Social Networking: Pronto InstantMessenger and Wimba Podcaster for the Blackboard Learning System

Social Networking: Pronto Instant Messenger and Wimba Podcaster for the Blackboard Learning System

prontowindow.gifSteve 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.


About ekunnen
Eric has a passion for, works to lead, support, and coordinate effective uses of technology in teaching and learning. He is an Associate Director of eLearning and Emerging Technologies at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan. His primary role focuses on collaborating and supporting distance learning initiatives at the university while exploring future trends in emerging technologies in teaching and learning. He also collaborates to research and support academic technologies used in the classroom and in eLearning. Previously, Eric was the Emerging Technologies Coordinator at GVSU and a Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eric has a background in teaching Computer Science and Biology at the secondary level and a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. I'm on mission to advance teaching and learning through the integration of emerging and innovative instructional technologies... More

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