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Blackboard and Vanderbilt University Partner on iTunes U Integration for Blackboard Learn

--Faculty, Students Can Access Multimedia Content Within Their Existing Online Courses
WASHINGTON, July 15, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced that it has partnered with Vanderbilt University Library to make their integration for Apple's iTunes( )U application available to the Blackboard client community, providing a popular tool to other institutions looking to support the use of multimedia content in courses.

Vanderbilt has created free, open source access to its recently upgraded iTunes U integration, developed in collaboration with a group of other campuses and consultants from Blackboard and Apple. The integration enables faculty and students to access audio, video and other multimedia content from iTunes U within their existing courses and with their existing logins through the Blackboard Learn((TM)) platform. At Vanderbilt, "public" resources on iTunes U also include campus news, music, sports and special events. All of the content can be downloaded and played on personal computers as well as mobile devices.

A similar application for iTunes U was developed by The College at Brockport, State University of New York (SUNY) and is freely available to all ANGEL Learning institutions (ANGEL was acquired by Blackboard in May).

"We found that an increasing number of faculty wanted to use multimedia in their classes - everything from capturing lectures to developing and sharing multimedia presentations for students," said Cindy Franco, Online Access to Knowledge Manager at Vanderbilt. "We looked at a number of solutions but they all had limitations. Working with iTunes U gave us an efficient way to share content within our existing system and tied to our courses so faculty and students can use it easily."

The announcement was made at BbWorld((R)), the annual meeting of Blackboard's user and developer communities, and coincides with the launch of the Blackboard's Extensions((TM)) Web site. At the site, the new iTunes U integration joins hundreds of free, paid and open source applications built by Blackboard developers, institutions and third parties to extend and enhance the Blackboard platform, as well as a wealth of digital content and multimedia resources made available by Blackboard's content partners. Blackboard clients can now access all active extensions through one portal, allowing users to customize and enhance their learning platform and find solutions to unique problems.

"The Vanderbilt and Brockport applications are representative of the wide range of innovations and developments unique to our community that help Blackboard and ANGEL institutions go farther, faster," said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn. "These efforts started because of a specific campus need, but can now support teachers and students worldwide in their efforts to enrich the learning experience with multimedia content."

While interest in multimedia content has grown dramatically, resources to organize and access that content easily and effectively have become more important. The integrations developed by Vanderbilt and Brockport give institutions the ability to more effectively manage and create access to multimedia content developed by instructors and students, as well as more than 175,000 other educational audio and video files on iTunes. Implementing and using the applications require no additional investment of resources or staff.

"We started this integration to meet the need of students and teachers to have access to multimedia content that was being created to expand the traditional course curriculum," said Brendan Post, Learning Systems Team Leader at Brockport. "Interest grew beyond our campus, which validated for us the importance of being part of a larger community. We hope this effort will enable collaboration between institutions to broaden our content offerings in the near future."

For more information about Blackboard Extensions, please visit http://www.blackboardextensions.com.

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.

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 7, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 15, 2009. 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, 2009.

iTunes is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.


http://www.blackboard.com