IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. IRC is a multi-user, multi-channel chat system that is run on a Network. Like the telephone, the Internet allows people to communicate with each other from any place in the world at the same time. The major difference is that the Internet makes it easy to meet and communicate in groups as well as individually.
Our faculty find that meeting their classes on the Internet in Real-time discussion is a highly effective learning experience for their students. Here are the major ways they use Synchronous Internet communication in instruction:
There are many different Synchronous communcation programs (Chats) available, but none better than the Shareware program, Internet Relay Chat. Our faculty have developed a set of protocols and tips that make IRC one of the most powerful teaching tools in their Web Tool Box.
To run IRC, you need an IRC program, commonly called a Client. There are lots of them out there. Most people prefer a simple user-friendly client. The best Windows-based IRC client, bar none, is mIRC. It's easy to use, menu/icon driven, and highly configurable. Most of the people on IRC use it, and those that don't soon throw out what they are using and convert to it. The most popular Macintosh IRC client is Ircle.