SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

January 23, 2007 08:00 ET

Blackboard and Thinkronize Partner to Provide Safe Search Capabilities for K-12 Students and Educators

New Blackboard Building Block™ Integrates netTrekker d.i. Into Blackboard's Learning Management Platform

ORLANDO, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 23, 2007 -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology to the education industry and Thinkronize, Inc., developer of netTrekker d.i., a leading educational search engine, announced a new partnership today at the FETC 2007 conference. Through this partnership, K-12 teachers, students, and parents can directly search and access more than 180,000 educator-selected, standards-aligned resources from netTrekker d.i., directly within their Blackboard® learning management platform. This integration is possible through a new beta version of the netTrekker Blackboard Building Block. Blackboard Building Blocks are third party applications which enable schools and districts to extend and customize their Blackboard platform.

The netTrekker Blackboard Building Block beta is also being made available for the Blackboard K-12 Starter Edition™. Introduced six months ago, the hosted Blackboard K-12 Starter Edition features a variety of resources for K-12 districts in the early stages of establishing an e-Learning strategy. The netTrekker Blackboard Building Block beta is available to customers who have licensed both netTrekker d.i. and Blackboard technology.

"This new partnership brings the power of content and internet search capabilities into K-12 classes so that teachers and parents can feel secure and comfortable," said Michael Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "With access to netTrekker d.i. directly in the Blackboard environment, students and teachers can easily and conveniently search for standards-aligned content relative to their specific classes."

More than 400 state, local and private education providers in the K-12 sector license Blackboard's software serving approximately 1,200 schools and districts. Over 9.3 million students, teachers, and librarians nationwide, including state adoptions in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, currently use netTrekker d.i. for safe, targeted searching.

The Cobb County School District in Georgia relies on both netTrekker d.i. and Blackboard technology and expects the integration of these tools to provide significant benefits to all members of its K-12 community.

"Our teachers and students are regularly searching online with netTrekker d.i. for information and resources," said Nancy Howell, Ed. S., Distance Learning Consultant for the Cobb County district. "The ability to search netTrekker d.i. directly in the Blackboard environment will save our students, teachers and parents a lot of time and effort. This is definitely an all-around win-win initiative."

"As education continues to move online, our commitment is to be a leader in this transformation, providing solutions that facilitate e-learning. netTrekker d.i.'s integration into Blackboard's learning management platform delivers a very powerful digital solution for schools and districts who are teaching AND achieving with technology," said Christine Willig, President of Thinkronize.

For more information on the Thinkronize Blackboard partnership and the netTrekker Blackboard Building Block beta please visit Blackboard Booth #1074 and netTrekker Booth #859 on the FETC show floor.

The netTrekker Blackboard Building Block beta can be downloaded free of charge by current customers from the Blackboard Building Blocks catalogue at

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.™

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 November 9, 2006 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of January 23, 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 January 23, 2007.

About the netTrekker Product Suite

The netTrekker product line includes award-winning educational search products for both the education (netTrekker classic and netTrekker d.i.) and consumer (netTrekker home) markets. Unlike ordinary search engines, products from the netTrekker suite provide fast and easy access to only the best, pornography-free, educational resources from the entire Internet in a safe, organized, standards-aligned format. Using netTrekker search products, educators, school librarians, students, and parents save valuable time because they are directed to relevant, reliable, educator-selected Web sites every time -- meaning less time spent on searching and more time focused on teaching, learning, and achieving. For more information about the netTrekker suite, visit

About Thinkronize

Thinkronize, an Internet developer of K-12 educational products, was founded in 1999 by Robert Reinders, and grew out of a passion for and commitment to enhancing teaching and learning with the Internet and standards-based online resources. The company launched its flagship product, netTrekker classic, in October 2000 and has since expanded the product line to include netTrekker d.i., designed for use in schools to help educators meet individual students' learning needs, and netTrekker home, available for purchase by parents whose district or school has not yet purchased a netTrekker subscription. Peers, educators, and parents have honored Thinkronize and the netTrekker product suite 17 times for their contribution to education. Most recently, netTrekker home was awarded The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, earning a position among an elite group of products recommended to parents by TNPC. In addition, Thinkronize was also named to the 2006 Inc. 500 List as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. The company currently serves nearly 9.3 million students in 49 states, including adoptions by key districts and states nationwide. For more information visit or phone 877-517-1125.

Contact Information

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

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

    Thinkronize/netTrekker Contact
    Laura Hannah
    Email Contact