Ana Maria Menezes, an exceptional EFL teacher in Brazil, and I are discussing having our two high school Intermediate English classes do some joint projects this coming semester. With all the Web 2.0 tools out there, we will have plenty of options for a class in California to explore working collaboratively with one in Brazil. Since my class will be one on Government, I think it would be a neat opportunity for them to learn about how another country’s government works, too, and how people work for grassroots social change there as well.
In light of this potential upcoming project, I’ve been thinking about ways our two classes can easily communicate with one another — without getting any extra equipment.
I’ve learned about a site called MeBeam that might work out really well. It allows you to have up to eighteen people on the same video conference call, and it’s all browser-based. But you can participate in the call if you only have a microphone, too, so a Webcam is not necessary.
It’s free and doesn’t require any pre-planning with the site. All you do is go to the site and give your “virtual” room a unique name. Then others can log-on, too.
It almost seems too good to be true, which makes me a little suspicious. But with all the incredible web applications that have been coming out lately, what do I know?
(Oops, I just realized I forgot to mention that I learned about MeBeam from the MakeUseof blog)
(Pierre Renaud makes an important comment about making sure students don’t click on the “Random Room” link on this site. That could definitely lead to inappropriate content. By the way, Pierre has an excellent collection of ESL links here.)