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Blackboard is First to Support New Common Cartridge Standard

Leadership in Open Standards Gives Educators Greater Flexibility and Choice

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced full support for Common Cartridge 1.1, making Blackboard Learn(TM), Release 9.1 the first learning platform to support the newest version of a key industry standard that makes it easier for instructors to share educational content and resources.

Blackboard received official certification for the new version of Common Cartridge from the IMS Global Learning Consortium in April. Support for Common Cartridge includes full import and export support for Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (Basic LTI). Blackboard previously announced full support for Common Cartridge 1.0 and Basic LTI in January.

The announcement marks another key milestone in Blackboard's work to establish a more open platform for teaching and learning and to give clients and users greater choice and flexibility in the use of course tools and content. The company plans to continue support for each standard going forward. Blackboard is also the only major education-focused provider of learning management technology to offer clients open access to its platform system database and detailed information on system activity that can help improve overall performance and inform investments in technology and training.

"We're excited to be the first to deliver on this new standard and to provide another example of our commitment to standards and execution in support of our clients and users," said Ray Henderson, President of Blackboard Learn and a member of the IMS Global board of directors. "We thank IMS Global for their leadership and partnership and renew our call for other organizations and providers to join us in supporting and adopting these standards to ensure greater benefit to users of education technology."

With Common Cartridge, educators and instructional designers can use learning tools and content across various learning platforms to promote greater sharing of content and resources across the global teaching and learning community. With Basic LTI, clients have more choices for integrating external learning tools within Blackboard Learn courses, and publishers can develop high quality content that can be distributed to the teaching and learning community more easily.

"It's very clear that Blackboard is committed to supporting open standards at the core of their products based on their leadership in implementing Common Cartridge 1.1," said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. "We are definitely seeing the beginning of a new phase in the marketplace where open standards are now becoming the de facto and default option for educational content and the educational enterprise for the benefit of educators, students, and administrators - and Blackboard is playing a major role in helping to make this happen."

In addition to supporting Basic LTI, Blackboard adopted the standard in its work with McGraw-Hill Higher Education to launch a combined course solution that represents the deepest integration of an education publisher's content and tools in a learning platform. The work represents the first commercial scale implementation of an open education standard, offering a significantly streamlined workflow for instructors and students.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit For more information about IMS Global Learning Consortium, 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.

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, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 16, 2011. 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 May 16, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.