Internet Relay Chat
Internet Relay Chat is a chat protocol that was first developed in 1988. It can be used with a wide range of clients and other software. It also is the source of many features that appear in later commercial chat software like Slack.
Many of the most popular IRC networks, such as Freenode, are maintained by privacy-focused nonprofit organizations. IRC is an open, accessible tool, but its text-command-based interface may be less intuitive for new users than more recent chat systems. Unlike Slack, users won't see discussion when they are not logged into the channel with a chat client, which may be an advantage (for privacy) or a disadvantage (for availability of information).
Hold chat-based class sessions
Hold synchronous class sessions at a given time on IRC. Students could also use IRC to chat with each other about group projects, etc.
Create IRC bots
IRC enables automated bots, and it can be a space for students to learn how to think about automating tasks and intelligence. Find basic information here on Wikipedia.
How to use it
- A simple web-based client for the popular Freenode network is available at https://webchat.freenode.net.
- Client list at IRCHelp.org
- IRC can also be accessed through the Matrix chat protocol through a "bridge."
- Slack (which is corporate-owned and practices user surveillance)