Blackboard Unveils Blackboard Beyond Initiative
Four Bold Inaugural Projects Will Advance e-Learning 2.0 Vision
SAN DIEGO, CA, Mar 01, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Bb World 2006 -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider
of technology to educational institutions, announced the Blackboard
Beyond Initiative(TM). Designed to achieve the next phase of online
learning -- e-Learning 2.0 -- the new initiative consists of four
bold inaugural projects that Blackboard will tackle in collaboration
with clients. Blackboard Chief Executive Officer Michael Chasen and
Chairman Matthew Pittinsky unveiled the initiative during their
annual keynote yesterday, the opening day of Blackboard's users
conference, Bb World 2006.
Michael Chasen explained, "Just as the Web 2.0 is facilitating a
change in the way people interact online, e-Learning 2.0 represents a
transformational shift for how the Internet can improve education.
Blackboard is excited to work with our clients to help shape and
accelerate this transformation."
The Blackboard Beyond Initiative calls for the creation of a series
of Web properties that connect the institutions, faculty, and
students who use Blackboard worldwide across education segments and
disciplines. The sites will be shaped and run by Blackboard's client
community of practice and developed by Blackboard.
Matthew Pittinsky added, "We have worked year after year with our
clients to create powerful networked learning environments for
instructors and learners at individual sites. Now, with the
Blackboard Beyond Initiative, we are taking a critical next step by
fostering a network of networked learning environments. The
potential is tremendous, but it will take a lot of collaborative hard
work to make the vision a reality."
Each of the inaugural projects is designed to advance one of the four
defining elements of the company's e-Learning 2.0 vision. Each
project will be shaped by the active involvement of clients. The four
-- Extending the platform: e-Learning 2.0 is about personalizing the
e-Learning environment to be more discipline and pedagogically
specific to the educational activity at hand. This more tailored
platform experience can be achieved through specialized software
extensions developed by and for educators, as well as with rich,
interactive digital resources. As part of the Initiative, Blackboard
announces its plans to establish a Global Learning Objects Catalogue,
in which any Blackboard user can publish to or search for learning
resources to enhance their instructional experience.
-- Facilitate Social Networking: e-Learning 2.0 is about enabling a
social experience that recognizes the course is but one
social-organizational group in a broader education environment. To
help foster academically oriented relationships outside of the class
environment, Blackboard announces plans to connect students and
faculty across disciplines and across institutions through a new
Scholar.com Web service. Scholar.com will provide users with the
opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other experts in and
outside of their discipline and fields of interest.
-- Enable Lifelong Learning: e-Learning 2.0 is about integrating the
educational journey students take from elementary school to higher
education to the workplace. As more and more faculty and students
use e-Portfolios to store and showcase their scholarly achievements,
Blackboard announces a unique "e-Portfolios-for-life" service that
will allow Blackboard users to post their portfolios to a central
site for long-term use.
-- Focus on Outcome Management: e-Learning 2.0 is about
moving beyond the course towards a more holistic conception of a
networked learning environment. One consequence of this shift is a
hunger by educators to conduct research and benchmark various
e-Learning strategies and programs using data from peer institutions.
As part of the Initiative, Blackboard announces a collaborative
data warehouse service which will allow clients to anonymously share
relevant data and gain better insight into best practices.
More than 3,700 academic institutions and other education providers
in the United States and abroad use Blackboard. The company's
software enables tens of millions of people to access educational
materials and resources at any time and from any location.
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
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,
2006. We may make statements regarding our product development
initiatives, including the content of future product upgrades,
updates or functionality in development. While such statements
represent our current intentions, the product development initiatives
may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there
is no assurance that such upgrades, updates or functionality will
become available unless and until they have been made generally
available through a commercial release.
Senior Manager, Public Relations; Blackboard:
202-463-4860 ext. 2404
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SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.