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Blackboard Launches Custom Toolbar for Web Browsers

Users Get One-Click Course Access from Bing(TM), Internet Explorer(R), Firefox(R)
WASHINGTON, Jan 19, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), today announced the launch of a custom toolbar, developed in partnership with Microsoft(R), that gives students direct, one-click access to their courses from Web browsers including Internet Explorer(R) and Mozilla's Firefox(R), as well as Microsoft's Bing(TM) search engine.

The toolbar, free to all Blackboard institutions that have enabled access through the Blackboard Sync(TM) Building Block(TM), makes it easier for millions of students who normally log in to their Blackboard accounts several times a day to check for new information, assignments and grades.

With the toolbar, students can receive course updates and notifications that appear on their browser while they surf the Web, keeping them more informed and aware of important information whether they are logged into their Blackboard account or not. They can also easily click through to their courses, creating a better workflow for students moving between course pages and other Web sites to conduct research. The toolbar also creates easy access to Bing(TM), Microsoft's new Decision Engine, which can help students more quickly collect accurate information from across the Web.

"With so many projects and research I need to do online, constantly monitoring for updates from professors takes away from the time that I could spend working on my assignments," said Lauren Nemiroff, a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park. "With the toolbar, my information is more accessible and I can stay on top of things whether I'm doing coursework, research or other online activities."

In addition to the toolbar, Blackboard has also created applications that let students access course information on the Facebook(R) platform and on mobile devices like the Apple(R) iPhone(R) and iPod Touch(R) devices. The applications are part of the Company's effort to make it easier for students to access their academic information in multiple ways to help keep them more engaged. In each case, Blackboard has worked to ensure the broader availability of updates on course information to keep users connected while taking steps to protect student privacy.

"Students who are more engaged are more successful," said Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "We want to make it as easy as possible for them to focus on more research, collaboration and getting work done and less on trying to keep up with everything. If we can help create stronger engagement by simplifying that process, we know they'll be more successful."

The toolbar is available as a free download to students and other users at institutions that have enabled access through the Blackboard Sync Building Block, which is available at no cost at Behind the Blackboard, the Company's client support Web site. The toolbar is available to institutions using Blackboard Learn(TM) Release 7.3 and higher, including Release 9 clients.

For more information about the Blackboard Learn Toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/toolbar. For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Teaching-Learning/Learn-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 November 6, 2009 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of January 19, 2010. 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 January 19, 2010.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.