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Northern Grid for Learning Appoints Blackboard as Approved Learning Platform Supplier

Schools, Local Authorities Can Save Costs When Upgrading to Latest Technology


AMSTERDAM – May 26, 2010 – Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today announced it has been selected as a supplier by the Northern Grid for Learning for its learning platform framework. As a result, more than 400 primary and secondary schools and colleges across seven local authorities in the North East of the U.K. can choose Blackboard to deliver content, engage learners and enhance the student experience, all while achieving significant cost efficiencies.


Blackboard was selected following a rigorous procurement process undertaken by the Northern Grid for Learning and supported by its local authority partners and schools. Blackboard was selected due to the strengths and capabilities of its learning platform and solutions, its financial credibility and its alignment with the Northern Grid’s values to match the expectations of 21st century learners and teachers.


As part of the framework Northern Grid institutions can purchase any Blackboard solution including Release 9.1, which was recently released and integrates a range of social learning tools to increase student engagement. The framework is also available to local authorities outside the region.


“Paying for a single procurement process instead of each local authority managing their own means significant cost savings across the North East,” said Mel Philipson, Manager, Northern Grid for Learning. “Schools can now invest in the most advanced educational solutions knowing that the company has met or exceeded the high standards set down by the Northern Grid.”


To meet government requirements, by September all schools are required to provide access to a learning platform for teachers and pupils. These online learning and teaching environments help ensure effective administration and management of schools, allowing more time and resources to be made available for learner development.


“Blackboard is delighted to partner with Northern Grid to improve teaching and learning and to increase collaboration among teachers and pupils and between schools and Local Authorities,” said Anthony Doyle, Account Executive at Blackboard. “This partnership will not only bring efficiencies for teachers and cost savings for Schools and Local Authorities, it will also create wider access to the latest technologies and innovative methods for improving learning.”


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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.