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The University of Maryland Collaborates with Blackboard to Offer a Single, Campus-Wide Teaching and Learning System; The Office of Information Technology Completed RFP Process to Acquire Service

WASHINGTON & COLLEGE PARK, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2006--The University of Maryland, in partnership with Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBB) will launch the university's first single, campus-wide family of integrated applications for teaching, learning, community-building, and knowledge sharing. Release 7.1 of the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) will be Maryland's new enterprise learning management system (ELMS) and will be deployed during the fall 2006 semester. ELMS will enable users to take their research, projects, and class work to another level of sophistication with one standardized, easy-to-use system in addition to a large content repository.

"With an eye on a more efficient use of university resources, the selection of a central product has resulted in the ability to provide a robust campus-wide learning environment with greater potential for faculty and students to collaborate and share expertise and resources." said Dr. Jeffrey Huskamp, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Maryland. "The Blackboard offering provides an environment in which any student or teacher can view instructional content, collaborate with educators, evaluate academic performance, and access learning resources anytime from anywhere in order to achieve their educational objectives," Huskamp continued.

The University of Maryland will offer faculty training workshops in support of the new ELMS for the summer roster, as soon as implementation is underway.

"With the support of university officials, administrators, and faculty, the Request for Proposals (RFP) process was undertaken by the Office of Information Technology to gain efficiencies in terms of support and resources across campus and to provide a single interface to all students and faculty at Maryland," said Ellen Borkowski, Director of Academic Support with Maryland's Office of Information Technology and project leader for this endeavor. "Two committees were involved - a technical committee and a faculty committee formed through nominations from the deans - and the extensive process involved defining a large set of functional requirements and evaluating multiple vendor proposals against those requirements," Borkowski said.

Blackboard will help faculty to easily share and reuse learning objects across sections, courses, organizations, and institutions. It will provide students with better tools to navigate learning resources and document their work. Other important benefits ELMS brings to faculty and students include:

    --  Offers student-centered learning, greater instructor
        efficiency, anytime anywhere access, improved evaluation and
        outcomes management, and access to high quality learning

    --  Supplies content management and collaboration features that
        enable instructors to more easily create and integrate content
        into the curriculum, share content with colleagues, and
        utilize learning objects created by others.

    --  Enables instructors to distribute quick and convenient
        communications with one student or an entire class via
        announcements, e-mail, and messaging features.

    --  Allows for techniques that support individual and alternate
        student learning styles, individualized programs, and
        customized release of content and activities.

"We are very excited about expanding our relationship with the University of Maryland," said Michael Chasen, president and chief executive officer of Blackboard. "The benefits of using one standardized e-Learning platform across a diverse and sophisticated institution such as the University of Maryland are sure to provide significant value and efficiencies to the faculty and students across the campuses. We are pleased to be part of this new milestone for the school."

About the University of Maryland

From its pre-Civil War roots as the state's first agricultural college and one of America's original land grant institutions, today the University of Maryland is a public research university of national stature. Ranked No. 18 by U.S. News & World Report, it also has 32 academic programs in the Top 10 and 79 in the Top 25. The faculty includes a Nobel Laureate in physics, six Pulitzer Prize winners, and scores of Fulbright scholars. This past fiscal year, sponsored research and outreach totaled nearly $330 million. The university is also recognized for its diversity, with one-third of the student population being students of color. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit

About Blackboard

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 solutions are 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, Australia and Asia.


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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-Q filed on May 10, 2006 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 11, 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 July 11, 2006.

CONTACT: Blackboard Inc.
Senior Manager, Public Relations:
Melissa Chotiner, 202-463-4860 Ext. 2404
University of Maryland
Director OIT Communications:
Phyllis Dickerson Johnson, 301-405-4491
Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
Media Contact:
Amy Storey, 202-828-8819

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.