Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

Blackboard Connect Keeps Schools, Universities on Track for Back to School in the Face of Hurricane Season

New Caribbean Clients Keep Students Safe and Informed With Mass Notification

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced two new client agreements that extend Blackboard Connect(TM) services to the Caribbean for the first time. Inter-American University in Puerto Rico and the American University of Antigua will now be able to send urgent news and important information - within minutes - to students and staff to keep them safe and informed.

In Puerto Rico, Inter-American University has been using the Blackboard Learn(TM) platform for six years to provide instruction and education opportunities online, helping to serve their population of 44,000 students across seven unique campuses. The university has now expanded the agreement to include the Blackboard Connect multi-modal communication platform, enabling officials to quickly send voice, text and e-mail messages to Inter-American students, teachers and staff.

"It is a tremendous relief to have the Blackboard Connect service in place for the start of our new school year, which coincides with hurricane season in Puerto Rico," said Manuel J. Fernos, President of Inter-American University. "We are now able to notify students and staff instantly about urgent news such as campus closures. In addition, we can promote new class openings, campus activities and registration deadlines to help ensure our students' academic success."

American University of Antigua (AUA) is another school that discovered Blackboard Connect through its experience with the Blackboard Learn platform, which helps to bridge the distance from the physical campus for medical students participating in residency programs abroad who need to engage with professors and stay on course with the curriculum.

AUA will also integrate the Blackboard Connect platform as an important part of its campus-wide communication plan. The school will be able to reach students and the community with notices and instruction surrounding hurricane and tropical storm warnings, as well as volcanoes and earthquakes that are not uncommon in the area. Blackboard Connect also offers geo-targeting technology so that notifications can be sent to special groups to quickly address a specific need, without unnecessary disruption to the entire campus.

Last year, states, cities and schools nationwide, including Houston Independent School District, successfully used the Blackboard Connect platform to send more than 87 million messages to residents, students, parents and staff from August 15 to October 15, during the height of hurricane season.

"Houston Independent School District used Blackboard Connect to update faculty members and parents on a regular basis, keeping them connected to what the district was facing during the storm and then helping everyone get back on schedule throughout recovery," said Abelardo Saavedra, Superintendent of Houston Independent School District.

In New Orleans, officials of St. Charles Parish Public Schools are also living proof the Blackboard Connect platform is powerful support in the face of a hurricane or other urgent situations. In August 2005, as the area started to flood from Hurricane Katrina, the school was able to send a message to 31,000 phone numbers with just one click of a button. Over the next 13 days, the school sent 279,863 calls to parents, teachers and staff to help keep the community informed and directed toward safety.

"I truly believe in Blackboard Connect because I lived through Hurricane Katrina using the system," said Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard, Public Information Officer for St. Charles Parish Public Schools. "The service allowed us to get important messages out quickly and reliably, providing tremendous comfort to all our stakeholders. You simply can't put a value on that."

For more information about Blackboard Connect solutions, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Alert-Notification/Connect-Platform.aspx.

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 August 6, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of August 19, 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 August 19, 2009.

SOURCE  Blackboard Inc.

    -0-                           08/19/2009
    /CONTACT:  Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., +1-202-463-4860, ext. 2637,
matthew.maurer@blackboard.com/
    /Web Site:  http://www.blackboard.com/Alert-Notification/Connect-Platform.aspx /
    (BBBB)

CO:  Blackboard Inc.; Inter-American University; American University of
     Antigua
ST:  District of Columbia, Puerto Rico
IN:  EDU HED CPR STW
SU:  LIC

PR
-- SF63180 --
4780 08/19/2009 09:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com