SOURCE: Wimba, Inc.

October 15, 2008 08:44 ET

Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges Partners With Wimba to Enhance Learning Statewide

System-Wide Implementation Enhances Educational Access for 250,000 Students

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - Wimba® Inc., the education technology company that helps people teach people, today announced that the Mississippi State Board for Community and Junior Colleges (MSBCJC) has selected the Wimba Collaboration Suite™, the education industry's leading multi-modal solution for virtual and blended learning. The MSBCJC will deploy this internet-based technology throughout Mississippi, allowing students and educators to connect through online video, voice, text, application sharing, polling and white boarding.

The MSBCJC serves more than 273,000 students, across 15 campuses statewide, in the areas of university-track academic classes, career and technical skills, workforce education directed toward specific jobs and adult basic education and GED preparation. Students can access courses from any of the systems' 15 colleges, in an online environment provided by the Mississippi Virtual Community College. This fall, 20,170 students are taking an average of two online courses for a total of 42,292 enrollments. With the Wimba Collaboration Suite the MSBCJC anticipates fostering stronger community, improving communication amongst faculty and students, and enriching their virtual course offerings.

"The relationship between student engagement and success is clear," said Christian Pruett, Director of eLearning at the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. "With the Wimba Collaboration Suite, faculty can access a suite of easy-to-use tools that instantly improve teacher-to-student and student-to-student interaction. We have seen record growth in our virtual college this year, and we expect that this will make our online program even more attractive to students."

By empowering faculty to develop their online courses with new tools such as voice, video, and application sharing, the MSBCJC is reconsidering the way they design assessments and how they deliver courses in critical needs areas like nursing.

"Faculty have relied on text-based instruction in their online courses for years," said Terry Pollard, eLearning Specialist at the State Board. "With Wimba, we expect that faculty will begin to build lessons that incorporate a multi-modal approach to learning. By integrating voice and video technology, faculty can incorporate the best of on-ground instructional methods with the conveniences of online learning."

The MSBCJC implementation marks the fifth system-wide integration of Wimba's technology this year. In conjunction with statewide deployments in Utah, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Kentucky, the Wimba Collaboration Suite is now providing enhanced education opportunities to hundreds of thousands of students and faculty across more than 150 public K-12 and higher education institutions.

"Students across the state of Mississippi will have access to many new opportunities for learning through this new technology implementation," said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Wimba. "We applaud Mississippi's commitment to education and are happy to be part of their efforts."

The Wimba Collaboration Suite offers a rich array of collaborative applications that allow faculty to retain the highly personal and dynamic nature of traditional classroom instruction. Wimba solutions integrate seamlessly within a college or university's existing course management systems/virtual learning environments (CMS/VLE) such as ANGEL® Learning, Blackboard® and Moodle. With this combination, Wimba offers institutions the flexibility they need so that instructors can manage their course content and create customized rooms from within their familiar CMS environment.

About Wimba

Wimba®, Inc. is a leading provider of collaborative learning software applications and services to the education industry. Our collaborative software applications for the online and blended education market enable institutions to bridge technology and pedagogy by supplementing learning management systems with many of the proven disciplines of in-person learning environments. Wimba's intuitive solutions enable teachers and students to quickly and easily teach and learn live online, engage in live chat and instant message exchanges, benefit from oral content being added to text-based content, and more. Teachers can also use Wimba solutions to easily convert Microsoft Word documents into online content and to create and administer tests, quizzes, and exams. Our focus on education and collaboration with educators fuels our product development. For more information, please visit www.wimba.com or send an email to info@wimba.com.

Wimba. People Teach People. www.wimba.com

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