SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

September 25, 2007 08:00 ET

Blackboard's Social Bookmarking Service, Scholar, Enables Global Information Sharing Across Academia

Users Can Connect and Share Resources Across Institutions and Regions

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 25, 2007) - Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise software for the education industry, today announced that faculty and students at academic institutions spanning more than 20 countries are connecting and sharing resources through Scholar®, Blackboard's social bookmarking service. Customized for education, Scholar is fully integrated into the Blackboard Learning System™. It provides a targeted, innovative way for users to store online bookmarks, as well as share resources and expertise with peers and colleagues across institutions located around the world.

"If you're working on the Web, of course you've got external links," said Kate Boardman, e-Learning Manager of the Centre for Learning and Quality Enhancement at the University of Teeside (UK). "Think what rich resources you have in your Favourites. What if you could share these collected starting points with your students? And hey, wouldn't it be magic if you could describe, tag and search these resources? You can. That's how we've moved from where we were before by incorporating Scholar."

Launched in February 2007, Scholar is built on the principles of Web 2.0, delivering cutting-edge functionality through a rich user interface. It enables users to organize and manage their own collection of online educational resources they find valuable, share them among other Scholars and discover more relevant and valuable resources through them. It is also integrated directly into the Blackboard® course environment, allowing instructors to supplement course material with rich, dynamic information, while also enabling students to contribute to the course content.

"The great benefit of Scholar is the integration into your Blackboard course," said Willem van Valkenburg, e-Learning Technology Consultant at the University of Technology, Netherlands. "Scholar enables students to easily share their online discoveries and those they find from other Scholar users across the globe, with the rest of the (students in the) course."

Scholar recently incorporated new social networking functionality so that users can connect in new ways and build relationships and networks within the site. With this new functionality, users can create and manage networks of Scholar Friends, Scholar Favorites and Scholar Fans to share information and resources.

"Before Scholar, the academic community didn't have an efficient way to share information with each other unless they had a formal established relationship outside of the teaching and learning environment. Now, educators, administrators and students can easily share information and develop new relationships with others who have similar interests around the world," said Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "The global connectivity Scholar encourages and facilitates will significantly deepen and improve the sharing of educational information by teachers and learners everywhere."

Scholar is the first offering from the Blackboard Beyond Initiative™, announced in 2006. A series of centrally-hosted Web properties, the Blackboard Beyond Initiative leverages Web 2.0 technologies to empower the Blackboard® community with innovative tools to pioneer the next generation of teaching and learning.

Scholar is available for Blackboard Learning System -- enterprise clients at no cost and is delivered via a Blackboard Building Block™ or Blackboard PowerLink™ found on the Behind the Blackboard™ client support site. Scholar comes pre-installed with Release 7.3 and higher of the Blackboard Learning System -- Enterprise License.

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. With two product suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite™, Blackboard is 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.


Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.™

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 25, 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 25, 2007.

Contact Information

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