Pearson Suite of MyLanguageLabs Expands Use of Wimba Collaboration Solutions for All Languages

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Strong Student and Teacher Response Makes Instant Collaboration Standard Practice for Foreign Language Education

Wimba® Inc., a leading provider of collaborative solutions, and Pearson, the global leader in education, technology and services, today announced that Pearson’s full suite of MyLanguageLabs™ -- which already include Wimba Voice™ -- is now enhanced by the instant collaboration capabilities of Wimba Pronto™. The wide use and popularity of Wimba Pronto within MyLanguageLabs among students and teachers is making instant collaboration a standard practice for online, face-to-face and/or hybrid language instruction.

Wimba Pronto, a collaboration platform designed to promote learning through informal instruction and meetings, enhances the overall learning experience by allowing students and instructors to instantly collaborate online from within the MyLanguageLabs suite of online homework and tutorial programs. MyLanguageLabs are currently available in MySpanishLab™, MyFrenchLab™, MyItalianLab™ and the newly created MyChineseLab™ (available summer 2010). Other language tracks such as German and Latin are still in development.

Dr. Lunden E. MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Spanish at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colo., credits MySpanishLab with improved student performance in her introduction to Spanish courses. “We are able to focus more on speaking and communicative practice,” said Professor MacDonald. “MySpanishLab has made for a noticeably higher level of communicative ability among my students.” MyLanguageLabs at Metropolitan State College in Denver is a recipient of a 2010 IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Learning Impact Leadership Award in recognition of improved student performance, instructor efficiency and cost savings.

Another Wimba product, Wimba Voice, has been a standard feature of MyLanguageLabs since 2007. Wimba Voice helps bring language learning to life by allowing instructors and students to record and play back oral practice. With the addition of Wimba Pronto in March 2009, students can easily connect with classmates, forming pairs or small groups, to practice and speak the language they are studying in real time. Additionally, faculty can hold virtual office hours, facilitate small group discussions and communicate with colleagues. Wimba Pronto also provides instructors with a way to hold students accountable for oral practice, which increases utilization, once again improving overall results.

“The inclusion of Wimba Voice, and now Wimba Pronto, in our suite of MyLanguageLabs has been enthusiastically embraced by students and instructors alike,” said Bob Hemmer, Executive Editor for MyLanguageLabs at Pearson. “Students love the immediacy of accessing instructors and other students, while instructors appreciate the flexibility it offers them in providing office hours and real-time feedback – underscoring the role of both informal and formal collaboration in the learning process.”    

“Learning is greatly enriched when individuals are able to work together and collaborate around ideas and experiences, or in this case, around the acquisition of new language skills,” said Carol Vallone, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Wimba. “We are so pleased Pearson has built on the successful integration of Wimba Voice with the inclusion of Wimba Pronto in MyLanguageLabs.”

About MyLanguageLabs™
The award-winning MyLanguageLabs™ are a widely adopted, nationally hosted, online learning system designed specifically for students in college-level language courses. Available now for Spanish, French and Italian, the technology will be available for Chinese this summer and for Latin, German, and Russian in the future. MyLanguageLabs brings together—in one convenient, easily navigable site—a wide array of language-learning tools and resources, including an interactive version of the Student Activities Manual and the student text, and all materials from the audio and video programs. Readiness checks, practice tests, and tutorials personalize instruction to meet the unique needs of individual students. Instructors can use the system to make assignments, set grading parameters, provide feedback on student work, add new content, access instructor resources, and hold online office hours. Instructor access is provided at no charge. Students can purchase access codes online or at their local bookstore. For more information, including case studies that illustrate how MyLanguageLabs™ save time and improve results, visit http://www.mylanguagelabs.com.

About Pearson
Pearson has global-reach and market leading businesses in education, business information, and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).

About Wimba®
Wimba® is a leading provider of collaborative solutions used by thousands of educators around the world to engage students, support business needs and save time and money. The Wimba Collaboration Suite -- awarded the 2009 “Best Education Solution” and 2010 “Best Collaboration Solution” CODiE awards by SIIA, offers students, teachers and administrators an engaging and comprehensive collaboration environment for instruction, meetings and help. By combining academic features, ease of use and interactive technologies, the Wimba solution goes well beyond web conferencing and sets a new standard for collaboration. http://www.wimba.com

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Kathleen Matthews
Wimba Inc.
+1.646.861.5193
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Susan Aspey
Pearson
+1.800.745.8489
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