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Blackboard Announces Ball State University as Inaugural Recipient of Blackboard Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds(TM)

Chosen for Their Innovative Integration of Virtual Worlds into Teaching and Learning, Ball State Will Expand Cinema Arts Program

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 19, 2008--Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology for the education industry, today announced Ball State University (BSU) Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA) Cinema Arts Program as the winner of the company's first $25,000 Blackboard Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds. By leveraging the interactive technology of Second Life with the Blackboard course management system, BSU's program will extend instruction to an e-Learning community that would otherwise not have access to the expensive equipment and labs needed for the university's standard course of study.

The Blackboard Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds was developed in 2007, to foster and promote the integration of virtual worlds into everyday teaching and learning.

"We wanted to encourage and support our clients who are constantly creating innovative learning environments for their students and the global e-Learning community," said Craig Chanoff, senior vice president of Blackboard Client Success. "Programs such as BSU's cutting-edge cinema arts course will offer unique educational opportunities for student engagement and skill development in Blackboard's secure learning environment."

BSU's IDIAA Cinema Arts Program will combine Blackboard's course management tools, particularly the Adaptive Release feature, to automate and control access to virtual facilities in Second Life. By combining virtual equipment and lab capacities with access control, students will have an exploratory learning environment with enough structure to make the Second Life experience comfortable and productive.

"Blackboard and Second Life will provide virtual studio and laboratory based learning environments to a remote distance education audience and leverage our success in real world new media arts into virtual worlds," said John Fillwalk, director of IDIAA and associate professor of electronic art at Ball State University. "While our students will be the initial benefactors of our Ball State University cinematography class, the technology that bridges the gap between Second Life and Blackboard will be available to the Blackboard community so other schools will be able to create and deliver their own immersive learning environments."

Through the use of Adaptive Release, BSU instructors will be able to control, monitor and create assignments according to their evolving student assessment and criteria. The IDIAA Cinema Arts Program will use the Second Life platform to teleport pupils to specific spaces and assignments within the learning environment through the use of the website's "Holodeck" tool. The virtual equipment available within the learning space will not only mimic real-world models in detail, but will also enable students to work individually and collaboratively on a variety of projects in ways previously impractical. Additionally, a student union, a large studio and a lounge area in Second Life will provide arenas for students to discuss course issues with peers and faculty, and present their artifacts.

The IDIAA Cinema Arts Program was chosen by a panel of academics currently using virtual worlds to improve online learning, including William Brinkman, assistant professor of computer science and systems analysis at Miami University; Bill Moseley, adjunct professor of computer science at Pepperdine University and Bakersfield College; and Theodore Ubhaus, information systems manager at Berkeley College.

"The Blackboard committee selected BSU's proposal out of a large and diverse pool of competing submissions because it demonstrated a complete understanding of a virtual world environment," said John Fontaine, senior director of Engineering Services at Blackboard.

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.


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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 February 19, 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 February 19, 2008.

CONTACT: Blackboard Inc.
Public Relations at Blackboard
Brian Cooley, 202-463-4860 ext. 2377

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.