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The Blackboard behemoth

June 9, 2015

I support 10 web sites in my job that are traditional SchoolWorld web sites.  Some time not too long ago, BB purchased SchoolWorld – or they at least merged.  I heard a couple weeks ago that the SchoolWorld sites would no longer be technically supported at the end of this month – June 2015.  I also heard that the product itself would be experiencing and EOL date next June, 2016.

We recently set up a new SchoolWorld site.  My customer said something about how they used SchoolSites, not SchoolWorld for something.  I told him his new site would be a SchoolWorld site.

So – I am trying to get my head around the Blackboard juggernog a bit more.

Random things about BB that I am absorbing…

BB is Blackboard – they hold an annual moot in DC for a couple days in July.  If I was not going on vaca this year, I may have considered going.

BB is aka Blackboard, BB online, BB engage, formally know as Edlin, BB world, this is from their web page –

Lots of products – dept to their products Mission statement with anaylitics

This is probably the most relevant news header for what I am trying to understand

Ed-tech giant Blackboard acquires Schoolwires to help build school websites and apps for K-12 students

This is what I support – school websites for k-12 students.

This is a little disconcerting – reminds me of Microsoft back in the day….gobbling up anything that looks like it could make them $$ or at least threaten their monopoly.

Last year, Blackboard acquired MyEdu to help reduce the number of unemployed college graduates, and today’s news takes Blackboard’s total acquisition count up to 11 in the past 5 years alone, having taken on ParentLink (2014), CardSmith (2014), Perceptis (2014), NetSpot (2012), Moodlerooms (2012), Presidium Learning (2011), Elluminate (2010), Wimba (2010), and Saf-T-Net (2010). Between 2006 and 2012, it’s estimated that Blackboard spent around $500 million buying other companies.

Since 2011, Blackboard has provided website hosting and CMS for schools, following a merger with Edline. So with today’s acquisition news, Blackboard is cementing its position in this space, adding that “school websites and apps are the natural way” to improve teaching and learning.

Well – this may be a good place to keep up with things happening there….


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