Company Extends Free Offering of its Communication Platform to Full Institutions to Keep Students Connected and Engaged During COVID-19
LEHI, Utah, March 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pronto, a leading engagement platform that instantly connects schools and businesses via chat and video messaging, announced today that--in order to keep up with demand--it is extending the free offering of its synchronous communication platform now to full institutions who are dealing with challenges of maintaining teaching schedules and face-to-face interactions in new, virtual classroom settings.
“We’re thrilled that we can help impact the higher education industry in such a positive way during the new challenges COVID-19 presents, and look forward to continuing to affect the ways students and professors interact regardless of location,” said Shane Bills, co-founder of Pronto. “Online education is proven to be a greater challenge in keeping students engaged, and we know that engagement and completion rates for online education are typically much lower, and Pronto is proven to help students stay connected and informed.”
Since offering its service for free, Pronto has onboarded more than 500,000 new students in the past week, received positive feedback and heard countless examples of how it has enabled professors to stay in close communication with students while they can’t meet in person.
A few weeks ago, as universities across the country were considering whether or not to close campuses, the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) reached out to set up a product demo. After a 3:00 pm demo, the IT team requested permission internally and by 5:00 pm the same day, Pronto was set up and implemented campus-wide for the school’s more than 25,000 students.
Similarly, Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, heard about Pronto’s free offering and visited its website for a demo. Within 55 minutes of reaching out to Pronto via the website and seeing the demo, the University (which has more than 11,000 students), had full access to Pronto, and professors campus-wide were using it to communicate with students.
Kona Jones, the Director of Online Learning at Richland Community College and a prominent voice in the edtech community has used Pronto over the past year and commented on Pronto's ability to keep students engaged, calling Pronto "a favorite and must-have for teaching online."
An adjunct professor at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, expressed how much he loves the design of Pronto and its ease of use, especially as a professor who only teaches the equivalent of part-time. “Teachers need something like this where they can do everything from their phone,” he said.
On Friday, March 27 at 12:30 pm EST, Pronto and Canvas are hosting a free webinar entitled, Keeping Students Connected at a Distance. The webinar will teach how interaction at a distance can be supported and promoted without a ton of pre-planning and how tools like Pronto work with Canvas to make distance learning more effective and easier for all involved. Click HERE to participate for free.
As universities across the country are still searching for proven strategies to teach effectively during social distancing, Pronto will continue providing its platform for free. Professors and schools wanting access to Pronto for free can visit https://pronto.io/coronavirus/.
Pronto is a communication hub for the everyday user. No fancy syntax or confusing hashtags, just seamless communication so everyone can learn faster and work smarter. With auto-translation, group messaging and file-sharing capabilities, Pronto makes having your voice heard and understood easier than ever. For more information visit https://pronto.io.
WE Codeword for Pronto
Notes to Editors:
Get Pronto for free: https://pronto.io/coronavirus/
University of Mississippi: https://olemiss.edu
Southern Utah University: https://www.suu.edu
Richmond Community College: http://www.richland.edu
Flagler College: https://www.flagler.edu
Free Pronto and Canvas Webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qzdMjQAN6Q