Instant Messaging (IM) tools can be useful for maintaining simultaneous communication between two or more users. Most communication occurring over IM tools is text-based, enhanced with emoticons, fonts, and colors. Many IM tools now offer options for conferencing verbally with Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology. Files can often be shared during IM conversations as well.
What can I do with it?
- Hold office hours using IM tools
- Communicate with students even if you are out of the office
- Ask students to use IM to collaborate on group projects or to conduct study groups
Meebo is an instant messaging tool that opens up a channel of communication between instructors and students. Meebo is particularly useful because it allows users to have centralized access to all their instant messaging accounts (e.g., Facebook, Google, Yahoo).
In the Meebo chat widget on the right, enter a message and we will reply (as long as we are logged in to Meebo on the other end). This Meebo chat widget could be embedded in your D2L course or curricular website to provide for virtual office hours.
Where is it? http://www.meebo.com
Tiny Chat is a video conferencing tool that can open up a communication channel between instructors and students. With no login or registration, Tiny Chat allows a user to create a public or private chat room that is designated under a unique URL. This URL can be shared with email, Facebook, or Twitter and acts as an invitation inviting guests to join the chat. Tiny Chat also enables file sharing along with the use of a microphone and webcam for up to 200 users.
Where is it? http://tinychat.com/
For A Demo of Tiny Chat