Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exploring Yahoo Messenger and Skype

In week 2 of BaW10 we are exploring synchronous voice and text tools. In the last two days we have conducted text and voice chats with participants in Skype and Yahoo Messenger. We have also run some mini conferences with some participants. The feedback has been really positive and people who joined us were delighted at the possibility of exchanging ideas with colleagues in different parts of the world.
We would like to know if you have used these tools and if you could share your experience/impressions with them with the group.

Jose Antonio and Larissa
Moderators of Week 2


  1. I used Yahoo Messenger a couple of years ago to connect my students with those of an American school. The experience was positive, but the main problem was that both schools didn't have a broadband connection, so most students became frustrated and nervous. Has anyone else experienced this problem? How did you solve it?

  2. Hi everyone

    I couldn't join the session, just did it at the beginning. I missed the voice and other tools - technology can fail. Thanks a lot for Daf, Jose and Teresa - for posting all stuff to the wiki. Larissa

  3. Hi guys,
    I am with Larissa. I have used YM many times. Yesterday I had a very good experience with Valentina from Russia - we talked for quite some time using voice. I don't know why I simply could not hear anybody during the conference with Michael. I double checked everything possible - everything was OK but no sound when I was in the conference room. After the conference Valentina called me again and we could talk without any problem. I'll try some mini conferences later. Larissa is so right - Technology is wonderful but it can fail.
    Hope to be together next time.

  4. The experience of attending a lecture online and having so many people participating was incredible. I can’t describe the feeling of achievement when I could work with the slides on one side and the conference box in the other side, accompanying everything that was happening. The talk itself was very interesting, I could see that we can take advantage of some tools in a way we can give the chance for students to have another chance of practicing online, by talking and not only typing. I didn’t use YM before, only MSN, that has some similarities, but only for social interaction with my students. Now I can see that there are many other things we can do with it… I’m also happy to see we can use Twitter for teaching too (I have it but I don’t know how I can use it with students yet). I hope I can put some of these suggestions into practice now with my students (classes in Brazil start next month). I am looking forward to it. Thanks Michael and all Webheads in charge of this valuable contribution.

    About Jose's question, I have used MSN with students but now i realized YM seems better. I used it only for social interaction with students online, always one to one. The difficulty I had was in terms of keeping students focused on "speaking" English.

    Atillio, I faced this problem and it was kind of demotivating for everybody. In our school we dont have a good internet connection. At the moment I couldn't think of a solution... Sometimes we have to change plans when the school doesn't have the necessary equipment and physical struture. Now I think I would have to work from home, probably, set up a time with students to have this kind of interaction, maybe.

    Thanks again to everybody and cya around!

  5. Gilmar and all BaWers, hi

    I also tried amini-conference with Chou today - and it was good. He could invite me and I could invite him. We both heard each other. The problem might be I logged off even I heard all the voices for the second time, but I didn't see any interaction in chat.

  6. I have tried several micro conferences through the YM. I described them in my letters to the YG.
    Each time I felt a bit more confident. Now tomorrow I’d like to try a Skype micro conference. I am eager to compare these two voice platforms. Of course, I know that the number of members is different.
    Smaller groups are easier to moderate. In my case, our university groups are not large, so I don’t need larger groups.
    But as a teacher delivering lectures on my online experience to other teachers of my republic I should learn how to moderate larger groups. Though I must say there will be technical problems of slower Internet connection.

  7. Valentina, hi

    What you are doing during BaW now - it is really amazing. You are doing a lot. Thank you. And please stay in touch concerning your experience with different platforms - Larissa

  8. I love to read the comments of those using YM for an academic conference for the first time. I still use YM for group work with my students and they love it. They can do it from home or from the computer lab.

    I am also using Skype for consulting hours with my graduate and undergraduate students, both individually and in groups.

    It is great to see all the interaction taking place in YM and Skype in this BaW session!!!!!!!



  9. Hi BaWers!

    I didn't know how good YM and Skype are. We had a mini conference: Sheila, Arja, Jose and I. it was excellent. It's as Jose says the feedback was really positive and all of us were delighted while talking about our own experience using technology. We exchanged ideas and shared some tips about how we can put in practice these tools in class. It was really awesome. Thanks Jose!Now I keep talking every single day with collegues in different parts of the world.



  10. Yahoo Messenger is such a nice tool. I have been using it lately and I have really enjoyed chatting with English teachers around the world. We can use it to share our experience as language teachers.

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