Online classes with Dimdim

17-Nov-2010

Dimdim is a very cool bit of software that works a bit like Skype in that it allows you to send text and documents, as well as speak to people online. The difference is that with Dimdim you can also have online meetings with groups, not just one person at a time.

If you’ve ever been to MEC clinics, which use Elluminate, then you’ll be familiar with this kind of software. But whereas Elluminate has to be paid for, Dimdim is free for groups of up to 10 people!

If you’re thinking of setting up online lessons for your students and want to have a spoken, teacher-led component, Dimdim could be just the thing.

MEC has everything students need for grammar, listening, reading and writing skills, but to practise their speaking skills and get written work checked they need a teacher! Dimdim has the potential to be a great online classroom for one-to-one or group lessons.

It could be a great way to attract students who can’t get into school for lessons very often or those who’ve come for an intensive class in the summer and want something to keep their English up to scratch during the rest of the year.

To give it a try, just sign up for a free account and start a meeting. You have to download a couple of ‘plug-ins’ but the site will help you do this and it only takes a minute or two. Then, just send the meeting url to whoever you want to join. It will look something like this:

https://my.dimdim.com/steph2805/

The meeting page itself looks like this…

It took me less than 5 minutes to set this meeting up and that included registering on the site. As you can see there’s video, audio and a chat box. The buttons top left of the screen let you choose to share the desktop, the whiteboard or a document.

To get going you could try using it to hold an online discussion about the most recent MEC News Item, or perhaps as a way for students to submit and get feedback on one of the MEC Sample essays.

Whether you use it occasionally as a change from normal lessons, or as part of a larger distance-learning programme, I think Dimdim could be a very easy, fun and effective way to reach your students through the internet!

Steph

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