Promote Collaborative Learning with Pronto

By , March 26, 2010 9:42 am

Have you heard of Pronto?

Pronto is an instant messaging (IM) and voice chat tool that allows you to communicate with others with Pronto accounts such as classmates, instructors, or groups anytime.

Pronto integrates with Blackboard to automatically add courses that you teach or are enrolled in to your Classmates list and populates your contact list each semester with the names of every student in your classes and social organizations.

To get started, you must register and download Pronto from within Blackboard!  After that, you can use it from your tool bar.

Why would you want to use Pronto?

Pronto is a tool that provides secure, campus-based Instant Messaging integrated with Blackboard and if someone uses Pronto to contact you, you know it is a legitimate contact.  Students are accustomed to using an instant messenger so it will be a natural way of increasing interaction between faculty and students or classmates as well as providing immediate feedback to students while they are studying.  You can even hold online Office hours and answer just-in-time student questions or problems.  Other uses could be to:

  • Facilitate group work among students
  • Give online students a feeling of connectivity to the UMKC community through study groups, community groups, etc
  • Extend informal communication 24/7
  • Colleague to Colleague, staff to staff contacts without waiting for email replies

What Features:

Unique features that benefit students, teachers, and UMKC include:

  • Auto-Population of Courses, Organizations & Rosters
  • Text Chat
  • Group Chat
  • Presence Awareness
  • VoIP Conferencing (unlimited)
  • User Profiles:  photo, contact information
  • Customizable availability status
  • Privacy Features:  blocking and invisibility
  • Emoticons
  • Choice of Spanish or English language
  • Meets Accessibility Guidelines

For More Information and Help:

  • UMKC Wimba Page at:

                       http://www.umkc.edu/ia/its/wimba/Pronto/

  • Wimba:  24/7 support—866-350-4978

–        E-mail:  technicalsupport@wimba.com

–        Wimba Knowledge Base:    wimba.com/technicalsupport/

  • Faculty:  ITS—235-6700 M-F 7-6

All the tools that are fit (or not fit) to be found!

By , March 25, 2010 1:43 pm

If you are like most of us, you don’t have time to look for the latest Web 2.0 tool to hit the internet. We generally wait for the good tools to come to our attention through newsletters, articles and seminars.

Well, if you’d rather go straight to the source, try a website called Go 2 Web 2.0.

This web site doesn’t *say* that it catalogs all Web 2.0 apps on the web, but after a few minutes in the site itself, you might wonder whether it actually does. You will find standbys such as Google Apps alongside free software for creativity such as StoryJumper (create your own children’s book to share or sell online, and order a hard cover copy for just under $25.00), as well as random software such as ToonDoo (create and edit your own cartoons, again – free!).

If you see a software listed that you think might be applicable to your teaching, but you just aren’t sure – no worries. Simply click the link to that software and Go 2 Web 2.0 will provide you with a one-paragraph description of the service offered by the website. One down side of this description – cost of the site (even when it is free) is not consistently listed; therefore, if there are sites that charge for their service, you will have to click through the description to the site itself to find out.

Still in all, in this crazy world where new apps are being created every day, it’s nice to know there is a place to go where they are being cataloged to some extent.

Enjoy!

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