Innovation—a recent Wall Street Journal blog post calls it “a strong contender for the crown of business buzzword of the decade” (surely up against distinguished competition like “synergy” and “leverage”).

Yes, a lot of companies talk about innovation, but talk is cheap.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce the creation of Blackboard Labs, an initiative dedicated solely to innovation and experimentation with education technology. With Labs, we are putting dedicated resources towards experimentation with new teaching and learning technologies and helping shape the future of the industry.

Blackboard Labs will source ideas from inside and outside the company, tinkering with concepts related to all areas of education. From Labs we will launch early prototypes for users to test and provide feedback on.

Expect to see exciting—even surprising— offerings come out of Labs. Expect to see industry “disruptors.” Expect the unexpected.

The ideas coming out of Labs won’t always be successful – but we are okay with that. We are using the project as a way to gain insight into how to make good ideas great and as a way for users to give us immediate and incredibly impactful feedback. Along the way, we hope to catalyze ideas that push the industry forward.

Blackboard wouldn’t be the company it is today without innovation, and it won’t be the company it will be tomorrow, without it. 15 years of innovation has enabled us to help educators, administrators and students to change the way education is defined, delivered and experienced, and we are excited about ramping up innovation to make sure that parents, professionals, educators and learners of all types can connect and engage whenever they want and wherever they are.

So if you have an idea for a technology that you think would improve the education experience, please share it with us. We can’t wait to share ours with you.

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