Blackboard Announces Launch of Beta Program
Nearly 50 Institutions Test Drive Company's Latest Learning Technology
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc.
(Nasdaq: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology,
announced today the launch of a Beta program for Blackboard's Release 9.0,
featuring nearly 50 institutions that are now test driving the Company's
latest learning technology.
Members of the Beta program are evaluating and providing feedback on
elements of Release 9.0, the next step in the company's multi-year,
multi-release effort to deliver a next generation teaching and learning
platform, which began with Release 8.0 of the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) in
January of this year. Release 9.0 is also undergoing more than 40,000 hours of
performance engineering and testing as part of Blackboard's product
The Beta program will include the participation of colleges, universities,
and K-12 schools and districts in the United States and around the world. The
effort represents the latest step taken by Blackboard to engage its global
community of practice-including users and developers-in efforts to develop the
vision for Project NG.
"Project NG and its releases are being driven by the community as much as
they are being driven by Blackboard," said Jessica Finnefrock, Senior Vice
President of Product Development at Blackboard. "Hundreds of educators,
instructors, students and technologists are helping us to conceptualize and
pursue this effort. Most importantly, we are fully engaging both users and
developers in this initiative."
"Project NG has been a major part of our effort to support our faculty and
students with the best available learning technology," said Donna Wicks,
assistant administrator for Blackboard at Kettering University, one of the
first institutions to upgrade to Release 8.0. "Our campus community is already
exploring new ideas and opportunities with Release 8.0, and we look forward to
continuing that exploration with Blackboard Release 9.0."
With Project NG, Blackboard aims to create a more open and flexible
platform that combines the best of Blackboard and WebCT solutions with new
innovations, including new capabilities to engage students, leverage the power
of social learning communities and drive success in institutional assessment.
In addition, Blackboard is working to provide new levels of freedom and choice
for institutions by partnering with leading universities to develop
integrations with the open source Sakai and Moodle course management systems.
The Beta program for Release 9.0 extends Blackboard's intensive approach
to evaluating and strengthening its technology in concert with its user and
developer communities. In addition, Blackboard is currently working with leading third party developers to ensure that their solutions can immediately and proactively take advantage of Project NG capabilities
Blackboard has also led and co-chaired collaborative effort with members
of the IMS Learning Technology Interoperability Working Group to ensure that
technology developed under Project NG is supportive of industry-wide standards
for sharing learning tools. In addition, Blackboard has conducted an
Accessibility Evaluation Program to test the usability and accessibility of
the user interface, including accessibility for learners with cognitive or
The announcement was made at the EDUCAUSE 2008 annual conference in
Orlando, Fla., where several thousand members of the higher education
community have gathered at the industry's premier information technology
For more information about Blackboard, 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.
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)
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 August 7, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the
forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the
Company's views as of October 29, 2008. 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 October
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.
CONTACT: Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,
Web site: http://www.blackboard.com