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U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Selects Blackboard Learn for Expanded Training Program

More Than 150,000 Soldiers Annually Will Train on Blackboard Platform

WASHINGTON—October 27, 2011—The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has selected Blackboard Learn™ 9.1 as its platform to train more than 150,000 soldiers annually through its Lifelong Learning program, one of the largest online training programs in the Army, Blackboard Inc. announced today. More than 35,000 Army, Air Force, foreign language and cultural courses in nearly 40 schools nationwide will be run on Blackboard’s learning management system.

TRADOC is the U.S. Army command that oversees the training of Army forces, the development of operational doctrine and the procurement of new weapons systems. As more institutions requested access to its learning management system, TRADOC officials conducted a vendor evaluation to select a comprehensive, command-wide solution to fit the Army’s unique requirements for providing a classroom-based learning platform that can be scaled to support residence, instructor-led and distance learning. 

The use of the Blackboard Learn platform will support TRADOC’s Army Learning Concept 2015 initiative, which emphasizes the usage of blended and continuous learning environments to quickly meet mission demands through in-depth, customizable training.

In addition to preparing current students for the realities they’ll face in the field, TRADOC will also use the platform as a “reachback solution” that keeps officers continuously enrolled in classes so they can access the latest information as they face combat situations on rapidly evolving battlefields throughout their careers.

“As we develop the Army’s soldiers and civilians it is essential we leverage training technology that gives the structure, speed and flexibility needed to keep troops at peak performance,” said Valerie Wilkinson, chief of the learning management support team at TRADOC. “With Blackboard Learn, training is agile enough for rapid responses, robust enough to accommodate our global reach and accessible enough to quickly engage learners regardless of where they are stationed.”

By expanding their training program with Blackboard Learn, the Army estimates that it will reduce waitlists for mandatory courses by about 18,000 students and extend training to more than 96,000 additional warfighters annually. In addition to enhancing course instruction, TRADOC found that Release 9.1’s capabilities were robust enough to accommodate all the resources needed to facilitate skills mastery and accessible enough to quickly engage learners no matter where they are stationed.

“The training tools required to wage a successful military campaign need to rely on innovative technologies that go beyond basic knowledge of strategy and tactics and creates an environment where soldiers can share information and ideas about mission critical duties in real time,” said Tim Hill, president of Blackboard Professional Education (ProEd). “We are honored to play a role in increasing the training opportunities provided to America’s warfighters.”

Blackboard Learn fosters social learning communities through wikis, blogs and other applications that connect a collaborative network of mentors and colleagues. The platform’s improved stability, digital content integrations and greater workflow efficiencies help instructors easily create and deliver custom content that can be quickly updated and re-deployed as processes, standards or technology change.

For more information about Blackboard’s solutions for the military, please visit
http://www.blackboard.com/Markets/Military/Overview.aspx.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “will,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on August 4, 2011 with the SEC.  In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of October 27, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to October 27, 2011.

This News Release neither expresses nor implies an endorsement by the United States Army or any other United States department or agency of Blackboard’s products or services.

CONTACT
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637 or matthew.maurer@blackboard.com