Question: Our school district has instant messaging blocked, but we have several teachers who want to participate in a collaborative project with educators in another state who use instant messaging frequently. Is there a way they can use instant messaging when it is blocked by our district?
The IT Guy says:
Possibly. Meebo is a website that allows users to log in to their instant messaging accounts through a web browser.
Of course if this works for teachers in your district, it will work for students too. But this is not all a bad thing! There are very constructive, educational applications for instant messaging that most schools have not even begun to explore. Rather than block the vast majority of usable Internet ports and lock down users to basically just using Microsoft Office products, technology departments need to be empowering users to creatively and constructively use educational technology tools to enhance teaching and learning. Instant messaging and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) applications can be used in these ways!
For more on this topic, see my article “Skype in the Classroom.”
Next Tip: Collaborating on student projects