Showing posts with label Tiny chat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tiny chat. Show all posts

Monday, February 22, 2010

Neat Chat - Quickly Create an Ad-free Chatroom

Neat Chat is a free chatroom service that could be a very good alternative to Chatzy and Tiny Chat. Neat Chat allows anyone to create a chatroom in seconds. To create a Neat Chat chatroom simply enter a nickname on the Neat Chat homepage, click "start group," and your room is created. Your chatroom is assigned its own unique url. You can invite people to your chatroom via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Applications for Education
Neat Chat is an ad-free chatroom service that you could use for hosting backchannel discussions in your classroom. You could also use Neat Chat to offer "online office hours" to your students.

I've previously written about using backchannel discussions in my classroom during the viewing of a movie as well as during a note-taking exercise. You can read those posts here and here. In short, I've found that hosting backchannel chats enables me to give more attention to each student's individual questions.

You may also be interested in reading Five Platforms for Classroom Back-channel Chat.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Try TodaysMeet for Back-channel Chat Without Distraction

TodaysMeet is a free chat service that can be used for holding a back-channel discussion with students and colleagues. If you're not sure what a back-channel chat with students would look like, I encourage you to read Silvia Tolisano's post about using back-channels with elementary school students. Silvia's blog is where I first learned about TodaysMeet.

TodaysMeet is completely free to use. Setting up a chat area in TodaysMeet is very simple. To set up your chat area just select a name for your room (that name becomes the url for your chat area), how long you want your room to exist, and select an optional Twitter hashtag for your chat area. To invite people to your chat area send them the url.

What makes TodaysMeet different from services like Tiny Chat is that TodaysMeet doesn't have a public gallery of chat rooms containing questionable content. TodaysMeet also doesn't place inappropriate advertising on your chat area.

Applications for Education
I had been thinking about about trying back-channel chat in my classroom since the summer, but after reading Silvia's post and after my school's wireless network finally started handling the traffic load I've recently started experimenting with the use of back-channel chats with my 11th and 12th grade students. What I've done is post my slideshows (which are basically lecture outlines) on the classroom blog two days (we only meet every other day) prior to discussing that content in class. Then in class we discuss the content of the slideshows and I add "spice" to the slideshow content. While this discussion is going on, my students write questions and comments as they pop into their heads. So far this has enabled more students to ask more questions and share more comments than if they all had to raise their hands and wait to be called on. I've done this in limited doses so far, but I'm confident that this does increase my students' engagement during class discussion.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tiny Chat Launches Tiny Chat TV

As was first reported by Read Write Web, Tiny Chat has launched a new service called Tiny Chat TV. Tiny Chat TV is designed to be a competitor to U-Stream. Tiny Chat TV allows you to create your own channel for streaming video to the web. I signed up for the service and created my channel in a matter of minutes. While broadcasting viewers of the video can chat (anonymously or as registered users) in the text box directly under the video.

Applications for Education
Tiny Chat TV could be useful for broadcasting professional development workshops to world. Tiny Chat itself can be useful for creating back channel sessions during a presentation or workshop. The combination of broadcasting and back-channeling can bring in even more viewpoints and comments.