Blackboard Instant Messenger (formerly known as Pronto) is a free instant messaging and voice chat tool that allows students and instructors to spontaneously meet live, online at any time to discuss their coursework. Blackboard Instant Messenger works with Blackboard Learn to automatically populate students' contact lists with their classmates' names, thereby making it easy for students, faculty and teaching staff to spontaneously collaborate live online. Blackboard Instant Messenger can also be used as a regular modern Instant Messenger, outside of Blackboard on Windows and Mac systems.
While Blackboard Instant Messenger offers many similar features as other instant messaging tools such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, AIM and Jabber, Blackboard Instant Messenger is unique to education because it integrates seamlessly with Blackboard Learn, thereby automatically populating each student's contact list each semester with the names of every student in their classes (and Blackboard Learn committee/group sites). When one logins to Blackboard Instant Messenger, one instantly sees who's online from their classes and other Blackboard Learn sites (without even logging into Blackboard Learn).
Using Blackboard Instant Messenger allows students and instructors to spontaneously meet live online at any time to discuss their coursework without having to exchange usernames...Blackboard Learn does it for you! Use this free Blackboard Learn feature for office hours (or in tandem with), before an exam so students can ask last-minute questions, or allow students in the same course to communicate anytime, anywhere on a project.
Where can I find Blackboard Instant Messenger so I can use it?
Log in to a Blackboard Learn site, select Tools (or Student Tools) from the Blackboard Learn course menu (on the left) and scroll down to select Blackboard IM. This will prompt you to download the Blackboard instant messenger software -- a quick and simple installation. Once Blackboard Instant Messenger is installed, simply login using your Blackboard IM username and password and you can be available anytime and anywhere!
Blackboard Instant Messenger works just like any instant messaging tool.
Individuals can only see the content that the two or more people are exchanging; no one else can see or hear or Blackboard IM chat conversation. That is, Blackboard Instant Messenger lets you easily set up a group chat by inviting others (select Invite Group Chat from the Actions pull-down menu) and you can save archives of the text-chat to review later or to share it with the test of the class.
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 (EdG)