Chalk up Blackboard's success to the Internet. Blackboard develops software that lets schools create Internet-based learning programs and communities. Its applications connect teachers, students, parents, and administrators via the Web, enabling Internet-based assignments, class websites, and online collaboration with classmates. The software also includes a content management system for creating and managing digital course content. Other modules include transaction, community, and payment management tools that enable students to use their college IDs for meal plans, events, and tuition payments. In 2011 Blackboard was acquired by Providence Equity for about $1.64 billion.