Friday, March 2, 2007

Wimba Pronto

This presentation focussed on the latest horse from the Horizon Wimba stable Pronto, with its future siblings Pronto Plus and Pronto Network.

Pushing Pronto as "Communicate in an instant". Humanising the e-learning experience - a platform for communication.

Students looking for ways to incorporate popular communication methods in their experience; Educators looking for easier to use function reducing time and effort; VLE losing stickiness; students looking to external web 2.0 spaces
Institutions want students bringing back to the vle... (er..); Enabling enhanced online collaboration.

Simplifying communication School centric instant communication tool
Features: IM VoIP, Group Voice/IM. Tightly linked to the VLE. Classmates are listed, contact group headings are linked directly to VLE. Teachers and Ta's are displayed differently.

- Always on, no need to log into Blackboard, though links back into the VLE for reference, i.e. students can collaborate around their courses.
Two tabs: Course tab - un-editable, populated by the courses and orgs and Contacts tab - fully personalisable. Simple profiles available: including, avatars, personal info, links to external social software environments. Includes voip to communicate in groups.

Pronto Plus (under development)
Introduces: Application sharing; File sharing, - designed for educational institutions with control and granularity that you might want. Sys admin can turn on and off for courses.
video - live classroom 5.0 - full multipoint product - eg 5 people each with cameras, couldn't validate the pedagogy, but apparently students like it.. Smells like technology for technologies sake..
queuing- instructors or students could queue in to a single group or chat. Meeting with student right now, you are third in line.. help desk approach. Standing inline online. Anonymity. - I liked this
course up dates and campus broadcasts, snow day, building closure, book store sale - broadcast in the pronto interface. Real time dissemination of information

Pronto Network - under development
Extending communication. Directory to allow different institutions talk to each other. Connecting institutions.

Whatever we may think about an IM tool for SHU, I did like this, though the biggest turn off for me is the lack of archiving, and even if we were looking for a tool like this one, I wouldn't touch it until it pushed that button. (though Mr wimba did assure me that it's on the way). Pronto basic is free, Plus and network will have charges attached (no doubt hefty).

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