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Why We Work With AWS

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Education has always been about helping students gain confidence, grow skills, and prepare for success in life. Today’s educators have tools that go far beyond the primers and pencils of 100 years ago. Now technology providers and educators come together to help students learn in new ways. This partnership requires the best that technology has to offer. We rely on strong infrastructure partners to help us power learning around the globe.

We do this through the solutions and services that we provide. Our Community Engagement solutions, including district-branded websites and mobile solutions, reach up to 40 percent of K-12 schools in the U.S. Millions of students and instructors leverage our Teaching and Learning solutions, including our learning management system, virtual classroom, and accessibility tools, to deliver online learning.

Over the past several years, we have made significant investments in our product development focused on driving new innovation. To do this, we knew that we had to be in the cloud so that we could build a true platform infrastructure, scale to meet usage demands, and quickly deliver product updates and bug fixes. For our clients, being in the cloud means zero downtime product updates, increased reliability, and access to our latest product innovations as soon as they are released.

As a global company with an over 20-year history and proven track-record in delivering high-quality EdTech solutions, we selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) for this collaboration. Our work with AWS includes leveraging their leading cloud infrastructure and much more.

Here are some of the other ways we are working with AWS to drive product innovation:

Scaling Blackboard Collaborate

This past March we needed to rapidly scale our system to keep pace with the dramatically increased global usage of Blackboard Collaborate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We worked in tight collaboration with the AWS Infrastructure Event Management team to adapt our architecture in real-time by scaling the system 50x to support a 3,600 percent surge in daily global usage. 

Achieving FedRAMP Authorization with AWS GovCloud

We needed an efficient and effective way to meet increased safety and security requirements within the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and enhance our ability to support our government clients. AWS GovCloud provided us with a trusted infrastructure with security of the cloud, and accelerated our timeline towards achieving critical FedRAMP Moderate authorization. Blackboard is the only LMS provider with this designation.

Bringing Data to Life

We are leveraging AWS QuickSight to embed data visualizations so that we can focus on providing more valuable insights across our platform for clients. One of the earliest places you will see this is Blackboard Achieve. With the combined power of Achieve and QuickSight, our clients will be able to quickly get to the root of the real questions they have.

Developing AI Solutions

We were looking for a toolset to integrate an AI-powered chat tool into our products. The AWS toolset, including Amazon Lex, allows us to rapidly build and deploy chat and AI-based tools throughout our platform, in a very integrated and robust way.

We are proud of our strategic work with AWS. This is just the beginning of what’s possible between our two leading companies.