I’m proud to be the co-founder of two trailblazing edtech startups. As you might expect, I’m even prouder to be the father of three children. They are the reason I co-founded Class – when I saw the challenges they were having during the pandemic engaging with their classes online on Zoom, it inspired me to push technology forward to unlock the full potential of live learning online for everyone.
But that wasn’t my first foray into the world of online education. Back in 1997, I co-founded a company called Blackboard, which brought to market one of the first commercially available enterprise learning management systems (LMS).
So, as I stand alongside our amazing team and announce that Class has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Blackboard Collaborate, it is an exciting full circle moment filled with lots of potential and a little déjà vu.
Class will now serve over 1,750 institutions representing higher education, K-12 and corporate learning & development teams, and have a team of more than 300 employees globally.
When we founded Class at the height of the pandemic, we knew that learners, instructors, and institutions needed our help, and fast. We went right to work and built teaching and learning tools for Zoom. From there, we took on a bigger vision to change the way the world learns.
Now, after millions of students and hundreds of thousands of teachers were put online overnight, we’ve arrived at a tipping point when technology adoption has become ubiquitous around the world across in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning.
The future of learning is hybrid and relationship driven; it is social and often “live”; the world is ready to redesign for that future – now.
As the education community enters this new era, we must build technologies and tools that work better, faster, and offer a higher quality education experience at scale. That’s why having the opportunity to bring Class and Blackboard Collaborate together is such an exciting moment. We’re paving the way to build what promises to be the next generation platform for synchronous virtual learning.
For now, users of both Blackboard Collaborate and Class can rest assured that it’s business as usual. We will continue to support both software products.
And, in addition to this acquisition, I’m thrilled that Anthology is partnering with Class to ensure that Blackboard Collaborate and Class work seamlessly with Blackboard Learn. As we move forward, we will work together to further improve Class, Blackboard Collaborate, and online learning as a whole.
Before the deal closes and we can get to work, we’ll need to wait for standard government regulatory approval, which is expected to occur in the first half of the year. I look forward to communicating more about our plans when the deal closes.
This is an exciting milestone for our amazing team, yet the future may hold the greatest potential for our over 10 million combined users across more than 1,750 institutions in 75+ countries. As a founder – and as a father – I look forward to bringing together these two great teams to propel education technology into the future. Let’s come together and collaborate!
If you have more questions, please visit www.class.com/collaborate.