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Blackboard Launches Dedicated Innovation Initiative

First Offering is Polls by Blackboard, a Free Classroom Response Tool

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced the creation of Blackboard Labs, an initiative dedicated solely to innovation and experimentation with education technology to help shape the future of the industry. The first offering to come out of the initiative is Polls by Blackboard, a free classroom response tool that enables live, in-class surveys directly from mobile devices.

By identifying creative and unique ideas from both inside and outside the company, Blackboard Labs focuses on experimenting with new teaching and learning technologies and launching early prototypes for users to test and provide feedback on. As a centralized effort within the company's Product Management team, Blackboard Labs will source ideas related to all areas of education.

This project marks the latest step in the company's efforts to increase its investment in core products, drive greater industry innovation, and integrate its market-leading portfolio to power a comprehensive teaching and learning environment that goes beyond the traditional learning management system.

"Blackboard Labs represents a place for us to explore new ideas and use them to push the industry forward," said Mark Strassman, senior vice president of product management at Blackboard. "The ideas coming out of Labs won't always be successful – but we are okay with that. We are using the platform as a way to gain insight into how to make good ideas great and as a way for users to give us immediate and incredibly impactful feedback."

Polls by Blackboard allow for survey responses to be submitted through a native iPhone® app, mobile or desktop Web browser, or via SMS in the United States. This industry "disruptor" removes the need for students to purchase expensive classroom response clicker hardware as the vast majority of them already own mobile devices. Users can provide feedback from within the app and on the product website, allowing the company to gather information and make improvements for future releases.

For more information about Blackboard click here or follow @Blackboard on Twitter.

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About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.