Alaska Online Partners with Blackboard Inc. to Create New Education Opportunities

May 1, 2003

Alaska Online joins a rapidly growing number of state and district-level virtual schools now using Blackboard solutions to deliver and support their distance learning programs and to meet the many challenges of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The mission of Alaska Online is to provide access to high-quality courses both to improve skills and to academically challenge students regardless of their geographic location in the state. Currently comprised of nine school districts, Alaska Online hopes to expand its membership to all 54 school districts in the state.

Utilizing Blackboard technologies, Alaska Online seeks to:

  • Expand access to specialized course offerings, expertise and resources through virtual education – especially for students in small and rural schools

  • Supplement local course offerings with distance education courses created and taught by Alaskan teachers

  • Encourage classroom teachers to utilize the technology and content in their daily activities to prepare students and teachers for the future

  • Provide a new avenue for parental and community involvement with local schools

    Create opportunities for students and teachers across the state to collaborate

In addition, through Alaska Online, distance education and classroom teachers will be able to share quality course content freely throughout the state, expanding course offerings by allowing teachers to tap into expertise and resources from other districts. Instead of recreating courses, districts will be able to share specialized content – ultimately impacting student achievement throughout the state as well as saving time and financial resources.

“We chose to standardize on Blackboard in order to create new educational opportunities in Alaska and to cost-effectively address some of the challenges facing our state,” said Michael Opp, project director for Alaska Online. “In particular, we are excited about sharing course content throughout the state. Development and maintenance is an ongoing financial commitment, and sharing content allows members to better utilize funding for staff and materials.”

Alaska Online selected the Blackboard Learning System & the Blackboard Portal System for several reasons:

  • Easy implementation and ability to scale e-Education offerings to all 54 districts

  • Easy integration with existing technologies

  • Blackboard’s commitment to openness and Building Blocks, Blackboard’s unique architecture that allows for the integration of school-developed or commercial learning technologies

Blackboard is the leading e-Education platform for schools, school districts, education service centers and state-level agencies. According to a recent independent national survey of virtual schools by the Peak Group, Blackboard is the leading provider of virtual school platform solutions in the United States. Blackboard virtual school clients include Golden Hills Virtual School, Idaho Digital Learning Academy, San Bernardino Virtual hi-Tech High, Utah Education Network eHigh School, and Wichita eSchool.

“Virtual school programs like Alaska Online are filling a critical need within primary and secondary school communities,” said Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman of Blackboard. “We are proud to partner with leading virtual schools in order to support classroom learning and distance education by connecting qualified teachers with students from all backgrounds. We believe that virtual schools will play an increasingly important role in K-12 education by expanding access to specialized education resources and helping students excel at all levels.”

To learn more about Blackboard Virtual High School Solutions contact your Blackboard K–12 sales representative: 1-800-424-9299 ext. 860. Or visit