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Report Reveals Growing Momentum in Online Learning

41 Percent of Students Say Online Classes Have Greatest Impact on Learning
WASHINGTON, DC, Jul 01, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) and Project Tomorrow today released the results of a survey that demonstrates growing momentum in online learning, providing new and timely data on its continued growth in the nation's schools to support both student learning and professional development for teachers.

The report, Learning in the 21st Century: A Trends Update, examines the views of more than 250,000 K-12 students, teachers and parents in over 3,000 schools nationwide. The online survey was conducted by Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization formerly known as NetDay, in the fall of 2007, and serves as an update to the 2007 report Learning in the 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning.

According to the survey, more than four in 10 students (41 percent) say that online classes will have the greatest positive impact on their learning, nearly double the percentage that said so in 2006. In addition, the survey finds that:

  • A large majority of principals and district administrators -- 88 percent -- say that the effective implementation of instructional technology is core to their mission, and 84 percent believe that technology use enhances student achievement.
  • Over 26 percent of teachers say that online learning is their preferred method for professional development, nearly four times the percentage that did in 2006 (7 percent).

Technology has a unique role to play in expanding learning opportunities and enabling educators to reach students both inside and outside of the traditional classroom setting, said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of Blackboard K-12. As students, educators, and parents across the country recognize the importance of online learning, Blackboard continues to power the 21st century learning experience with innovative solutions that create new ways to strengthen school communities of practice and enhance student achievement. We partner with schools and districts to close the gap between the way students live and the way they learn by delivering a connected, personalized teaching and learning experience.

The Trends Update report also details important information about how online learning is utilized. For example, middle school students in grades 6-8 are primarily interested in taking an online class to get extra help to support a traditional class where they are struggling. Meanwhile, high school students are most interested in online classes to gain college credit and to access courses not currently available at their high school.

When teachers and students were asked to envision what the ultimate school for 21st century learners would include, they demonstrated a strong interest in online learning and the use of online tools:

  • Nearly half of students in grades 6-12 (46 percent) would like to have access to online tools to help them organize class work and assignments, while 41 percent would like tools to better communicate with their teachers.
  • One-third of students (33 percent) would like to see greater use of Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom, including blogs, social networking sites, and wikis.
  • Twenty percent of teachers say that online classes are a key element for increasing student achievement in the 21st century school, an increase of nearly 28 percent since 2006.

The complete Trends Update report and the original Learning in the 21st Century: A National Report of Online Learning are available online at www.blackboard.com/k12/onlinelearningreport. For more information about Blackboard's K-12 solutions, please visit: http://blackboard.com/inpractice/k12.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) 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.

About Project Tomorrow

Speak Up is a national initiative of Project Tomorrow (formerly known as NetDay), the nation's leading education nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that today's students are well prepared to be tomorrow's innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world. Since fall 2003, the annual Speak Up project has collected and reported on the views of over 1.2 million K-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents representing over 14,000 schools in all 50 states. The Speak Up data represents the largest collection of authentic, unfiltered stakeholder input on education, technology, 21st century skills, schools of the future and science instruction. Education, business and policy leaders report using the data regularly to inform federal, state and local education programs. For additional information, visit www.tomorrow.org.

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 July 1, 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 July 1, 2008.

CONTACTS
Matthew Maurer
Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637
matthew.maurer@blackboard.com

Anna Hughes
e-Luminate Group
(202) 585-0230
ahughes@eluminategroup.com

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.