Schools Embrace Blackboard for Advanced Placement and Gifted and Talented Programs
K-12 Districts Work With Neighboring Colleges, Universities and Virtual Schools to Leverage Technology and Faculty Resources
SAN DIEGO, CA, Mar 01, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- BbWorld 2006 -- As K-12 schools around the nation strive to meet the
needs of all students, technology is proving a critical tool for
providing a wide variety of classes and programs, of various levels
and subject matter. Many schools rely on the learning management
platform from Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) to offer advanced
placement and gifted and talented programs, which they might
otherwise not be able to provide. Blackboard is currently hosting
BbWorld 2006, its 8th annual users conference in San Diego, where
more than 1400 people from academia and K-12 schools are gathering
for this year's event.
With President Bush's recent State of the Union announcement of the
American Competitiveness Initiative, calling for strengthening math
and science education, and significant expansion of advanced placement
programs, schools have more reasons now than ever before to implement
such initiatives. Advanced placement courses offered through
Web-enhanced and distance education programs provide a multitude of
benefits to students, teachers and communities overall. Benefits
reaching students in rural districts where schools' resources and
staff are limited;
- access to AP courses for home-schooled students;
- saving families hundreds of dollars off college tuition;
- helping high school students get a head start in college by
introducing them to higher level course work.
BlendedSchools.net, a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania,
provides advanced placement and gifted and talented online course
material to more than 100 school districts across the state.
"Our school districts find blendedschools.net's online courses
delivered in our robust Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) to be an
inexpensive, powerful tool for expanding learning opportunities for
students," said Jed Friedrichsen, Chief Administrative Officer.
"Thousands of gifted, talented and AP students across Pennsylvania
are now logging in to take courses otherwise not available to them."
In California, The University of California College Prep Online
(UCCP) provides 23 advanced placement courses online through
Blackboard software to K-12 schools, in 56 counties across the state.
This academic year UCCP enrolled 1,119 students in AP courses.
"We receive regular positive feedback from the schools and students
using the courses," said Curt Anderson, Director of Strategic
Partnerships at UCCP. "Many of the students who take our AP courses
do so because they live in remote areas or in poor school districts
where these courses are not available. It's an example of how online
learning can really make a difference."
LearningLinks, the online, distance-learning program offered by The
Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University in Illinois,
allows gifted students from Kalamazoo to Kazakhstan to take online
courses via Blackboard software. The program has grown considerably
since the first class was offered in 1982. 550 students signed up for
LearningLinks classes in fall 2005, a 31% increase from one year
before. Available courses range from AP Physics to Creative Writing
Duke University in North Carolina has a similar initiative called the
Talent Identification e-Studies Program offered through Blackboard
software. Duke launched the first full offering of the program last
fall in which 137 students enrolled from across 20 states and one
student from China.
"We applaud the schools and colleges which are leveraging their
investments in technology to provide the best educational
opportunities possible to students," said Michael Chasen, President
and CEO of Blackboard. "We all realize that learning doesn't start
and stop when students enter a classroom. Using Blackboard to extend
the classroom and education experience is exactly what we had in mind
when we founded the company -- it's very satisfying to see this
vision coming to fruition at academic institutions all over the
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry.
Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations
everywhere by connecting people and technology. With two product
suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) and the Blackboard Commerce
Suite(TM), Blackboard is used by millions of people at academic
institutions around the globe, including colleges, universities, K-12
schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers
and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and
their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C.,
with offices in North America, Europe and Asia.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.
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
Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 15, 2006 with the SEC.
In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press
release represent the Company's views as of March 1, 2006. 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 March 1,
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SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.