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Blackboard and Ingram Announce Plans to Integrate VitalSource Bookshelf and Blackboard Learn

Effort will Join E-books with Courses for Online and Mobile Access



NEW ORLEANS—July 11, 2012—Blackboard customers will soon have a powerful new option for delivering e-textbooks on their campuses. Today, Blackboard Inc. and Ingram’s Vital Source Technologies, Inc. announced a global agreement to give students and faculty one-click access to Vital Source’s industry leading e-textbook platform directly within Blackboard Learn, the market’s leading learning management (LMS) system. The planned integration would be available for users both online and for mobile devices.
 
“With the integration, there would be no extra software for users to install, no separate logins and passwords to remember,” said Kent Freeman, chief operating officer of Vital Source. “You get immediate access to the digital copies of your textbooks, and they are an integral part of your Blackboard Learn courses.”
 
With the planned offering, instructors would be able to preview and select textbooks, as well as pieces of content or learning objects and add them to assignments and activities directly in their courses in Blackboard Learn. In addition, faculty and administrators would be able to track e-book usage through analytics reports.
 
Vital Source’s comprehensive e-content platform currently includes over 80,000 titles from the world’s leading publishers. Student and faculty users can access their books—online and offline—on a variety of device types including Mac®, Windows®, iPad®, and Android®. Users can make notes, highlights, and annotations in their e-textbooks, all of which automatically sync across devices. Students can even share and subscribe to notes and highlights from their peers. The planned integration would also support viewing e-book content through Blackboard’s mobile learning app.
 
“Our work with Vital Source can deliver great value for educators and students by bringing together the leading e-textbook platform and the leading learning management system to create a more engaging learning experience,” said Matthew Small, chief business officer at Blackboard. “We’re excited to work with Vital Source to offer our clients and users a more streamlined, more powerful approach to leveraging digital textbooks right within their courses – online and on mobile.”
 
“Developing relevant tools and resources for the education community is at the core of our business,” said Freeman. “We believe that accessible, interactive digital content is a big part of the future of education. By expanding our current work with Blackboard, we are able to bring our rich, interactive toolsets closer to the student’s day-to-day learning life.”
 
The work with Vital Source is part of Blackboard’s ongoing effort to make it easier for teachers and students to find, use and share digital content and tools. The Blackboard Learn platform supports a wide range of integrations for content from leading educational publishers and content providers.
 
Vital Source, one of Ingram’s fastest growing businesses, is the preferred and most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education today. With longstanding relationships with more than 200 of the best-known publishers, and with over 2.2 million registered users on 6,000 campuses in 200 countries and territories worldwide, the platform was designed to support learning and built to scale for dramatic growth. Combining the education and technology background of the Vital Source team with the book industry resources and leadership of Ingram, Vital Source is firmly positioned as a market leader in the digital learning space.
 
The announcement was made at BbWorld® 2012, an annual event hosted by Blackboard taking place this week in New Orleans.
 
For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/learn. For more information about Vital Source, please visit www.vitalsource.com. Follow @Blackboard and #BbW12 for updates during BbWorld.
 
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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.  Statements regarding Blackboard’s product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent Blackboard’s current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available.
 
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