Social Networking: Pronto InstantMessenger and Wimba Podcaster for the Blackboard Learning System
September 12, 2006 Leave a comment
Social Networking: Pronto Instant Messenger and Wimba Podcaster for the Blackboard Learning System
Steve Watt, Business Development Manager, NetSpot/Horizon Wimba
MSN Instant Messenger, blogs, wikis, podcasts…this session looks at taking up the challenge for educators in the light of the range of social networking tools used by students. Announcing “Pronto”, a free, integrated, instant messaging and voice chat tool pre-populated with LMS class lists and introducing the “Wimba Podcaster”.
Pronto will be a free instant messaging application that will include audio and chat. There will be a plus (pay) version that will include whiteboard and application sharing and video.
The slick part of this instant messaging tool is that it is easy and also opt-in. So there isn’t the concerns around student privacy if students are opting in. Also, the nice part about the integration with Bb is that the buddy list is automatically populated based on course enrollments.
The Wimba Podcaster will work with the Voice Tools application to allow instructors to easily create and distribute podcasts using the built-in audio tools that Wimba provides. There will even be integration with the already powerful Voice Board capability, allowing podcasting to occur in this tool as well.
HorizonWimba has some pretty impressive technologies coming to a Blackboard course management system near you soon!
I think that Pronto is a significant step forward in providing a robust collaborative environment for students and instructors. Instant communication capabilities extend the boundaries of the classroom, enabling learning to take place anytime anywhere. Students can stay connected and continue to build relationships while expanding their learning within a social context.