SOURCE: Wimba

January 22, 2008 09:03 ET

Wimba - Blackboard Integrated e-Learning Solution Expands Educational Opportunities Across Pennsylvania

Blendedschools.net Creates 21st Century Learning Environment for More Than 130 Schools

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - FETC 2008, Booth # 719 -- Tens of thousands of Pennsylvania students now have access to new educational opportunities as a result of blendedschools.net, a non-profit organization that provides complete K-12 online core curricula to more than 130 schools across the state. This expanded access to education is made possible by an intuitive e-Learning platform provided by Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) and integrated with a comprehensive suite of interactive solutions from Wimba, the education technology company that helps people teach people.

The blendedschools.net courses are developed in the Blackboard Academic Suite™ and with the Wimba Collaboration Suite™, enabling synchronous interaction through video, voice and chat sessions, as well as asynchronous collaboration via discussion boards, podcasts and archived classroom lessons.

This comprehensive solution makes it possible for students to continue learning on their own time and addresses diverse learning styles. For example, The William Penn School District can now offer more course choices for students in small rural communities, as well as better serve special needs students.

"Wimba allows me to reach those students that otherwise we'd lose," explains Cynthia Hyland, MEd, Distance Educator at William Penn School District Cyber Academy.

These benefits can now be realized by all K-12 Blackboard Learning System™ clients with the general availability of the Wimba Collaboration Suite Express. This exclusive offer for Blackboard's K-12 customers at no additional cost provides turnkey collaboration between teachers and students to improve student achievement.

"We're delighted that blendedschools.net is providing our proven solutions to the K-12 community in Pennsylvania, enabling teachers and students to benefit from enhanced professional development opportunities and new methods for meeting the needs of all learners," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of K-12 at Blackboard. "We look forward to working with Wimba to help K-12 schools and districts around the country create stronger learning communities and improve student achievement."

"Blendedschools.net is a perfect example of how technology can directly impact learning across diverse communities to meet many different needs," said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Wimba. "The combination of the Wimba and Blackboard solutions provides new ways to reach and engage students to ensure their success."

Demonstrations of the Blackboard-Wimba offering will be given at Booth # 719 on the FETC exhibit hall floor. For more details on the Blackboard-Wimba collaborative learning environment please visit www.blackboard.com/K12/collaborativelearning.

About Blackboard

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.

Blackboard

Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.™ www.blackboard.com

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. www.wimba.com

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