Some research that I have read on synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) mainly states that it gives the silent students a voice and enables those quieter students to participate more than they normally would. However, this video demonstrates how sometimes chat might actually cause us to be more timid in our communication–perhaps because we’re not able to take into consideration body language and facial expressions. At any rate, I thought that this little video is fun and it makes me wonder how much we do hold back when chatting? What do you all think?
I think that one interesting way to incorporate reading and writing into video chats would be to have a shared reading, perhaps a news article related to a current hot topic to be read first. If reading controversial news stories could be assigned before the chat, students would have to recall their reading and talk about the text, which we know helps aid in reading comprehension. Students could also have the reading in front of them and they could reference while chatting. Of course, the reading material would have to be carefully selected to ensure that it was interesting and could prompt a good deal of discussion. I also think that using video chat as a way to form a sort of book club could be a great use. Maybe prior to chatting, sections of an assigned book could be read and students could be asked to write reflections on those assignments, then they could use asynchronous CMC to share reflections with one another. They would already have some indication on how their chat partners were responding to the text before interacting in real time. I think that activities like these could really focus the learning and help ensure that students remain on task.