Washington, October 13, 2006–Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of enterprise technology to the education industry, announced it has joined the Google Enterprise Professional program, becoming the first member of the program to focus primarily on educational institutions. As a Google partner, Blackboard is launching a series of efforts to enhance search capabilities for students and faculty at thousands of academic institutions around the globe. Blackboard will integrate various offerings and services with Google enterprise search technology to help facilitate deeper, more meaningful search capabilities for members of the academic community.
“The ability to organize and search information and shared resources quickly and effectively is critical to success in today’s knowledge base economy,” said Michael Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard. “The Google partnership provides a tremendous value to people across a campus community, allowing them to develop greater search literacy to find information within academic departments, across disciplines and even on campuses in other locations.”
“Education is a key area for Google Enterprise, and Blackboard is well established in that market. Google is excited to have Blackboard as a partner in the Google Enterprise Professional program. We’re looking forward to extending the power of Google search to even more educational institutions and users,” said Kevin Smith, program manager for Google Enterprise Professional.
An exciting outcome of the partnership is the integration of the Blackboard Learning System(tm) and Google Scholar. The integration of these two products, through the Blackboard Building Block for Google Scholar, enables quick and easy access to millions of scholarly references directly from courses within the Blackboard environment. Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature including peer-reviewed papers, theses, book abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. The Blackboard Learning System is used by millions of students and educators to access academic materials and resources at any time and from any location.
Blackboard will also offer a set of Google OneBox for Enterprise modules through a Blackboard Building Block for Google OneBox. This new integration will enable targeted searches of an institution’s course catalogue, organization catalogue and learning objects repository. Google OneBox for Enterprise is a feature of the Google Search Appliance which allows users to retrieve real-time content from various data sources across their institution. This new solution, available to all Blackboard Academic Suite(tm) clients and Google Search Appliance customers, provides the most comprehensive search tool for the Blackboard platform.
As a Google Enterprise Professional partner, Blackboard will also offer consulting services to assist academic institutions who want to leverage search capabilities within and across their organization. Blackboard Global Services will work closely with client schools to gain a deep understanding of their institutional information access goals and develop strategic and tactical search solutions to support them.
The Blackboard Building Block for Google Scholar and the Blackboard Building Block for Google OneBox are both available for free download in the Blackboard Building Blocks(r) catalogue at www.blackboard.com/extend and at Google’s site for external developers, code.google.com.
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 solutions enable educational innovations everywhere by connecting people and technology. With two product suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite ™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite ™, Blackboard applications are used by millions of people 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.
Blackboard’s UK customers include the universities of Durham, Cambridge, York, Dundee, Kingston, Derby, Bournemouth and Sheffield Hallam and amongst FE colleges using Blackboard solutions are City of Sunderland, Guildford, Brooklands and Newcastle colleges.