A couple of weeks ago, I was seeing some lively discussions on a forum that I frequent about virtual classrooms (VCs) and the use of them by language teachers. Some had specific features they wanted to have and others just said they only use Skype. So, I thought it would be interesting to survey different people who teach languages on the internet and see what the preferred virtual classroom really is. When I set up the survey, there were three questions that I wanted answered, which were:
1) What VCs do live online language teachers actually use?
2) What VCs are live online language teachers familiar with?
3) Is using Skype alone effective language teaching?
Although I only received about 45 responses, I found the responses quite fascinating. I've decided to present the results in a series of blog postings instead of just one as I originally planned since I did get so much information. I thought I would start with a review of each of the virtual classrooms on the survey starting with the most popular to the least popular. In each posting I will discuss the tools and limitations of the particular VC. Later on, I will then discuss the open-ended responses about the effectiveness of using just Skype in language teaching. There were many differing opinions and it will be interesting to sort through and to share. So, come on back and give your opinion as I systematically report the results.