Yaplet could be a helpful tool for online “chat.” There are several web applications that allow you to easily create online chat rooms that work great for real-time collaboration. You can find links to them on my Teacher’s Page at Collaboration Sites- Real Time.
What’s unique about Yaplet, though, is that it allows you to convert any website on the Net into a chatroom. All you do is type in the web address and then on your screen you see the website and on its right a chatroom.
A tool like this might be ideal, for example, to use in the Sister Classes project I’m working on with teachers from around the world. Let’s say students in my class have created a slideshow presentation (using an application that doesn’t have the ability to “chat” built into it) sharing examples of how people make social change in the United States. They and students from our other sister classes can synchronize it so they’re watching the slideshow at the same time and asking and answering questions back and forth.