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Blackboard Sees Strong Momentum with Enhanced Mass Notification Service

Over  200 Clients Covering More Than 1 Million Recipients choose Blackboard Connect 5  for Critical Communications

WASHINGTON – December  14, 2011 – Blackboard announced today that Blackboard Connect™ 5, the latest release of its leading mass notification service, has reached an  important milestone: after just 90 days in the marketplace, the service now  serves clients representing more than 1 million community members across the  United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The next generation system has  experienced rapid adoption by more than 200 school districts, higher education  institutions and local governments around the world for its superior user  interface and customizable outreach tools.

New and previous Blackboard Connect users alike have found  that the latest version of the product, which  was recently identified as the most widely used notification service in higher  education by the 2011 Campus Computing survey, helps them create and send  messages faster and ensure that they are more targeted and relevant to specific  audiences.

“I have experience with a number of SaaS platforms and have  been a Blackboard client for three years, and this was the smoothest transition  I’ve ever encountered,” said Jim Hendry, chief information officer at Lester B.  Pearson School Board, one of the largest school districts in Quebec, Canada.  “We made the change over the weekend, and by Monday we were back at work sending  41 messages to thousands of parents without a hitch. We’re excited to leverage  new features that will enhance parental involvement in our schools, including  the customized messages, smartphone app and message templates.”

Lester B. Pearson  School Board is among the many Blackboard Connect clients that helped to shape  the new platform with key insights and real-world usage scenarios. Client  participation in the product development process influenced key features, such  as a naturally intuitive, one-page message workflow and the ability to create  and send messages from any phone, desktop or laptop computer, iPhone®,  iPad® or iPod touch®.

“Our latest release was built to be both easy-to-use and powerful,  and we are excited to see its continued  adoption across multiple markets,” said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard  Connect. “Our goal is to work with our clients to deliver the most innovative  technology that helps them engage communities on their own terms. That means  parents are more involved, students are more engaged, and communities are more  connected.”

Through Blackboard  Connect, users can record, send and track personalized voice notifications to  home phones, businesses, local agencies and mobile devices in minutes. The  system also sends email, text messages (SMS), posts to Facebook and Twitter and  messages to TTY/TDD devices for people who are hearing impaired. In addition, built-in  features, such as message scenario templates, automated language translation  and real-time delivery reports ensure users receive urgent messages during time-sensitive  events and critical situations.

Blackboard Connect  has been a trusted leader in mass notification service for more than 10 years. Based  on client surveys, the platform has maintained a 95 percent or higher overall  client satisfaction rate over the past three years. Most recently, Blackboard  Connect was voted one of the “Top 100 in Tech” award-winners by District Administration magazine’s K-12  readership.  

Clients that have  already made the move to Blackboard Connect 5 include K-12 districts, such as Asheville  City Public Schools (N.C.), Baltimore County Public Schools (Md.), Federal Way  Public Schools (Wash.), Prince William County Public Schools (Va.) and Lester  B. Pearson School Board (Quebec); colleges and universities, such as Alabama  A&M University, Baker College System (Mich.), Benedictine University (Ill.);  as well as Harford County (Md.) and other local governments.

For more information about  Blackboard Connect, visit www.blackboard.com/connect5.

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 represent the  Company’s views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ  materially as a result of various important factors. 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 statements at some point in the future, the Company  specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

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