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New Release of Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) Boosts Teacher Productivity and Promotes 21st Century Skills in the Classroom

Developed in Collaboration with Blackboard Users, Release 8.0

Features Powerful Instructional Tools to Drive Student Achievement

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 23, 2008--Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) has announced the general availability of Release 8.0 of the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM), a standards-based product suite that engages learners and drives student achievement. The new release includes a number of important enhancements that empower global Higher Education and K-12 institutions to cultivate 21st Century Learning skills.

Drawing upon one of the industry's largest communities of practice, Blackboard has collaborated with its innovative user community to enhance the Blackboard Academic Suite, making it a more powerful instructional tool for teachers and learners at all levels.

One of the premier enhancements is the Blackboard Grade Center(TM), a completely redesigned smart grading tool with an easy-to-use interface that simplifies the grading process while providing powerful analytic capabilities for teachers. Additionally, teachers can now email students and parents directly from the Blackboard Grade Center and create and share printable progress reports for better school-to-home communication.

"We are constantly seeking feedback on how our products can enhance K-12 teaching and learning," said Jessie-Woolley Wilson, President of Blackboard K-12. "By partnering with our valued user community to develop Release 8.0, Blackboard was able to design a solution that meets the needs of every classroom. The Blackboard Academic Suite empowers teachers to foster the 21st century skills that today's students need to succeed."

"I am thrilled to introduce the new Blackboard Grade Center to the teachers. Not only does it save teachers time, it also serves as an instructional tool enabling teachers to easily monitor student progress and communicate directly with parents," said Mike Smith, Functional Analyst, Baltimore City Public Schools.

Using the new Self and Peer Assessment tool, students can better cultivate important 21st century skills such as critical thinking. Created by a Blackboard user, the tool enables students to review and grade their own work, based on teacher-set criteria, so they can easily monitor their own progress. Students can also anonymously review and grade work submitted by their classmates, encouraging them to learn from their peers and build important critical thinking skills while monitoring their own progress.

The Blackboard Academic Suite makes it possible for school districts to build learning communities among teachers, parents, and students, by collaboratively creating, managing and distributing digital content in a district-wide curriculum management system. Teachers can share, discover and reuse class materials and lesson plans across their districts. Administrators can monitor how content is being used with the new 360(degree) view that provides statistics, tracking, permissions and other information about specific content. Additionally, the enhanced suite integrates SafeAssign(TM) by Blackboard, a plagiarism prevention service that not only helps students learn crucial citation and plagiarism rules, but also helps teachers ensure originality without time-consuming investigations.

To learn more about specific features and view purchasing information for the Blackboard Academic Suite, 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 everyday 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 November 8, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of January 23, 2008. 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 January 23, 2008.

CONTACT: Blackboard Inc.
Public Relations
Brian Cooley, 202-463-4860, ext. 2377
Media Contact:
Anna Hughes, 202-585-0230
Fax: 202-393-2509

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.