NEW YORK, NY–(December 7, 2006)–The wait is finally over for the hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide that have already reserved Pronto. This morning, Horizon Wimba, the leading provider of collaboration tools and software applications to the online education market, officially added another tool to its collection of collaborative tools–Pronto–a free instant messaging and voice chat tool that allows students and instructors to spontaneously meet live online at any time to discuss their coursework.
Pronto is unique to education because it works with course management systems such as Blackboard and WebCT to automatically populate students’ contact lists with their classmates’ names, thereby making it easy for students to spontaneously collaborate live online. After all, not all learning can be scheduled–it’s often informal and unplanned.
Pronto features include:
*Instant Messaging (IM)
Students can chat with classmates or instructors any time
*Voice-over IP (VoIP) Audio
Talkative students can plug in a microphone to their computers and speak to classmates regardless of location
*Group IM and VoIP
Not limited to one-on-one conversations, entire groups of students can chat at one time
*Contact lists automatically populated according to class rosters
Students’ contact lists are automatically populated with the names of their classmates in each course, thereby eliminating the need to track down peers throughout the year
*Tightly linked to Blackboard and WebCT
Campus administrators don’t need to create usernames or passwords for their students, as all access privileges are created automatically based on a school’s course management system
*Access CMS classes from Pronto
Students click on their class names inside Pronto and pass through directly to their CMS course pages
*Teachers and T.A.’s displayed differently
Easily distinguish between students, instructors, and teaching assistants
After concluding an extremely successful pre-release program, Horizon Wimba is now ready to disseminate Pronto to any education institution worldwide which would like to add instant messaging and voice chat to its Blackboard or WebCT courses. Currently Pronto works with the Blackboard Learning System 6.3+ and above and with Blackboard (WebCT) Campus Edition 6 and Vista 4. Support for WebCT Vista 3.0, ANGEL, Moodle, and Sakai is currently under review.
Ideal for informal, unplanned communication, Pronto simplifies communication on any campus by tying together many of the different forms of communication that students currently use to collaborate. Now, instead of relying on disparate forms of communication such as instant messaging, email, social networking websites, Blackboard or WebCT, and the phone, students can use Pronto for all their academic and social collaboration needs.
“Though we initially received a great deal of acclaim when we first announced Pronto this summer, we never could have anticipated the accolades we’ve received since,” said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Horizon Wimba. “From our pre-release testers, to our partners, to instructors at colleges across the globe, the reaction we’ve had to Pronto has been unprecedented. We’re honored that the education community has embraced Pronto in such an overwhelmingly positive manner. We’re truly humbled when we hear the community tell us that Pronto may forever change communication within online education.”
Pronto is currently available to all education institutions for free. Schools interested in obtaining Pronto can sign-up today at http://www.horizonwimba.com/getpronto.
About Horizon Wimba
Horizon Wimba develops collaborative software applications addressing the diverse needs of the emerging online education market. Its software enables institutions to take advantage of the multitude of advances in the internet and internet-based technologies while also enhancing their course management systems. The Company’s virtual classroom solution enables educators to teach and meet live online, its vocal collaboration technologies add oral content directly into course content, webpages and assessments, its content authoring software allows users to quickly and easily convert Microsoft Wordä documents into webpages, and its test-generation and homework management tools allow faculty to create test, quiz, and exam questions. With simplicity and power, Horizon Wimba adds new dimensions to online, accessible education, enriching the learning experience for both students and instructors.
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