Ed-Tech Policy

Makers of Online Systems Merge

By Rhea R. Borja — October 25, 2005 1 min read

Blackboard buys up rival in course-handling market

Besides being widely used in colleges, Blackboard’s online course-management system is used in an estimated 1,200 school districts nationwide. Blackboard allows teachers to post their course materials on the Internet, including homework assignments, syllabuses, and other resources. Teachers and students can also communicate online through the system.

Based in Washington, the company is buying Lynnfield, Mass.-based WebCT for $180 million. Blackboard will absorb WebCT’s 1,480 institutional customers, 274 employees, and about $26 million in cash.

WebCT controls 27 percent of the higher education market for the online management of courses, compared with Blackboard’s estimated 54 percent of the market. So the deal will give Blackboard more than 80 percent of that market, according to analysts.

The effect of the merger on the K-12 market is likely to be more muted, said Timothy Wiley, an analyst for Eduventures Inc., a Boston-based market-research firm that tracks business activity in education.

He noted that only 8 percent of Blackboard’s revenues last year came from the K-12 market. That market, composed of some 14,500 school districts spread across the country, is very fragmented, he said.

“It’s not going to create the same waves as in the postsecondary market,” Mr. Wiley said.

However, Patrick M. Supanc, the senior director of K-12 markets for Blackboard, said that elementary and secondary education has been the fastest-growing client segment for the company for the past two years.

A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Q&A Acting FCC Chair: The 'Homework Gap' Is an 'Especially Cruel' Reality During the Pandemic
Under the new leadership of Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC is exploring broadening the E-Rate to cover home-connectivity needs.
5 min read
Internet connectivity doesn't reach all the houses
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last?
Time and money are running out on temporary agreements between districts and ISPs. Broadband advocates want a federal solution.
10 min read
Cupped hands hold a precious wi-fi symbol
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Digital Vision Vectors/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy FCC Takes One Step Closer to Offering E-Rate Funds for Remote Learning Technology
Advocates have urged the FCC to loosen its rules on E-Rate funds so schools can pay for technology that helps students learn remotely.
2 min read
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Ed-Tech Policy New York Banned Facial Recognition in Schools. Will Other States Follow?
New York schools are prohibited from using the widely criticized biometric identifying technology until at least July 2022.
3 min read
Girl looking into smartphone facial recognition
Getty