Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

Blackboard Partners With Syracuse University to Develop Sakai Integration

    Effort is Part of Blackboard's Flexible, Open Next Generation Platform

LAS VEGAS, July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology, announced today that it has partnered with Syracuse University to develop software that will allow institutions to connect their Blackboard learning environment with the open source Sakai course management system.

The effort is part of Project NG, Blackboard's multi-year, multi-release project to deliver a next generation teaching and learning solution. With Project NG, Blackboard is working to create a more open, flexible platform that allows educators to better personalize, customize and integrate their educational ecosystem.

As part of Project NG, Blackboard developed the Learning Environment Connector, which makes it possible for students and faculty to use other course management systems within the Blackboard environment and is available now on version 8 of the Blackboard Learning System(TM). Building on that technology, Syracuse will develop the Blackboard-Sakai Connector to allow for seamless integration between the two systems. Blackboard is also planning to develop a similar connector for the open source Moodle course management system.

"Students should not have to worry about whether different technology is powering their online learning environments for different classes," said Michael L. Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "With a single login users should have access to all of their courses and course material. There should be one place they can go to get all of their course information."

With the Blackboard-Sakai Connector, institutions can provide access to a full range of educational opportunities and materials in one place, regardless of where they were originally developed or located, making access easier for faculty and students at campuses that may be using more than one course management system.

"This development effort is very important to Syracuse," said Michael Morrison, Manager of Academic Applications at Syracuse. "This partnership makes sense for us, given our large installed base of active Blackboard users."

The Blackboard-Sakai Connector will be a Blackboard Building Block(TM), an application that institutions or third-parties develop to enhance and extend the Blackboard learning environment. The Blackboard-Sakai Connector will be released as open source and join more than 150 free or open source Blackboard Building Blocks currently available to the entire Blackboard community. The Connector will then be integrated as part of Blackboard's next generation product roadmap.

Primary development of the Blackboard-Sakai Connector will take place at Syracuse, with design guidance and review and support from Blackboard.

The announcement was made at the Blackboard Developers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, where several hundred software and technology professionals convened to share ideas for independent, third-party applications that build on and extend Blackboard solutions to address specific academic and institutional needs. The conference precedes BbWorld '08(R), where more than 2,000 members of the global e-learning community will gather this week at Blackboard's annual event focused on best practices and innovative breakthroughs in education technology.

For more information about Blackboard solutions, please visit

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.


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 15, 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 15, 2008.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc. 07/15/2008
Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,,
Amy Storey of Fleishman-Hillard Inc., 1- 202-828-8819,
Web site: (BBBB)