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Blackboard and Vital Source Launch Pilot for Leading e-Textbook Platform within Blackboard Learn

Partner Schools Access e-Textbooks Directly in LMS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. and Vital Source Technologies, Inc., an Ingram Content Group company, have launched pilot programs with a number of colleges and universities to test-drive an integrated offering that makes the VitalSource Bookshelf® platform and its hundreds of thousands of e-Textbooks available directly within Blackboard Learn, the company's flagship learning management system (LMS).

Indiana University—Fort Wayne, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Fayetteville Technical Community College are among the institutions participating in the field trial. With the integration instructors can preview and select e-textbooks, content and learning objects from the VitalSource Bookshelf platform that students can then access through a single sign-on.

Participants in the field trial will provide ongoing feedback to the companies about their experience to strengthen the offering. Participating instructors have expressed satisfaction with the ability to annotate e-textbooks, link to content from anywhere within a course or assignment and assess how students are progressing through content. Students have been enthusiastic about using e-textbooks on mobile devices through native iOS® and Android applications, including deep linking that makes pages and features such as notes, highlights and annotations look the same on e-textbooks as they do in printed textbooks.

"My students read more because with this technology, you can assign the reading, and they'll know that I'm checking closely on whether they've read it or not," said Minnie Wagner, business and healthcare management program chair at Minnesota School of Business-Lakeville. "So it has helped students to be more proactive and make sure that they're prepared for the class."

The integrated solution, expected to be available this summer, would offer two purchase models. Institutions that include textbooks as part of tuition could place e-textbooks directly into Blackboard Learn courses for immediate student access. Alternatively, a student-purchase option would give instructors the opportunity to make e-textbooks available for students to purchase or rent from within their Blackboard Learn course environment.

"We are happy, but not surprised, that instructors and students alike have expressed great satisfaction with the integration of digital content from our VitalSource Bookshelf platform into Blackboard Learn," said Kent Freeman, chief operating officer of Vital Source. "We look forward to making the integration available to institutions everywhere that want to easily deliver learning resources to students and help teachers incorporate digital content into lesson plans."

Vital Source Technologies, one of Ingram's fastest growing businesses, powers online access and full-book downloads through native apps on computers and leading mobile devices. 3 million students across 6,000 campuses in 200 countries currently leverage the company to access digital content that meets the needs of both upper and lower-level courses from 300 publishers in 17 languages.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/learn.

For more information about Vital Source Technologies, please visit www.vitalsource.com.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. 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.

About Ingram
Ingram Content Group is a division of Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc. The company provides books, music and media content to over 38,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners in 195 countries. More than 25,000 publishers use Ingram's fully integrated physical and digital solutions and programs to realize the full business potential of books. Ingram's operating units are Ingram Book Company, Lightning Source Inc., Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Tennessee Book Company LLC, and Coutts Information Services. For more information, visit www.ingramcontent.com

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. 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 statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

iOS® is a registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

AndroidTM is a trademark of Google Inc.

Vital Source® and Bookshelf® are registered trademarks of Vital Source Technologies, Inc.

CONTACT
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637 or matthew.maurer@blackboard.com

Keel Hunt, Ingram
(615) 321-3110 or keel@tsgnashville.com

 

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.; Ingram Content Group

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