SOURCE: Wimba

March 04, 2008 08:30 ET

Wimba Expands Collaboration With the New Wimba Pronto

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - Wimba, the education technology company that helps people teach people, is anything but AAK -- asleep at the keyboard. Today, at Wimba's first inaugural users' conference -- Wimba Connect 2008 -- Wimba unveiled the new Wimba Pronto™, the only academic-centric, instant messaging platform. Wimba Pronto enables students and instructors to spontaneously meet live online at any time, to discuss coursework and communicate through instant text, audio, or video connections. With 84% of undergraduate students using instant messaging on a daily basis(1), Wimba Pronto enables schools and colleges to bridge the gap between how students live and learn, by replicating informal learning settings in the online environment.

"Learning does not begin and end in the physical classroom; it carries over into the hallways, the library, the computer lab and common areas," said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Wimba. "Wimba Pronto was developed specifically to harness the power of these informal learning settings for use in the online environment."

Wimba Pronto's Unique Academic-Centric Features

The only instant messenger designed for education to advance and promote learning, Wimba Pronto includes several unique features to specifically benefit students, teachers, and educational institutions including:

--  Instant Access to Campus Services: Institutions can bring services
    online in real-time including the IT Department, Registrar, Financial Aid
    office, and Library to create a 21st-century campus for the 21st-century
    student.
    
--  Queued Chat for Tutoring and Office Hours: Teachers can control the IM
    environment to enable a focused setting in which students "line up" for
    individualized help.
    
--  Automatic Population of Classmates and Courses: Students' contact
    lists are automatically populated with their courses and classmates to
    facilitate and expand collaboration.
    
--  Application Sharing: Students can share any application on their
    desktop in real-time with their classmates and teachers.
    
--  Blended Audio and Video Conferencing: Students and teachers can
    interact in a group setting using their preferred media; whether that be
    just audio or Wimba's follow-the-speaker video.
    

Wimba Pronto in Pilot

Ivy Tech Community College, the nation's largest statewide community college with single accreditation, piloted Wimba Pronto in December. Serving more than 111,000 students across 23 campuses, Ivy Tech regularly relies on technology to enhance connections among its diverse, dispersed student community.

"We launched Wimba Pronto with about 5,000 users," said Kara Monroe, Executive Director of the Center for Instructional Technology at Ivy Tech. "The launch was extremely successful and now Pronto is available to all users. We expected students would love it, but found that instructors did as well. Many faculty use Pronto for online office hours as well as general conversations with students outside of normal class time."

The University of Missouri-St. Louis piloted Wimba Pronto in January and will roll it out across campus this spring.

"The mission of our university is to develop a community with our students, faculty and staff," said Marcel Bechtoldt, system administrator for Technology Services at UM-St. Louis. "Wimba Pronto has the potential to have a big impact on campus community allowing us to communicate online, to share our academic interest and cultural diversity."

Wimba Pronto seamlessly integrates with the Blackboard Enterprise Learning System™ and Moodle. Conference attendees will be able to experience a hands-on demonstration of the new Pronto in the exhibit hall at Wimba Connect 2008. For more information on Wimba Pronto, please visit www.wimba.com/products/wimbapronto/

About Wimba

Wimba 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 course management systems with many of the proven disciplines of in-person learning environments. Wimba's intuitive solutions enable educators 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 course content, and more. Instructors can also use Wimba solutions to convert Microsoft Word documents into accessible course content and to create and administer tests, quizzes, and exams. Our focus on education and collaboration with educators fuels our product development.

Wimba. People Teach People. www.wimba.com

(1) The 2007 Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

Contact Information

  • Wimba PR Contact
    Melissa Chotiner
    DBC Public Relations
    +1.202.292.4572
    Melissa@dbcpr.com