SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

March 22, 2007 11:53 ET

More Than 170 Learning Institutions Convene on e-Learning Trends at BbWorld Europe

Increasing Role of Education Technology Points Way for the 21st Century Campus

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2007 -- Recently, representatives from more than 170 education institutions gathered to share their experiences implementing successful education technology strategies. At the BbWorld™ Europe conference held in Nice, Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) hosted its largest users conference outside of North America in the history of the company. Throughout Europe and the Middle East, e-learning has become a vital component of learning and teaching strategies for schools, further education institutions, and universities.

Demonstrative of the increased commitment that education institutions are making to e-learning, participants shared how their institutions were extending and increasing their commitment to online platforms in order to continue to provide robust, stable, scalable systems which meet the rapidly expanding expectations of users. Clients who have recently adopted or added significantly to implementations of Blackboard education solutions include:

--  Leiden University, one of Europe's top universities and the oldest
    university in the Netherlands, as part of its drive for anytime/anywhere
    access for the university's 17,000 students and 4,000 staff across 9
    faculties, selected complex hosting services delivered by Blackboard's data
    center operations in Amsterdam.
--  Universidade do Minho and Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestao de
    Leiria of Portugal each chose the Blackboard Learning System™ --
    Enterprise Edition after comprehensive reviews of competing systems,
    including open source e-learning systems.
--  New College Durham, South Tyneside College, Westminster Kingsway
    College, Middlesborough College, University of Portsmouth, and National
    University of Ireland, Galway exemplify institutions which have recently
    made major upgrades to their Blackboard e-learning platforms.

During the conference, clients delivered more than 90 presentations on key education issues, demonstrating the value of participating in this community. Among these presentations were:

--  International Collaboration: Two Nations Separated by a Common
    Language by Manchester Metropolitan University, U.K. and the University of
    West Florida USA, which told of a collaborative e-learning initiative
    developed by the institutions, utilizing Blackboard technology, in an
    international communication exchange and the resulting benefits to
    students, academics and the participating institutions.
--  Finding a Voice Online: Helping Students Develop Communication Skills
    by United Arab Emirates Higher Colleges of Technology, which described the
    use of online communication tools to develop the speaking and writing
    skills for "English as a Second Language" students in the Middle East.
--  The Benefits of Integrating Self and Peer Assessment in Blackboard by
    the University of Dundee, which described an important extension to the
    Blackboard e-learning environment developed by Dundee staff.  The "Self and
    Peer Assessment" Building Block enables staff to create tools which
    students can then use to formally evaluate their own work and the work of
--  Evaluation and e-Learning from the Point of View of Students and
    Teachers by Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão da Guarda, which
    discussed the Portuguese government's efforts to reconsider the education
    process by introducing modern forms of teaching. The aim of this research
    was to develop a primary assessment of e-learning's effectiveness at the
    polytechnic level.
Michael Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard, stated, "Educators, partners, clients, and colleagues demonstrate the way that e-Learning promotes interaction among educational institutions that once were constrained by campus boundaries. Blackboard is grateful for the opportunity to be a partner and a witness to the speed with which e-learning has become a central component to the mission of the 21st Century university. With our clients' help, and via events like BbWorld Europe, our goal is to support and foster the ongoing innovation that is happening at institutions globally."

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-K filed on February 23, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of March 22, 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 March 22, 2007.

Contact Information

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