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The Online Trainer Site: Using Chats for Online Training

About This Classroom Special  
The Online Trainer Site
is designed to be used by a staff member or group of staff members who are responsible for training others and want to do some or all of it online.
The Online Trainer Site is maintained by Buzz Eyler, Director of Educational Technology at the Orcutt School District (CA) and a Teachers Network web mentor.  E-mail Buzz.

Using Chats for Online Training

Chatting on the Internet has been one of those things many educators have not embraced. There are a number of reasons, but the most important are because of the lack of privacy and potential for anonymous messages. However, there is a program available for free called ICQ (standing for I Seek You) which addresses both of these concerns. I have no financial interest in this program or company, but think it is something you should explore and consider using in your on-line delivery of information.

Chats defined
When two or more people Chat on the Internet, they are carrying on a real-time conversation via typing on the computer keyboard. Your keystrokes show up immediately at the other end as does your chat partner's. Often, chats are carried out in "On-line Chatrooms" which has lead to the abuse. With ICQ, you must establish an agreement between both people before conversations can begin and others can not see your messages.

Using ICQ Chats with you students
Before using ICQ, you and each of your students must download from the www.ICQ.com site a copy of the program appropriate to their platform. This download and install procedure are straightforward and instructions reside at the ICQ site.

After downloading and configuring, each of you must establish an account with ICQ. You are given a unique number and account based upon you e-mail address. Also, you can tell ICQ you must authorize all people attempting to contact the first time before any message is transmitted.

When this is all complete, ICQ starts automatically and sits in the background whenever you are on-line. A request to chat brings it to the front and you can either accept or decline. Also, messages similar to e-mail, can be sent and will be read by the receiver when he/she logs into the Internet. Click here to see how my ICQ program screen looks.

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