I'm a big proponent of using voice technology to foster language learning. Much more effective, in this multi modal format than the quiet self reflective reading/memorizing. Also a great way for students to connect.

In this vein, I've set up a full functional voice / chat room. State of the art voice and camera interaction and fully secure. I'm seeking to bring together both teachers and students who are native English speakers, with ELL (English Language learners ) from around the world. For real time connecting and cultural/language exchange.

This is a kind of experiment but I believe the technology is now making this possible. Please check out the room here or directly at EFL Classroom 2.0 . For the next month, it will be completely open to everyone but thereafter, only by secure log in through the site....In any event still fully secure - only those you want will see/hear you and there are fully secure private rooms for groups. Also, you may register with a short form or log in as a guest (no file sharing/download!).

I'd like your feedback as educators as to its functionality/appeal/use and also please feel free to use it. Any educators/teachers who feel they could use it on a regular basis are free to just let us know and fill in the schedule (though this isn't completely mandatory.).

I'll be holding my own scheduled chat/discussion on a weekly theme every Wed. 9 am EST / 1pm GMT There is a schedule on EFL Classroom 2.0.

The Room has fully functioning file upload and sharing. Also totally secure, only those you wish can see or hear you. Private rooms for groups/ either voice only or with camera/voice.

Please let me know what you think. Oh yeah, also no ads!!!!!

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com

Tags: chat, conferencing, efl, esl, language, video

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David:

I'm very interested in how this goes for you. Can't wait to hear more.

Steve
Steve,

Of course I'll keep you updated. Glad you got the Elluminate room going and I've been meaning to drop in, just that time zones and professional commitments keep getting in the way!

This will take some promoting and I'll be starting next week to promote it across networks.You need a sufficient number of users to make it viable. Also, there is considerable "resistance" and a barrier still , regarding the use of a microphone and audio. This will decrease as most computer manufacturers catch on and start embedding the mic into the hardware (so it isn't just an "add on"). This will happen and the voice capture / mic technology is there already for this....The hardware guys just haven't caught up , nor the marketeers.

But I can't wait for the day when it is standard on all computers, camera and microphone!

Cheers,

David


Hi David,

I highly recommend you take a look at WiZiQ's free Virtual classroom. I've posted this information on my page on classroom 2.0 but thought you may not have seen it. It's perfect VC technology for what you've discussed in your post for a real video and audio connection.

Link to March 17 Demo Replay.
http://www.wiziq.com/Replay_Session.aspx?key=t&id=73125


WiZiQ is an online teaching platform, which provides a free virtual classroom environment for teachers to interact online and teach students in real time. Teachers can also build a profile, keep an availability schedule, and maintain a content library, which is associated with their profiles, by uploading PowerPoint presentations and PDF Files.

Works in Flash format and needs no downloads 2-way live audio/video delivery Whiteboard with Math tools
Synchronous Content sharing such as PowerPoint (retains animations and transitions), PDF, Flash, MS Word, MS Excel files and videos
Records all sessions to be played back in Flash format (needs no downloads)
Share PowerPoint presentations asynchronously even with narrated audio in slides

WiZiQ's Blog http://wiziq.typepad.com/

Feedback from Nellie, English Teacher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7sJ-RsWMI4


http://wiziq.typepad.com/wiziqcom/2007/12/collaborating-o.html

Wiziq YouTube Presentations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yty0cPzlcU

Free Online Virtual Classroom

WiZiQ's free Virtual Classroom is an online internet mediated classroom where the teacher and the students are connected to share a common workspace. In this online session, they make use of audio-video conferencing, text chat, whiteboard, and content sharing capabilities. There are no costs for using the virtual classroom. The sessions are recorded and are available online on WiZiQ, which can be accessed for later review or reference.

Attendees can join a session with privileges to converse verbally with others; draw and write on whiteboard; and share Presentations, PDFs, Flash and Images. The teacher may withdraw or re-assign these privileges to the attendees. A Teacher can withdraw privileges from the attendee in terms that the attendee can not converse, or upload anything to share on whiteboard; in this case, the attendee is a spectator. An attendee can also request for rights, in which case, the teacher can click on the attendee’s name to transfer control.



Features for Teachers


Offers a complete online teaching management system to its registered teachers without installing any software.
Teachers get their own virtual classroom at no costs.
Provides the ability to schedule a session online through a calendar at teachers’ convenience.
Teachers can interact with students through an online whiteboard to share text or documents, and through a two-way audio and text chat.
Teachers can build their profile.
Provides the ability to conduct one-on-one or group sessions online.
Payments from learners can be accepted.
Teachers can maintain a learners’ corner.



Features for Students


Students can find teachers
Learn from home, live through the Internet through an easy-to-use and interactive browser based interface, without installing anything.
Access tutorials shared by subject matter experts

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Mark,

I'm on a professional development retreat......but will comment shortly. Sounds great and thanks. I'm really interested in finding great solutions for communication and especially within the very audio "heavy" area of English as a foreign language.

David
http://eflclassroom.ning.com

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