We just gave Pronto a new twist ... twisting in the wind. Earlier this morning we announced that Wimba Pronto™, our instant messaging platform designed exclusively for education, is now powered by wind energy. In our latest approach to going green, we purchased renewable energy credits from eGreen certified Community Energy to subsidize the electricity consumption of the servers, routers, and other IT infrastructure that power Wimba Pronto. With Wimba Pronto already running at hundreds of academic institutions worldwide including Grand Rapids Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, University of Missouri–St. Louis, and all 11 public universities in the North Dakota University System, we’re excited that we’ve now given these schools yet another means of communicating in an informal, and now environmentally conscious, manner.
Beyond Pronto, hundreds of colleges and universities around the world reduce carbon emissions by using Wimba for their distance education programs, often reducing the need for students to travel to campus. In addition, students and faculty are able to save valuable travel time and gas money. This has been seen at schools as varied as the University of Georgia (where by teaching 35 sessions online using Wimba it saved 2,328 gallons of gas and reduced carbon emissions by 5.7 tons in one semester), Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska (which launched an online program using Wimba Classroom to provide greater access to education for students who may not be able to afford today’s gas prices to travel to and from campus), and San Diego State University (where Psychology professor Mark Laumakis estimates that students in his Psych 101 course save in total $234 per class in gas costs by using Wimba for online learning).
And if you’re ever near the eastern border of Oregon and Washington like I was last week while on vacation, be sure to take a gander at the hundreds of windmills that line the mesa along the Columbia River...seeing so many windmills rising out of the rolling hills is quite a sight! Enjoy new Wimba Pronto!