Thursday, December 18, 2008
Posted By mwasowski      Category

I once again want to thank Cory Stokes of the Utah Education Network, Diane Stonebrink of Estrella Mountain College (AZ), and Peter Lafford of Arizona State, each of whom gave wonderful accounts of their creative usage of Wimba during a presentation on Tuesday.

Diane talked about ESL instruction via Wimba Voice, Peter discussed language learning via Wimba Voice and even led the audience in a rousing rendition of the ASU fight song (he’s like a songbird), and Cory recounted the numerous ways that 15 colleges and 40 K-12 school districts in Utah use Wimba Classroom for everything from live classes to online meetings.  Cory perhaps made the most powerful statement of the 45-minute presentation when he mentioned how several autistic students better interact with their teachers now.

And on the non-instructional side of things, he told how the Blanding campus of the College of Eastern Utah - in very rural southeastern Utah - is saving a great deal of money because it no longer needs to have its staff drive 4-to-5 hours to get to meetings in Salt Lake City (which, of course, entails a 4-to-5 hour trip back and often an overnight stay).  He says that the savings Wimba has brought to that small branch campus has made Wimba a very compelling service to everyone throughout the state.  “The cost of a [Wimba] license saves the state more money than the cost of the license itself.”

Friday, December 12, 2008
Posted By mwasowski      Category

I noticed that several of my recent blog postings have focused on our customers near our New York and Cambridge (UK) offices, so I don’t want our Western customers to feel left out.  In fact, there’s some remarkable stuff happening in the mountain states that everyone should know about.  On Tuesday, three of the leading instructional minds out West will co-present as part of the Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series as they give details about how their schools have been doing extremely creative things with Wimba.  Cory Stokes of the Utah Education Network will reveal how his team implemented Wimba at 15 higher education institutions and 40 school districts throughout Utah, Peter Lafford of Arizona State will discuss how he’s long used Wimba Voice for online language instruction, and Diane Stonebrink of the Estrella Mountain College will discuss English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) instruction via Wimba Voice.  The three of them are definitely some of the West’s heaviest hitters.  And this presentation will be even more exciting because Diane and Peter will both give longer presentations at Wimba Connect 2009 in April in Scottsdale - so this promises to whet your appetites.  Have a great weekend, everyone! Matt

Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Posted By mwasowski      Category

If you’re a K-12 teacher, student, or parent and have opinions about technology can shape learning over the next decade, then Speak Up!  You have 17 more days until Speak Up, an annual national research project and survey facilitated by Project Tomorrow, will be available. 

The purpose of the Speak Up project is to:
-Collect and report the unfiltered feedback from students, parents and teachers on key educational issues.
-Use the data to stimulate local conversations. 
-Raise national awareness about the importance of including the viewpoints of students, parents, and teachers in the education dialogue.

So please, Speak Up now!