Blackboard Inc. (ticker: BBBB, exchange: NASDAQ Global Market (.O))
News Release -
Blackboard Embraces IMS Global Learning Consortium; Sponsors Upcoming Alt-i-Lab ConferenceBlackboard Director of Standards and Interoperability Invited to Co-Chair IMS Content Packaging Working Group
WASHINGTON, DC, May 10, 2005 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- At a time when standards and interoperability issues are of
preeminent concern to decision makers at academic institutions around
the country and world, Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading
provider of e-learning software and services, is demonstrating
continued commitment to the IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc. While
attending the quarterly IMS Global Learning Consortium meeting,
Blackboard today announced sponsorship of the upcoming IMS Advanced
Learning Technology Interoperability (Alt-i-Lab) 2005 Conference, to
take place June 20-22 in Sheffield, England. In addition, Blackboard's
Director of Standards and Interoperability, Jan Poston Day has agreed
to serve as Co-Chair of the IMS Content Packaging Working Group.
The IMS Content Packaging Group, (part of the IMS Global Learning
Consortium), is defining a specification to describe and package
learning materials, such as an individual course or a collection of
courses. This specification will make it possible for such materials
to be easily integrated and distributed in different course
management systems, such as the Blackboard Learning System(TM).
Content Packaging addresses the description, structure, and location
of online learning materials and the definition of some particular
content types. The IMS Content Packaging Working Group, co-chaired by
Blackboard and Wilbert Kraan of the Centre for Educational Technology
Interoperability Standards (CETIS) is working to release a new policy
titled the Content Packaging v 1.2 charter for vote.
Blackboard has worked closely with IMS since 1997, initially serving
as its primary technical contractor, to assist in defining many of
the original specifications. Today Blackboard plays an active role at
all levels of the IMS Global Learning Consortium with representation
on the following groups:
-- IMS Technical Board; co-chair of the IMS Tools and Interoperability
-- IMS Content Packaging; co-chair of the IMS Content Packaging Working
-- IMS ePortfolio Working Group; contributing member
The upcoming Alt-i-Lab conference is an important event for the world
of standards because its goal is to demonstrate interoperability
between disparate course management and learning tools, including both
open source and commercial products. As part of its work with the IMS
Tools and Interoperability Working Group, Blackboard will also
demonstrate a new project to enhance interoperability among various
tools and course management systems. Blackboard will unveil this
project in June at the Alt-i-Lab Technology Exchange. Bob Alcorn,
Senior Architect at Blackboard currently co-Chairs the IMS Tools and
Interoperability Working Group.
"Blackboard is committed to working with the IMS Learning Consortium
to ensure that standards and interoperability remain a top priority,
not only for Blackboard and its clients, but across the industry,"
said Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman of Blackboard. "Our company was
founded with standards as a basic principle and our original focus of
effort, and standards continue to guide our efforts to this day. We
believe the combination of Blackboard's proven enterprise e-Learning
platform, and our standards-based, open architecture Building
Blocks(R) program enables developers to easily customize and extend
In addition to presenting at the upcoming Alt-i-Lab conference,
Blackboard will participate in a Pre-Standards Workshop on Digital
Rights Expression later this month. Blackboard will be representing
the learning management systems vendor community later this month.
This workshop sponsored by the National Information Standards
Organization (NISO) will examine current practices in favor of rights
expression and management. Strategies will be offered to advance
interoperability in the supply chain for scholarly and educational
One month following Alt-i-Lab, Georgetown University will host
Blackboard developers at the 3rd Annual Blackboard Building Blocks
Developer Conference from July 18-19, 2005.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software applications
and related services to the education industry. The Company's product
line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the
Blackboard Academic Suite (TM) and the Blackboard Commerce Suite
(TM). Blackboard's clients include colleges, universities, 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 and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.
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
most recent 10-K filed with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking
statements included in this press release represent the Company's
views as of May 10, 2005. 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 May 10, 2005.
Blackboard Public Relations Manager:
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2404
DBC Public Relations Experts
202-298-7600 Ext. 205
SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.