Blackboard, Wimba Partner for K-12 Collaboration Tools

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CMS/LMS developer Blackboard has teamed up with Wimba, a provider of collaboration tools for electronic learning, to bring the Wimba Collaboration Suite Express to K-12 schools and districts using the Blackboard Learning System. The collaboration tools will be delivered to current and new Backboard Learning System (including Basic Edition) clients in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Wimba Collaboration Suite Express is a limited edition of the Wimba Collaboration Suite, incorporating a variety of communications tools, such as voice, video, and text. It includes special editions of Wimba Classroom, Wimba Voice, and Wimba Pronto.

Wimba Classroom provides a live virtual classroom environment for distance learning, professional development, and other applications and includes features like whiteboarding and interactive polling. Wimba Voice adds voice and audio capabilities for online courses, including import and export of MP3 and WAV audio, and can be used for podcasting applications. Voice messages can be embedded in course pages and in threaded discussions, as well as live group discussions. Wimba Pronto is an instant messaging tool that includes support for both text and audio.

Through the new partnership, Blackboard will deliver the Express version of the Collaboration Suite free to current and new K-12 customers. Initial distribution is expected to begin in late 2007.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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