SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

September 26, 2007 12:23 ET

Blackboard and Wimba Partner to Distribute Suite of Collaborative Online Learning Solutions to K-12 Schools

Leading Education Industry Solution Providers to Offer Wimba Collaboration Suite Express to K-12 Community

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 26, 2007) - Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) and Wimba today announced a definitive agreement to distribute Wimba Collaboration Suite Express™ to Blackboard® K-12 schools and districts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This strategic alliance will provide new and existing Blackboard Learning System™ clients (including Blackboard Learning System -- Basic Edition clients) access to the Wimba Collaboration Suite Express, at no additional cost.

The Wimba Collaboration Suite Express facilitates online access to voice, video and instant messaging tools (among other tools for today's 21st Century learners) for instructors and students to enhance teaching and learning.

Under terms of the agreement, Blackboard will distribute the Wimba Collaboration Suite Express, which includes limited versions of Wimba Classroom™, Wimba Voice™, and Wimba Pronto™ to its K-12 clients. The new partnership provides a unique benefit to members of the Blackboard K-12 community who will gain easy, free access to the industry's leading multi-modal solution for virtual and blended classes, professional development, and intercession and tutoring.

"Today's teachers and administrators seek new ways to deliver a more engaging learning experience to their students," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of K-12 at Blackboard. "Increasingly, the new school environment is empowered by technologies that can be seamlessly integrated into the learning experience at the point of instruction. These technologies can help close the gap between how students live and how they learn. Blackboard and Wimba's alliance will provide a collaborative learning environment for a more engaging, individualized educational process that empowers 21st Century learning communities."

Benefits of the New Alliance to the K-12 Community

As K-12 schools face increasing challenges related to a growing knowledge economy, many are leveraging learning technologies to impact student outcomes, teacher development, student engagement and attendance. The Blackboard and Wimba partnership will enable districts, independent, private and virtual schools to take advantage of some of Wimba's most powerful capabilities to:

--  Engage auditory learners through voice discussion boards and voice
--  Strengthen class community through education-centric instant messaging
--  Facilitate teacher development through online workshops, meetings, and
--  Improve learning flexibility and impact through virtual classrooms

"Teachers and administrators are seeking new ways to better engage students and enhance learning," said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Wimba. "Through this partnership, members of the Blackboard K-12 community will gain a unique opportunity to access the Wimba Collaboration Suite Express quickly, easily and at no additional cost. We are excited to join with Blackboard, a leading provider of K-12 learning management platforms to accelerate a new era for the K-12 community."

Blackboard and Wimba plan to launch the initial distribution of Wimba Collaboration Suite Express to Blackboard K-12 clients at the end of 2007. For more information about this new offering, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.

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. Millions of people use Blackboard everyday 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.

Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.™

About Wimba

Wimba is a company focused solely on education and dedicated to the principle that people learn more when they are drawn closer together. Our collaborative software applications for the online education market enable institutions to bridge technology and pedagogy by supplementing course management systems with many of the proven disciplines of in-person learning environments. Wimba's intuitive solutions enable educators and students to quickly and easily teach and learn live online, engage in live chat and instant message exchanges, benefit from oral content being added to text-based course content, and more. Instructors can also use Wimba solutions to convert Microsoft Word documents into accessible course content and to create and administer tests, quizzes, and exams. Our focus on education and collaboration with educators fuels our product development.

Wimba. People Teach People.

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, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of September 26, 2007. 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 September 26, 2007.

Contact Information

  • Senior Manager Public Relations at Blackboard:
    Melissa Chotiner
    Blackboard Inc.
    202-463-4860 ext. 2404
    Email Contact

    Wimba PR Contact:
    Matthew Langan
    DBC Public Relations
    + x219
    Email Contact

    Media Contact, Fleishman-Hillard:
    Amy Storey
    Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
    +1 202 828-8819
    Email Contact