Monday, August 15, 2011

Two more third-party Chat widgets for your Moodle site

For the past two weeks, I've been experimenting with Chat for Moodle. I've looked at some cool tools that are Web 2.0 chat services that you can embed into a Moodle block, as well as free PHP chat programs. Why would I want to "waste" my time with this quest? Didn't Moodle already have a standard, inbuilt Chat module? The meaning behind this madness was two-fold:

  1. Moodle chat is resource-hungry and is one of the ways to bring a Moodle site to a grinding halt when many users are chatting. So I was curious to see if other chat systems could be faster;
  2. Moodle chat opens up as a separate window. I wanted a chat window within my Moodle course. Could I have a chat window open up in a block? Or be embedded as HTML code within a Moodle label or webpage?
As a result of my Chat Quest, I've since discovered PHPFreeChat of which I created a modified version that I christened "FreeEmbedChat". I have also modified the interesting ShoutPro shoutbox so that it is easier to use and more integrated with your Moodle site. I've modified that one too and christened it "Whisper".

Now I want to turn my attention to some third-party chat widgets that are easily enabled on your Moodle site by copying-and-pasting their embed code. Fasten your seatbelts, here we go!

1. Chatango

Type: Web 2.00 service.
Install method: Just copy the embedded HTML code (http:// into your Moodle HTML block.

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