Online Chats – Waterville Grand Hotel

November 7th, 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. November 8th, 2011 at 11:26 | #1

    I once used Skype to keep a student up-to-date with class lessons while he went on a college visit. He skyped in from the road, watched the lesson, asked questions, answered questions… it was GREAT!

  2. Bgreenstone
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:27 | #2

    I use chat every day in my work and I think I take it for granted sometimes. I count on it as a way to collaborate with my colleagues, even though we aren’t in the same room, or even in the same town.

  3. Lorraine Post
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:27 | #3

    So many free apps. Able to contact people from far away. Students beginning to show signs of being unable to talk face to face.

  4. Stew
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:27 | #4

    IMing someone at a forum site is a good way to dive deeper into a subject with another person without involving all forum members.

  5. Fwygant
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:27 | #5

    Chat for me is yet one more tool I use when I need to have a conversation that is best resolved in “real time” rather than the delay of email or phone tag. As a rule, chat is something I use infrequently.

  6. Lisa Pierpont
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:28 | #6

    I find this type of communication to be very useful and it seems that in this digital world so do the young adults and students.

  7. Fwygant
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:47 | #7

    At Waterville, we have used Titan Pad several times ( is an excellent tool to have a controlled environment. You can create a community and then anyone you give the URL (web address) to can join.nnCross town meetings, cross-class discussions, etc are great uses that I’ve been part of.

  8. Fwygant
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:02 | #8

    Classroom chats used to scare me a lot…..However, I’ve come to believe that we are doing much more harm by not using them than using them in controlled circumstances in within the classroom environment.nnIn a perfect world….I’d like to see internal or closed systems at lower grades and with that experience opening for high schoolers.

  9. Dwolotsky
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:30 | #9

    I love skype, text, and facetime. Use it all with kids. Not afraid.

  10. Dwolotsky
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:33 | #10

    Another site I am starting to use for this is

  11. Anonymous
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:36 | #11

    It seems that as Digital Immigrants, we( the adults) need to catch up to the Digital natives. We need to facilitate learning and this requires integrating technology into the ways the kids are already using technology which includes online chats.

    • Dwolotsky
      November 8th, 2011 at 12:39 | #12

      Can I come work for you?

  12. mjlearned
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:48 | #13

    Chats are something I use personally, a lot. Their use in classrooms I think are minimal due to fear. It’s one of those things where the focus of the lesson would have to change, the dynamic of the class shifted.nnOne thing in particular that I remember from some of the MLTI Regional Meetings and also the Maine Social Studies Council did a similar thing….is when there were multiple meetings with the same purpose, happening simultaneously. Backchats were open in the rooms and all sites had access to the chats. It was tremendous to see the conversation grow, the information shared between two or more sites! Imagine different LA classes, same grade level, focusing on the same topic or skill and collaborating in their classroom and/or the chat. Everyone can participate without raising their hand. :) How great.

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