Blackboard Announces 100th K-12 License To Become a Leading Provider of e-Education Software Infrastructure to Elementary and Secondary Education

May 24, 2001

Blackboard Inc recently announced the company has completed the sale of its 100th license to the K-12 market with the signing of the Plano Independent School District in Plano, Texas.

Plano Independent School District will implement a Blackboard 5TM Level Two license as part of the districts new e-school initiative. Blackboard 5 is Blackboards comprehensive e-Education software platform for Web-enabling classes and academic communities. This summer, Plano will roll out several entirely virtual high school classes in economics and advanced English. By next fall, the district hopes to have more than 30 entirely virtual courses as part of the e-school initiative.

The Plano Independent School District is the most recent in a string of K-12 school districts to adopt Blackboards e-Education infrastructure. Some of Blackboards other clients in the K-12 arena include: school districts, such as the Peoria Unified School District (Ariz.) and the Houston Independent Schools; independent schools, such as The Hill School (Penn.); state and national education organizations such as the Massachusetts Virtual Education Space and The National School Boards Association; and top commercial education brands that serve the e-Education market, such as AOL@School, Apex Learning and

Blackboard provides a common interface to all of our online offerings, allowing our students and teachers to quickly become comfortable and proficient with our e-Education system, said Jim Hirsch, assistant superintendent for technology of the Plano Independent School District. We liked the fact that Blackboard offered all of the curriculum development tools that we wanted, including assessment capabilities and grade book features. We chose Blackboards Level Two license because it easily scales to meet our needs and allows an unlimited number of teachers and students to access the platform.

Already declared the leader in the higher education e-Education market by, a leading independent e-Learning industry analyst firm, Blackboard is now establishing itself as the platform of choice for K-12 school systems as well. In addition to the 100+ licensing institutions, Blackboard also supports more than 24,000 K-12 courses created by teachers and staff developers on Blackboard.comSM, Blackboards free course creation Web service.

Our previous solution for an e-Education platform left a tech person as the intermediary between the teachers and their content being posted on the Web. It was a difficult relationship and created many roadblocks to students and teachers using technology, said Rick Bauer, Chief Information Officer of The Hill School in Pottstown, Penn. After evaluating a number of different options, Blackboard was the clear solution for us. Now, I honestly dont know how wed operate without our Blackboard server.

Blackboard has found that K-12 school districts are using the companys software to meet several key needs:

  • Extend the traditional classroom to a 24/7 operation to ensure that students, teachers and parents can access relevant class work and materials anytime, and from any location.

  • Deliver staff development so that teachers can participate in just in time professional development at their convenience.

  • Create virtual high schools or entirely online classrooms to enhance already existing district offerings and/or provide instruction to those that cannot easily access the physical school building.

  • Develop remediation programs/opportunities for students needing to revisit specific courses or specific key concepts from within a course (i.e. for students needing to retake a state test).

  • Develop programs/opportunities for students involved in advanced coursework.

  • Build an open classroom, which extends to the home and the community to ensure that parents and the local community can stay involved in all aspects of the educational program.

More and more schools recognize the benefits of using technology to enhance the learning process and create a more comprehensive classroom, said Todd Gibby, general manager of Blackboards Course & Portal Solutions business. Whether they are building entirely online classes or extending the classroom into the home or community, schools are making great strides to keep students excited about learning. Blackboards 100th license in the K-12 market is a great milestone and we are looking forward to continuing to provide the best e-Education products and services to elementary and secondary education.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. was founded to transform the Internet into a powerful environment for teaching and learning. The company offers a complete suite of enterprise software products and services that power a total e-Education Infrastructure for schools, colleges, universities and other education providers. Blackboard solutions deliver the promise of the Internet for online teaching and learning, campus communities, auxiliary services and integration of Web-enabled student services and back office systems.

Blackboards two major lines of business, Course & Portal Solutions and Commerce & Access Solutions, are consistently ranked by industry analysts as the market share and customer satisfaction leaders for thousands of academic institutions and a leading number of the Internets most popular consumer education sites. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff across North America, Europe and Asia.