Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

Blackboard Launches Blackboard Sync(TM) on Facebook(R) Platform

Service Aims to Connect Students' Social and Academic Worlds

WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Every day, millions of students log on to the Facebook(R) Web site to connect with old friends and meet new ones. Every day millions of those same students also separately log on to their institution's Blackboard(R) system to access their course materials, assignments, tests, and other important academic information. Now, thanks to a free application from Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), millions of students will be able to access their social and learning networks in one place.

Blackboard, a global leader in educational enterprise technology, announced today the launch of Blackboard Sync(TM) a safe and secure application on the Facebook Platform to enable students to be better engaged in their academic lives by delivering course updates and other information through Facebook. Students who elect to use Blackboard Sync can receive information on new assignments, discussion board postings, course materials, and even new grades while logged on to their Facebook accounts.

In addition, students can easily find and connect with their classmates on Facebook, giving them the ability to turn routine social interactions into social learning opportunities. With millions of students using both their Blackboard system and the Facebook Web site every day, Blackboard Sync enables students to learn more about their classmates through their profiles and to leverage their Facebook accounts to create and join online and offline networks and groups to collaborate and study together.

"For more than a decade, Blackboard has worked to bring learning opportunities to students, wherever they might be," said Michael L. Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard. "Today, Blackboard brings learning to Facebook, giving millions of students the ability to simplify and be better connected to their academic lives. By bridging their academic and social worlds, Blackboard Sync allows students to participate in a new kind of social learning community; one that we are only beginning to understand the true potential of and one that can have a profound impact on their lives."

"A huge amount of what I need to do to stay on top of my classes is to make sure that I am completing tasks and that everything is planned out. By making a significant percentage of that workload even easier, Blackboard Sync can help me be a more successful student," said Zachary Girod, a graduate student at the University of Maryland. "A lot of the work we do involves group projects and collaboration. Having access to academic alerts while I'm on Facebook lets me work more efficiently and informally with classmates and learn from their experiences. With Blackboard Sync, it is easier to take part in the social sharing of knowledge, learning, and ideas in a friendly setting. Ultimately, that is what college should be all about."

Part of Blackboard's ongoing effort to help institutions meet the needs of their students and to promote student engagement and achievement, Blackboard Sync is available to all Facebook users that attend any of the thousands of high schools, colleges and universities that use Blackboard worldwide. Each student receives information from only the courses they are registered in and that information cannot be shared. Institutions that prefer to limit access to Blackboard Sync can block the application entirely.

"Students are increasingly demanding cutting-edge tools to communicate and collaborate online, and Blackboard Sync is part of our effort to meet that demand," said Karen Gage, Vice President of Product Strategy at Blackboard. "By combining our community with the millions of students using Facebook, Blackboard Sync is a major step toward creating a truly boundless global community of social learners."

For more information about Blackboard Sync please visit http://blackboard.com/communities/beyond.

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 solutions 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.

Blackboard

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 May 9, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 14, 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 May 14, 2008.

Facebook(R) is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

CONTACT: Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc., +1-202-463-4860, ext. 2637, matthew.maurer@blackboard.com; or Amy Storey, Fleishman-Hillard Inc. for Blackboard Inc., +1-202-828-8819, storeya@fleishman.com