order to eliminate these barriers, institutions from Cornell University to Georgia State University are turning to a social platform named ConnectYard. “It allows students and professors to interact on the platforms they prefer to use.” according to Doane.

If students feel like communicating by sending text messages, or on Facebook and Twitter, they can send messages to their teachers in this way. In turn, teachers will receive and send responses in the way they prefer, typically via e-mail.

For example, a teacher cancels a class and sends an e-mail to students, students can choose to receive the message as a text or Facebook post instead. I think it is great and very useful in this case. At least, I am on Facebook much more often than checking school’s e-mail. On the other hand, students can also respond to messages on platforms they choose. If they are on Facebook and send a Facebook message to their teachers, the teachers can receive it through e-mail.

“We wanted to give students and faculty an easy way to reach each other and interact without having anyone change their communication habits,” Doane said. “We’ve had great success with it so far and more institutions are jumping on board.”

In addition, other popular learning platforms such as Blackboard and Desire2Learn have already been integrated with ConnectYard. Students and professors can post and respond to queries. Besides that, ConnectYard can be a very useful platform in the e-book generation. If a student is reading an e-book, he/she can post a question from his/her e-reader and the professor can respond via e-mail (if the professor prefers e-mail). The answer will be shown directly in the student’s e-book notes on the device.

“ConnectYard is flexible in how it allows students and faculty members communicate,” Doane said. “Everyone prefers to communicate in different ways, so we want to make sure people can interact with others however they feel most comfortable – whether it is just through e-mail or through a high-tech device or social platform.”

If you want to know more, check the video below.

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