Horizon Wimba Introduces the Wimba Podcaster
Wimba Voice Tools version 5.1 features new Podcaster and Voice
NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2006 — Creating podcasts for online college and
high school classes just got significantly easier. Horizon Wimba, the
leading provider of collaboration tools and software applications to
the online education market, has released Wimba Voice Tools version
5.1 which most notably boasts two new voice tools – the Wimba
Podcaster and the Wimba Voice Presentation Tool.
Building off the most recent Wimba release which introduced
compatibility with iPods and iTunes, version 5.1 introduces the Wimba
Podcaster, a tool which makes it easy for teachers to add audio files
to their online courses to which students can then subscribe as
podcasts. To subscribe, a student clicks a single button on the Wimba
Podcaster interface to sign up for the podcasts in iTunes or other
podcast-ready software. Once a student is subscribed, he or she will
automatically receive any audio updates the instructor posts to the
Wimba Podcaster. These updated podcasts and voice files will then be
automatically sent to their iTunes podcasts lists, iPods, and/or
other desktop media player. Each file can then be listened to via
iTunes or on a user’s iPod or other mp3 player.
Now, instead of users having to constantly login to their Blackboard
courses to check for new vocal or audio postings, students and
instructors can have their iTunes podcast lists automatically receive
every new voice file the moment one’s posted.
Further, combined with the new import feature of Wimba 5.0, the Wimba
Podcaster will also allow audio that has been recorded outside of the
Wimba Voice Tools – such as a recording of a lesson, interview, or
music file – to be distributed as a podcast.
The new Wimba Voice Presentation Tool allows instructors to harness
the wealth of material on the web by adding their own vocal and text
messages alongside URLs. For example, a foreign language instructor
can post a vocal question asking about the content of a French
website and then have his or her students respond orally by attaching
comments to the Voice Presentation slide. Or, an instructor can post
any web-ready multimedia content such as Flash or video to a server
and annotate it with his or her voice.
The Voice Presentation Tool is an ideal tool for authoring engaging
online presentations with voice and visuals. The author can sequence
and annotate a collection of webpages by simply clicking on the
‘Compose’ button, specifying a URL, and speaking into a microphone.
Finally, version 5.1 enables users to move and reorder multiple
messages within a Voice Board.
“Creating a podcaster was a no-brainer,” said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of
Horizon Wimba. “iPods have become so universal that it made perfect
sense for us to make our Wimba Voice Tools compatible with them, and
as podcasting grows in popularity, we want to ensure that our
software helps faculty easily create podcasts in their online
courses. This is a natural fit.”
Wimba Voice Tools version 5.1 currently integrates with the
Blackboard Learning System 6.0+. WebCT Campus Edition 6.0 / Vista 4.0
integration will be available soon.
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 Word
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.