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Chalk Talk on Blackboard Merger

As you might've heard by now, education giant Blackboard is acquiring Elluminate and Wimba, two of the education industry's largest synchronous learning technology providers in a deal expected to be worth $116 million.

The merger, expected to be completed in mid-August, will result in the creation of Blackboard Collaborate, a new platform that will use the expertise of teams from Elluminate and Wimba to meet new demands in synchronous learning, according to an announcement last week.

You likely know Elluminate and Wimba as providers of technology that allows the delivery of synchronous live online courses with audio, video, whiteboard, and social learning tools. Between full distance-learning courses, supplementing traditional courses and facilitating other collaborations like virtual office hours or virtual mentoring and tutoring, the pair together serves more than 2,600 institutions worldwide in the K-12, higher-ed, international, and professional education markets.

"Bringing Elluminate and Wimba together allows us to accelerate development of their technologies to better realize the full potential for impacting education -- at a rate much faster than any of our organizations could have achieved independently," said Ray Henderson, the president of Blackboard Learn who will set the technology strategy and provide leadership to the combined team. "I'm confident in our ability to maintain positive experiences for clients and learners in all contexts, regardless of which learning management system is used."

In terms of human resources, the acquisition of Calgary, Alberta-based Elluminate and New York City-based Wimba means the manpower of about 240 additional employees. Blackboard's workforce numbers more than 1,000.

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