Innovative Technologies for Educating Teams



Bill Ballhaus
Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO & President



“The company helps businesses and associations provide today’s diverse employees and learners with flexible professional development, training and online learning.”

Blackboard was established by a few friends who, together, envisioned the tomorrow of learning. With the advent of the Internet, a budding Michael Chasen and Matthew Pittinsky saw the potential for technology to assist teaching and learning within higher learning. After founding Blackboard LLC in 1997 with modest origins, Chase and Pittinsky joined forces with Daniel Cane and Stephen Gilfus, who bestowed their vision for the fate of digital learning, merging with CourseInfo LLC to form Blackboard Inc. To stoke future growth, the friends took Blackboard Inc. public in 2004.

With a substantial market share in 2011 and the desire to continue to develop the future of education, Blackboard Inc. went private again under the protection of Providence Equity Partners. From their modest roots in education, Blackboard has grown to become the most comprehensive education technology and services business in the world, serving nearly 100 million users in nations in every region around the globe. By supporting success, one company at a time, with their eyes on the future, Blackboard is education’s partner in turn.

Bill Ballhaus is Chairman, CEO, and President of Blackboard. Bill is actively committed to leveraging Blackboard’s innovative technologies and assistance to partner with the global education association and enables student and institutional success. Blackboard’s core purposes of integrity, excellence, innovation, and accountability connect deeply with Bill.

As a third-generation aerospace engineer, he discovered early on the significance of leading with absolute sincerity, without fear of defeat, and with a focus on solving customers’ toughest difficulties. At Blackboard, these values translate into helping students, educators, institutions, and companies thrive in a changing and challenging environment.

The company helps companies and associations provide today’s diverse employees and students with flexible, professional development, coaching, and online learning that they need to be successful—converting organizational learning into strategic success. With a modern, intuitive, fully responsive interface, Blackboard Learn presents a more straightforward, more authoritative teaching and learning experience that goes exceeding the traditional learning management system (LMS).

The solution offers essential, yet simple tools and workflows that help learners and instructors stay prepared, quickly take action, and interest with content and each other. The platform also encourages learning and pedagogy anytime, anywhere, with a fully responsive layout for all devices and delightful mobile apps to support analytical workflows such as grading and collaboration. Blackboard is not just delivering client’s data, but are surfacing data that means when it matters most— to foster more personalized communications and drive student success. Blackboard’s purpose is to help all learners—regardless of age, ability, or circumstance—succeed. At Blackboard, accessibility is at the vanguard of product development—and never a reconsideration.

Recently, Amazon’s Alexa colluded with Blackboard Inc., the specializer in futuristic learning, to deliver enriching and enlightening expertise to its users. The Blackboard announced that they are about to begin the new Blackboard Learn a skill for Amazon Alexa. The newly joined technology will allow any Amazon Alexa enabled the tool to access any information from the Blackboard’s flagship Learning Management System while doing their everyday chores. To activate the skill feature, the Blackboard learners will have to connect their Amazon account to their Blackboard account. Originally, Alexa will be able to answer any questions associated with the user’s profile and course details. The skill will develop to solve more specific knowledge for its users.

Kathy Vieira, Chief Strategy, Portfolio and Marketing Officer at Blackboard, says that they require to enrich and integrate their learners’ experience in everyday living. She states, “We’re committed to helping learners seamlessly combine their studies into their everyday experiences, and our collaboration with Amazon Alexa is another way that we are supporting to enhance this experience for students everywhere.”