Blackboard Announces K-20 Connection Strategic Initiative
Pledge Leverages Technology to Enhance Student Learning and Preparedness
SEATTLE, WA, Oct 24, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- EDUCAUSE 2007 Annual Conference -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a
leading provider of enterprise education software and services, is
unveiling this week at the EDUCAUSE 2007 Annual Conference, the
launch of the Blackboard K-20 Connection(TM), a strategic initiative
to significantly impact the way K-12 schools and higher education
institutions connect and collaborate. Blackboard plans to invest over
one million dollars in strategic and tactical imperatives that
enhance K-20 collaborative opportunities in the US and around the
"It is critical that secondary and post secondary education leaders
work closely together to better prepare today's students for success
in school, in their careers, and in life," said Michael Chasen,
President and CEO of Blackboard. "The lines that traditionally
separate high school and college have become blurred as more and more
high school students aspire to take college level course work.
Similarly, large numbers of college students are in need of remedial
work in order to succeed academically. Today's announcement is just
the first step in a multi-year effort to leverage our resources to
build new and lasting connections between K12 and college."
"K-20 collaborations demonstrate how linking K-12 and higher
education can positively impact access and the quality of education
for students," said Adam Newman, Managing Vice President, Industry
Solutions at Eduventures, Inc. "Blackboard's role as a leading
provider of academic technology and its commitment to dedicate
resources to this effort will further advance K-20 initiatives at the
state and local levels and augment the current efforts of educational
The data and market research around the need for K-20 collaboration
is clear -- an estimated 50% of students entering college do not meet
placement requirements, 40% take remedial courses, and over one
million students this year will fail to graduate with their high
school classes according to the Eduventures ACT Institutional Data
"We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage education technology to
build communities that better engage students, individualize learning
experiences and increase learning productivity," said Jessie
Woolley-Wilson, President K12, Blackboard. "Today's students are
global citizens and require new skills to compete effectively in a
global economy. Education leaders are challenged to find new ways to
successfully prepare and transition students from K12 to
post-secondary education. Blackboard wants to help them build new
bridges to facilitate their efforts."
The Blackboard K-20 Connection initiative will focus on the
-- Provide strategic leadership to help define and promote models for
successful collaboration between K12 and higher education, including state
and province-wide initiatives;
-- Create an online community of education leaders to promote the
exchange of best practices in K-20 policy, curriculum, and education
-- Cultivate meaningful dialogue among all education stakeholders,
including students, parents, school leaders, and administrators by
leveraging Blackboard's relationships with thousands of K-12 and higher
-- Increase the use of technology solutions that foster engagement and
collaboration while delivering more individualized learning experiences.
To achieve these goals, Blackboard will launch the following
specific efforts in the coming months:
-- Create a K-20 Connection Virtual Learning Community;
-- Publish case studies of innovative K-20 Initiatives from the US and
-- Offer financial incentives related to Blackboard solutions and
services to encourage K-20 coordination and collaboration; and
-- Develop a K-20 Blackboard practice area that can serve as a resource
to education leaders.
K-20 Collaborative Models in Practice:
Many K-20 initiatives are already successfully impacting change. For
example, the National Internet2 K-20 Initiative currently provides
advanced networking access across elementary, secondary, and
post-secondary institutions. During Blackboard's presentation at the
EDUCAUSE conference, Louis Fox, Director of National Internet2 K-20
Initiative and Vice Provost of the University of Washington will
present some of the ways this collaboration is directly benefiting
students across the state, highlighting the role of research
institutions. "Research universities engage in discovery. They can
make that discovery mission visible, exciting and accessible to
students and their teachers," he said.
David J. Ernst, CIO and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Information
Technology Services at California State University, will also discuss
successful K-20 models, during the Blackboard session. Ernst points
to the Corporation for Educational Networking in California
(CENIC.org) for their work linking together university campuses as
well as county offices and school districts through its high speed
statewide network. The result is greater access to educational
resources for K-12 schools across the state.
To learn more about the Blackboard K-20 Connection(TM), including
registering for upcoming web presentations, downloading the
just-released "Building K-20 Connections" issue brief and accessing
research and best practices of successful K-20 models, please visit
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry.
Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations
everywhere by connecting people and technology. Millions of people
use Blackboard every day at academic institutions around the globe,
including colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other education
providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused
merchants that serve education providers and their students.
Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in
North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)
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-Q filed on August 7, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent
the Company's views as of October 24, 2007. 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 24, 2007.
Senior Manager Public Relations at Blackboard:
202-463-4860 ext. 2404
SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.