Chatroulette is a website which pairs random strangers for webcam based conversations. Visitors to the website randomly begin an online stranger chat (video and text) with another visitor. At any point, either user may leave the current chat and initiate another random connection...Call me crazy, but I'm beginning to think that a clean, legitimate, educationally focused version of Chatroulette might just serve as a viable tool for teacher professional development. Consider these conditions:
The site was launched in November 2009 by Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17-year-old high school student in Moscow, and gained popularity in February 2010 after being featured on “Good Morning America," the New York Times and New York Magazine.
The site receives about 500,000 unique visitors per day and there are about 35,000 people on Chatroulette at any given time.
- Limited to a local network, maybe just to connections within your school or district
- Controlled to eliminate whack-jobs - tie all access to managed (local?) teacher accounts
- Channel rooms toward specific topics, subjects, or essential questions
Are there topics that might naturally lend themselves toward an educhatroulette environment? Could an environment be created that would ensure appropriate use? Am I smoking crack in even thinking this might work?
Tell you what: How about if you try it first with your teachers, and let me know how it goes?
Image source: Flickr user DJOtaku.