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Making Money from Schools with Blackboard Inc. (BBBB)

Still paying back loans for college after all these years? How about buying this and that for your kids’ school fundraisers? Maybe you think the taxes you pay for public schools just isn’t giving your children high quality education. Blackboard Inc. can make you money (help pay off some of those loans? sounds good!) because it’s revolutionary products is the future of education. Whether if it’s been ages since you’ve been in a classroom or are still in school, you should know a company by the name of Blackboard Inc. (BBBB) is changing education for the better.

Depending on when you last sat in a classroom, learning was probably a real bore and definitely a real hassle. Typewriters. Still remember those? Having to retype reports with just one wrong letter (no backspace button!) or having to spend 8 of your 4 years in college researching in the library? There were a lot of inefficiencies with the whole learning process, and it wasn’t just in college but K-12 as well. I’m sure you can think of a lot of other things you wish you could’ve changed about your learning experience.

Now that we’re all being thrown into the digital electronic age of computers, cell phones, pda’s, Blackberries, information and thus education has become a lot simpler. While a lot of schools have been working on their own to make learning more efficient and “better,” Blackboard Inc. has been on a mission to pull together resources and focus directly on the needs of schools. Blackboard’s professionalism has more potential than colleges hiring their computer science students to improve their educational networks over the summer, or local elementary or high schools having some student club work on it as a hobby.
For those of you who haven’t been in a classroom for a while, this might come as a shock. Everything is done on the computer now in schools.

  • When I graduated almost a year ago, we’ve already been downloading homework assignments, doing quizzes online, and having magazines and books at your fingertips rather than in the catacombs of the library basement.
  • Schools are now experimenting with putting student’s work online and, taking a cue from Ebay, allowing rating and feedback of their work so they have a digital portfolio to show employers or grad school admissions.
  • Some universities and adult schools have all lectures viewable online or downloadable to the iPod, and you can view all the lecture notes and slideshows online.

Yes, some schools are developing these systems by themselves, but I believe they will turn to Blackboard to these services. Yes, one by one they’ll give in and say, “I can’t do this on my own, Save Me Blackboard!”

Each of the educational features I mentioned above are simple enough on their own. When you try to combine everything and make sure they work between professors, teachers, students, and administraton, etc, it gets a bit more complicated. For example, one of the greatest features of my college’s library website is being able to search for any book from the region, and being able to get it even if it were physically at another library. Even better is how a lot of journals are online now so you don’t have to go to the library and spend dime and dime copying the pages you need. Still, things would be chaos between schools that use different systems for libraries and you can’t easily access the other school’s library. Also, for adult schools or night schools where you want to access your reports, research, class notes, and other information online you want a simple format that everyone is used to.

I believe schools will turn to Blackboard to streamline all these features. It will make it much easier on their students as well as the teachers and professors, who can easily post assignments from home, make modifications to assignments, check in on student’s progress, and evaluate student performance. I come from a family of educators and can tell you first hand how annoying and time consuming it is for teacher to evaluate students on paper, whether if it is 30 students in 5th grade or hundreds of college students.

As if Blackboard by itself isn’t great enough, it recently got a partnership with Google.

As a Google partner, Blackboard is launching a series of efforts to enhance search capabilities for students and faculty at thousands of academic institutions around the globe”

If schools were skeptical about turning to Blackboard to move into the electronic age, Google’s partnership should give Blackboard more credibility as well as provide Blackboard with all the technological resources Google has at its disposal. Too good to be true? I think so. I was recently thinking about investing in Google, especially after hearing Google buy Youtube.com and partnering with Blackboard. After some pondering, I feel Blackboard would be the bigger winner, especially from an investing standpoint. Google is a huge company and it’s partnership with Blackboard, however important, won’t make Google a huge load of cash compared what Google already makes. BUT! Blackboard is a much smaller company and so partnering with Google (the internet Giant) will add a lot of value to Blackboard. With so many ways to rake in the money, I think Blackboard is a great investment as schools become computerized.


** NOTE: Again, as with all my stock ideas, I am not telling you to or not to buy Blackboard’s stock. I am just trying to give people ideas that I think are winners, in areas I have some personal experience (in this case, merging education with technology.) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your own research, talk to your financial advisor or broker before any investment. I will not be responsible for any gains or losses you make in this stock. **

** DISCLOSURE: I do not own stocks in Blackboard as of this post. (10/16/06) **

**Mr. Lin’s statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. Mr. Lin does not guarantee specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the site. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value. Investors may get back less than they invested.

Securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned in on this site may not be suitable for all investors. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as recommendations of particular securities, financial instruments or strategies that are appropriate for you. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any securities, financial instruments or strategies mentioned on the show.

Before acting on any information contained on the site, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.**

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