As an aspiring online English teacher, I believe that the uses for chat as an educational tool are limitless. I thoroughly enjoyed using Elluminate and I believe that it would greatly enhance any online learning experience.
Elluminate would be an effective tool for lecture or discussion. It was easy to use, had an intuitive set up, and had a variety of features that allowed for an enhanced learning environment. As a lecture tool, it contains features like the chalkboard, where the teacher can draw and make notes for the class to see. I also liked the screen capture tool as it allows the teacher to easily and quickly bring in examples of what they are discussing. Additionally, the web tour tool could be useful when the teacher needs to take the students on a “tour” of a variety of places. The only drawback that I experienced with this tool was that it seemed cumbersome and caused my chat session to freeze. In the future, I would like to use video chat as a method for students to be able to actively participate in a classroom discussion. It would be a nice change from discussion boards.
As a student, this chat tool is effective and with the exception of the extremely distracting feedback that I heard, it was easy and enjoyable to use. I believe the feedback problem would be solved if all chat members were waring headphones, although I realize that this might not always be possible. I would like to use this tool for the next group project that I am a part of for my other classes, as I think that it would greatly enhance the effectiveness of our communication and help everyone to be able to be more equally involved.
Overall, I think that Elluminate is a highly effective tool for online teaching and learning. I can’t wait to have to the opportunity to implement it in my own learning environment someday.