Blackboard Launches Powerful New Multi-Channel e-Learning Web Site at www.blackboard.com Unique Three-Channel Site Links Subject-Specific Academic Resources, Interactive Teaching/Learning Communities and Course Creation and Enrollment Accessible to
Washington, D.C. – July 27, 2000 – Blackboard Inc. today announced the launch of the new multi-channel Blackboard.com sm, a comprehensive e-Learning Web site with three unique channels providing customizable, subject-specific academic resources; global, interactive communities for students and instructors; and Blackboards renowned online course creation capability.
Anyone with a Web connection can access the new Blackboard.com by going directly to www.blackboard.com. The site is also integrated seamlessly into Blackboard 5 tm, the companys powerful, industry-leading software platform, providing a total e-Learning solution to institutions using the Blackboard platform.
Blackboard Inc. is a leading Internet infrastructure company for e-Learning that serves over 3,300 colleges, schools and other education institutions and more than 2.1 million unique users worldwide with its Web services and software products. Blackboard 5 enables institutions to provide their students, faculty, staff and alumni with a full slate of online services in one scalable package.
One Site, Three Channels
Users of the new Blackboard.com site can access three separate channels: (1) Blackboard CourseSites for creating and taking online courses; (2) Blackboard Resources for customizable, educational content; and (3) Blackboard Communities for interacting with peers in specific academic subjects and in areas of professional interest such as teaching with the Web.
Complete Online Teaching/Learning
Since March 1999, www.blackboard.com has functioned as Blackboards free course creation site. Instructors have set up more than 40,000 course Web sites, and the site has attracted over 300,000 registered students and instructors generating up to 15 million page views per month. With todays launch of the new, multi-channel Blackboard.com, Blackboard expects its popular Web service to grow even more rapidly as users take advantage of the integration of academic resources and communities with courses.
Nowhere else on the Web can instructors create and run courses for free, gain access to directly relevant academic resources they can customize for their students, and connect to communities of students and instructors with the same interests, said Michael Chasen, President and Co-Founder of Blackboard Inc. Weve made a complete online teaching and learning environment available to anyone with a standard Web browser.
Blackboards Total e-Learning Solution
Blackboard 5 users will be able to access Blackboard.com directly from the teaching and learning software platform. The built-in access from Blackboard 5 to the three Blackboard.com channels provides education institutions with a unique and especially powerful solution.
We believe we can best serve our institutional customers by licensing an e-Learning platform that is robust and easy to use, and tying the platform into rich resources and communities that are being constantly updated and enhanced, yet are fully customizable by the institution, Mr. Chasen said. With its extensive research tools and content and its broad-based communities, the new Blackboard.com addresses the needs of institutions using the Blackboard 5 platform by providing more Web services and enhancing the power of the platform.
Customizable Educational Content
On the basis of direct customer input, Blackboard designed the Resources channel to provide instructors with the ability to easily customize the educational materials to ensure relevance to their students and courses. For example, an art history teacher who creates an online course would be provided with a Resources area synchronized to the course which might include specific information on art-related topics such as architecture, modern art, photography, painting, sculpture and drawing. The instructor could then customize these Resources to meet his or her teaching needs by adding to, replacing or changing the order of the pre-selected links, setting new search parameters for journal articles, and determining how many news stories are displayed, among other available steps.
Important Research Tool
Early users of the new Blackboard.com report that it gives them quick, easy access to topic-specific material that otherwise would take a long time to locate from the Internet or traditional research sources. The reaction of Les AuCoin, a former Congressman and now Professor of Political Science at Southern Oregon University, is typical of the enthusiastic reception accorded the research features by time-pressed faculty: Wow! I am enormously impressed [with the Resources channel]… and expect to use it so much I may wear it out! Congratulations for putting such a powerful tool in the hands of the faculty.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a leading e-Learning infrastructure company powering the online transformation of the global higher education industry – the .edu marketplace. Its products and Web properties, including the flagship Blackboard 5 software platform, are used by over 3,300 colleges, universities, K-12 schools, professional organizations, and corporate and commercial education providers to bring their academic, administrative, community, and other educational services online. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Blackboard currently serves more than 2.1 million unique users in every state and in 70 countries.
Blackboard education partners include Academic Systems Corp., America Online, Dell Computer Corporation, Eduprise, FT Knowledge, Go Network, Harcourt Brace, Houghton Mifflin, Kaplan, KPMG Consulting, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft, NextEd, Oracle, Pearson Education, PeopleSoft, Sun Microsystems, and The TLT Group.