Focus on Video Chats or Online Chats . . . I'm On It!
This is a post in a series of posts that are being written as a result of our district Bright Bytes survey from Clarity. After viewing the results, it is helpful to know that there are areas our high school can focus on and emphasize.
One area we can focus on is Video Chats or Online Chats
Let's dive right in and take a look at several great resources for teachers and students.
This is an online backchannel platform that would work very well in a classroom to promote conversations. It is very simple to open a room and share it with others. There is the ability to archive the chat when you are finished. Today's Meet can be used in so many different ways. Check out this post on 20 Useful Ways to use Today's Meet.
If you are looking for a place to have a private group that can have conversations, share materials, and collaborate, Google Groups is a fantastic option. The creator of the group can set many privacy and posting settings. The students simply get an invite to join the group. It is important to note that in our district a teacher must be in the school's domain, not the public domain, to use Google Groups.
Are you looking to have a video chat with an author, community member or professional in your classroom? My first recommendation would be Google Hangouts. All you need is a Google Account. If your district is using Gmail, you are able to open Google Hangouts with the video icon in the bottom right corner. The other option is to go to hangouts.google.com
Click here for a fantastic visual tutorial on how to use Google Hangouts.
Check out how this educator had her students showcase the online tools that they use and prefer through a Google Hangout on Air (a recorded hangout) - I love that these students talk honestly and openly about using technology in their education.
Here is a list of other ways to use video conferencing with your students:
*connect with other classrooms
*conduct expert interviews
*catch up students outside of the classroom
*use it for tutoring
*explore a career
*hold a parent - teacher conference
*take students on a virtual field trip
What I like about Chatzy is that it looks and feels like a chat room.
To create and share a private chat room, simply click on "Start Quick Chat" and fill in the information. Put your own email address in for an email. Then click on "Create my chat".
To share the chat room with your students, simply share the URL of the chat room. Students will then sign in with their name and choose a color to represent them. It's that easy.
Using an online chat or video chat is a great way to have students connect with others in their community as well as around the globe. Using chat rooms also pairs nicely with teaching students how to behave in an online chat room as well teaching them the dangers of participating in chat rooms outside of an educational setting.