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Parents and Students Believe K-12 Schools Must Do More to Prepare Students for the 21st Century

Integrating Technology into Learning, Teacher Training Seen as Critical for Success

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- While parents, K-12 students and educators agree that using technology is essential to learning and student success, parents are dissatisfied with the technology skills their children are learning in schools according to a survey report released today by Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, and Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology.

According to the survey, only one-third of parents and 40 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 believe that schools are doing a good job of preparing students for the 21st century. In contrast, more than half of principals surveyed believe they are doing a good job of preparing students.

"The disconnect between educators and parents reveals the need for schools to improve the integration of technology into the learning environment and students' learning experiences," said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. "Parents do not feel that schools are effectively preparing students for the jobs of the 21st century, and view technology implementation as essential to student success."

Parents believe that teachers need more training and more access to up to date technology and support school adoption of 21st century technology-infused approaches to teaching and learning, ranging from online textbooks to tools such as interactive white boards, laptops for students, computer projection devices and technology based organizational tools.

"As a parent, I want my son's school to provide a world class education and prepare him with the skills he needs for the jobs of the future," said Pam Young, a parent from Mission Viejo, Calif. "Using technology in school is key to achieving both of these objectives. I think it is essential that our schools provide opportunities for students to use a wide range of new technologies in the classroom, and that the teachers are well trained in how to use technology to increase student achievement."

The findings are included in the report Learning in the 21st Century: Parents' Perspectives, Parents' Priorities, which examines parent responses to the aspirations of students for technology enhanced learning environments. The data is from Project Tomorrow's Speak Up project, an annual survey which has collected and reported on the views of more than 335,000 U.S. K-12 students, parents and educators about online education and 21st century learning.

"Parents recognize that information literacy is crucial to their children's success in the 21st century global economy," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of Blackboard Learn K-12. "Today's students regularly utilize technology tools and resources in many aspects of their lives, yet do not experience the same technology integration in their academic experience. Increasingly, school leaders recognize that the application of technology can cultivate meaningful and rich learning experiences to drive academic performance and 21st century success. And, we're working with leaders as they engage students to deliver meaningful learning outcomes to help bridge the gap between the way students live and the way they learn."

To view the report Learning in the 21st Century: Parents' Perspectives, Parents' Priorities please visit http://www.blackboard.com/k12/education21c. To learn more about Blackboard K-12 solutions, visit http://www.blackboard.com/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. Since fall 2003, the annual Speak Up project has collected and reported on the views of over 1.5 million K-12 students, teachers, administrators and parents representing over 18,000 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.

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 October 29, 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 October 29, 2009.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., +1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637, matthew.maurer@blackboard.com