If you surveyed your class on how they use technology in their free time, most likely one of the most common tools would be chatting online. So how could a tool they are comfortable using help us in the classroom? Here are a few problems Gabbly (chatting) can strengthen classroom content knowledge.
- Discussion over online resources – by adding gabbly.com/ before the http://… of almost any web address, you can chat with any others who do the same to the same address at the same time as you. If you would like students to chat about the content of a web site you can have them “meet” at a web address to chat about the content for better understanding of what they have read
- Writing a Play Script – Younger students don’t always understand that a play script is formatted differently than short story writing. They are very familiar with the format of a chat session however. Students understand that when someone new is talking their name pops up first. To get the kids writing, you can have them script a play by reacting to each others ideas via a chat session.
- Collaborating with Google Docs – Google Docs are a great collaboration tool, but sometimes it isn’t as seamless as one would hope while using the document or presentation creators. If multiple students are editing one document in the same exact spot, they can be editing over top of each other. To help avoid this they can use Gabbly while they work simultaneously on one document from different computers. They can let each other know what part they will be fixing or alert a main editor about what needs to be fixed. (Warning: when using Gabbly with Google Docs you need to use a Firefox browser. Internet Explorer does not allow Gabbly and Google Docs to work together)
- Peer Editing – Students can assist classmates with web site corrections, blog editing, or wiki building by meeting at their sites at a specific time.
- Office Hours Online – Gabbly can also be embedded into a blog, website, or wiki. You can setup a time for your students to stop by your class web resource to ask questions or have a discussion about the current curriculum.
Positives: Its free and you don’t have to create an account to participate and use the product.
Negatives: It includes annoying ads that are for a dating service. They aren’t inappropriate, but our students aren’t the perfect audience for the ads.