WASHINGTON, June 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Expanding the reach of mobile learning opportunities to a full range of the world's most popular mobile platforms, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) today released native applications for Android™, BlackBerry® and iPhone® OS powered devices that give millions of students full access to their course information directly from their smartphones.
Like the existing iPad® version, the new Blackboard Mobile™ Learn apps are available free at app stores. They recreate and enrich the course experience of Blackboard Learn™, the leading online teaching and learning platform, in native applications designed specifically for each mobile platform. With the apps, students can check grades and assignments, add discussion board comments and blog posts, email their classmates and instructors, and more.
Leveraging the unique user experience of each platform – like the Android HTC EVO™ 4G running on Sprint 3G and 4G (which delivers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G)(1), or the Multi-Touch capabilities of iPhone OS devices – the apps offer students an immersive and engaging way to access their course work and interactive learning opportunities.
"Blackboard Mobile Learn gives users the ability to teach, learn, and interact – all through their mobile devices," said Chris Bray, Blackboard Administrator at the University of Arkansas. "I'm really excited about the application, as are students and instructors who have seen it."
Blackboard also announced plans to offer a mobile Web version of Blackboard Mobile Learn later this year to extend access beyond smartphones to users of a wide range of Web-enabled phones and mobile devices.
"We're moving quickly to support broader access to mobile learning with applications that leverage the best of what this fast evolving area has to offer," said Michael L. Chasen, Blackboard's president and CEO. "These apps make learning a central part of the mobile experience that is quickly becoming a way of life for so many students and learners."
Schools have multiple options for deploying Blackboard Mobile Learn, either through an annual license that supports all device platforms or a no cost option, made possible through a special partnership with Sprint (NYSE: S), which supports Android and BlackBerry smartphones on the Now Network™, as well as iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® devices over a Wi-Fi connection.
"We've had a great experience with Blackboard Mobile Learn and we're very pleased with the direction Blackboard is taking with mobile learning," said Kara N. Monroe, Assistant Vice Provost at Ivy Tech Community College. "The feedback from faculty and students has been very positive. We continue to look for ways to give our students access to the tools they need to be successful, and this is another one of those opportunities. And the no cost option including Sprint will help us bring mobile learning to our students more quickly than we might have otherwise."
Support for Blackboard Mobile Learn is included in the upcoming release of Blackboard Learn (Service Pack 1 for Release 9.1), making it the first to feature built-in support for mobile learning. Higher education and professional education institutions in the U.S. and Canada running Blackboard Learn Release 8 or higher can also enable access by installing the free Blackboard Mobile Web Services Building Block™. Availability will expand to U.S. and Canadian K-12 markets and to international markets outside the U.S. beginning in August.
For more information on the apps and their availability from app stores, as well as a series of short demo videos, please visit: http://www.blackboard.com/resources/mobile/landingpage_devices.html
For more information about Blackboard Mobile Learn, please visit http://blackboard.com/Mobile/Overview.aspx. For more information about Blackboard Mobile Learn on Sprint devices, please visit www.sprint.com/blackboard.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
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 Form 10-Q filed on May 7, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of June 15, 2010. 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 June 15, 2010.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited.
Apple, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
(1) "Up to 10x faster" based on download speed comparison of 3G's 600 kbps vs. 4G's 6 Mbps. Industry published 3G avg. speeds (600 kbps-1.7 Mbps); 4G avg. speeds (3-6 Mbps). Actual speeds may vary. Sprint 4G currently available in over 30 markets and counting, and on select devices. See www.sprint.com/4G for details. Not all services available on 4G and coverage may default to 3G/separate network where 4G unavailable.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.