Online Chats – Bowdoin

November 15th, 2011

Online chats are person-to-person (or groups of people) synchronous communications that take place over the internet. These conversations may be conducted with text, audio, or video and there are many software and web-based tools for this. Some terms used to refer to this chats include computer-mediated communication (CMC), internet relay chat (IRC), or instant messaging (IM). When a microphone and/or camera is used, these chats may be referred to as audio or video conferencing.  Typically a participant in a chat is identified by a screen name, and the entries in the dialogue are date and time stamped. Many chat tools allow transcripts of text chats to be archived and audio and video chats to be recorded. Multiple user chats are often used as backchannels in meetings, conferences, and classrooms to allow participants to comment on the proceedings in real time.


  1. Anonymous
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:08 | #1

    I have used GoogleDoc chats. Students need a few moments at the beginning to “get the silliness out.” But students will focus when needed. Kids chat about their shared documents. It create a good feedback loop as well.nnAs adults, we unobtrusively chat about “meaningful” info when we are in meetings or in separate rooms. In our gmail chat — we get an email about our chat after we have closed out.

  2. Crosby
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:08 | #2

    Maya Crosby from Lincoln Academy. We’ve used Google Documents chat and the comment stream. For our Google Apps domain, we have chat turned on for faculty but not for students. However, we may turn it on for students soon for a variety of reasons. Students use netbooks and Skype is part of the software suite that we provide. Faculty frequently use Google Chat for quick questions and chatting of all kinds. :)

  3. Crosby
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:10 | #3

    Also…love the focused chatting of TodaysMeet and Chatzy!

  4. Daviss
    November 15th, 2011 at 12:47 | #4

    It does make me a bit nervous to introduce chatting as an option in a middle school class. However, I think the kids are savvy enough to be subtly chatting in some other forum even when we haven’t assigned a topic. So it’s appealing to think of giving them an invitiation to chat about a topic you’ve assigned.

  5. Edup
    November 15th, 2011 at 13:36 | #5

    I like the idea of chatting and teaching the students how to do this properly! We know that they are growing up to be the most technical based yet, they need to be taught responsibility with this. Chatting with them is more language based and teaching them how to “speak” in this manner is a great tool!

  6. Edup
    November 15th, 2011 at 13:36 | #6

    Though is does make me nervous……

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