Google
 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Ways to Watch Videos & Discuss Them in Real-time Online

YouTube can be a good place to find educational videos to support your lessons. We've all had students who struggle to hold their comments until the video has stopped. One strategy that many teachers have used in those cases is to tell students to "write it down." The web makes it possible to take that strategy a step further and have students not only "write it down" but also enable teachers to instantly respond to students' comments while watching a video. Here are three tools that enable users to watch videos online and discuss them with others at the same time.

Synchtube is a free service for watching videos and chatting about them at the same time. Here's how it works; find the url of your favorite YouTube, Vimeo, or Blip.tv video, copy that url into Synchtube, and begin chatting with your friends while the video is playing. You can comment on the video and share thoughts inspired by the video while you're watching it.

Watch2gether is a neat site through which you can watch YouTube videos and host text chats about them at the same time. It is really quite easy to use Watch2gether. To get started enter a nickname for yourself (it could be your real first name) then search for a video or enter the url of a video that you have previously bookmarked. When you have found the video you want a chat column will be present on the right side of your browser. You can invite others to chat with you by sending them the url assigned to your chat. Together you can watch a video and discuss it.

Google+ Hangouts provide the option to watch YouTube videos with a small group. Now that Google+ is open to anyone over 13, this could be a good option for high school use.