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    Collaba: Multimedia chat

    Why use chat in education?
    In a controlled, educationally focused environment, students can chat with invited guests who have been chosen by the teacher for their specialist knowledge. Students can plan what they want to ask of the guest and, because chat is more immediate than email, they can practice the skill of asking follow-up questions in this live online environment.

    Used in this way, chat can improve students’ thinking skills and literacy skills, and help develop critical literacy.

    Real-time chat service

    Collaba features a real-time chat service. There are three types of chat rooms:

    • Invitation-only private chat rooms (to discuss privately between two or more participants)
    • Group chat rooms (visible only to members of a specific group)
    • Public chat rooms (enter anytime)

    Chat invitations can be sent to any on-line user (Collaba includes a Who is online? module for that purpose). Invitations are received by invited participants either in real-time (if real-time connection is turned on) or the next time a page is requested from the portal.

    In addition to the typical text chat, users can share web resources (pages, images, videos, animations, etc.) among chat participants thanks to a multimedia panel.

    Access to chat rooms can be restricted, either permanently or dynamically by date and/or time of the day. Discussions in public chat rooms can be logged for auditing, while private discussions remain private.

    Technical details
    Collaba's chat module is AJAX-based and uses Comet-style live connections. Consequently, it works perfectly well through web proxies and firewalls, and does not require Java or Flash.