I was just asked by a colleague to suggest some tools for online discussions and/or live chats. She, like me, is beginning to explore hybrid learning and looking for tools to support out-of-class interactions.
Here’s the list I put together. Please share your suggestions/opinions/reviews in the comments.
Moodle (LMS) based tools:
- Moodle Chat: http://www.oit.umn.edu/faculty-programs/moodle/chat/index.htm
- Moodle Discussion Forums: http://www.oit.umn.edu/moodle/instructor-guides/forum/index.htm
Google Apps based tools:
- Google Communities (http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/communities/): builds on the Google+ framework; could be great way of hosting conversations and sharing media, links, etc.
- Google Groups (https://groups.google.com/): more like a traditional listserv, but with an added online forum
- Google Hangouts (http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/): video chat, limited to 9 connections; very easy to use.
- Google Chat/Talk: you can use the built in google chat function with as many people as you want at a time. The only problem is having to connect everyone (or have them connect to you). You can create badge for your website for virtual office hours: see http://www.google.com/talk/service/badge/New
- Google Moderator (https://www.google.com/moderator): interesting tool to post questions and let students “vote up” the best responses or ideas
Other/3rd Party Tools
- TodaysMeet (http://todaysmeet.com/): A free 3rd party tool; you can embed simple chat into a website with automatic expiration dates; great for feedback and easy to use.
- Tricider (https://tricider.com): Similar to Google Moderator; collect ideas vote for the best ones
- PollEverywhere (http://www.polleverywhere.com/): a tool for “polling” an audience; they can respond via website or text message.
- VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com/): asynchronous group chat around media artifacts and presentations, some very interesting applications
- Mural.ly (http://beta.mural.ly/): white board and chat space for brainstorming and project design