d-zlx5b3I really try to keep on top of developments in online tools.  In fact I see it as an important part of my job, but with so much going on out there it’s inevitable that things will slip under the radar and appear.in is just such a case.  While working on some new content with H5P (which I’ll be looking at in another post) I stumbled upon appear.in as an option.  I’d never heard of it, so I clicked it and was blown away.

At its most basic level it’s a video chat room with a capability to accommodate eight people and use desktop sharing.  Now there are quite a few products like this out there, going from free to esoterically expensive and varying from good to just about usable.  appear.in is free and doesn’t even require registration, but here’s the killer feature – it just works perfectly.

One of the really neat features is that you can set up your own room and then lock it so that only people with the link can get in.  it also allows knocking, so that you can control who comes in or not.  From the teaching point of view you can just go to the site and use the randomly-generated room without having to do anything else.  Send your student the link and your video conference is up and running – chat and screen sharing included!  There are apps for Android and iOS too.

And frankly there isn’t much more to say.  A tool that delivers what it promises and in the first couple of months of use hasn’t stuttered once.  If that isn’t worth checking out, I don’t know what is!

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