Using ChatRoulette in Online Education

Danger, danger. Don't talk to Strangers

Danger, danger. Don't talk to Strangers

No, I don’t mean sexual education although ChatRoulette is famous for its normal people to weirdo ratio.

But if you put all that aside the concept itself could work tremendously well in a controlled environment.

Jason West, the Founder of the Languages Out There method told me about ChatRoulette when the rest of us were still unaware of it. He immediately saw the potential of the idea for English learners as ChatRoulette is the closest thing to meet a total stranger on the street and ask him / her for the next bus stop.

Unfortunately the whole thing took off and soon became the “phenomenon” the reservation for exhibitionists that it is known for today.

But there is still hope! As in every other hype the bandwagon will soon be entered by “copy cats” who take the basic idea and bring it on the market in a cleaner version.

The first one was Tinychat with the Tinychat Next application. The application works with Facebook Connect and offers the same “thrill” of meeting random people. The fact that you link the chat to your Facebook account might filter out most of the weirdos.

If you actually want to host your own ChatRoulettesque application on your website or blog, you should check out The site offers a clone script of the ChatRoulette which you can embed on your own site, there are even options for a white label version.

And this is very interesting coming back to the idea of the use in education. If you take the script and put it behind closed doors, only available to students and pre-scanned random chat partners. Those chat partners would come from English speaking countries for English students, from France for French etc. or.

I really think it would be worth a try. People love to chat and to meet people from different countries so it could work as a stand alone product or would be a great addition to language learning communities like Livemocha, Babbel or Busuu.

Otherwise take this good advice from the guys of AC/DC.

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  • Street-Smart Language Learning

    It's good to see that ChatRoulette imitators are starting to pop up. As I noted in my own post on ChatRoulette, I'm also very much looking forward to language-learning sites implementing a version of this. Livemocha and Busuu seem to be the likely candidates, but as their both using the same third-party chat feature, I wonder how easily they can implement something like that.

    • KirstenWinkler

      When the hype started I read some comments that it should be fairly easy to clone the CR script and if you look back how fast Tinychat came out with its version it really can't be rocket science.
      So if Livemocha et al would hire a developer on RentaCoder or any other site they could probably get it for $1K max.

      • Street-Smart Language Learning

        I would imagine that the hassle would be in integrating it with their existing chatting software. They might need to replace that altogether.

        And if that's a simple process with such a low price tag, I wonder why Livemocha and Busuu use that crappy third-party program at all. It's always buggy and slow, and only lets you copy down the entire contents of the chat, rather than a single word, which of course is quite a pain on a language-learning site when you want to quickly toss a word into an online dictionary and still keep up with the chat.

        • Yamine Bena

          It is very difficult to maker chatroulette ,especially for managing the number of peopleonline.This is nice when there are 50 people at the same time butwhen it gets thousands at the same time which is often saturated.

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  • chinamike

    You'd just have to build a game-like interface with a reputation engine. Anyone who went past a person who could vet others could be knocked back to zero (ad kicked off) if they displayed gross behavior.

    Japanese girls could wait until a certain minimum was met and anyone could tag those with bad behavior so a rater could hone in on these people.

    To get started you would need to deposit $10.00 which could be your perpetual admissions slip if you never got booted. Those that got the boot would have to ante up again.

    • KirstenWinkler

      I think we have a business plan :)

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  • jasonoutthere

    And I have the materials to turbo-charge the learning experience :-) Thanks for the mention Kirsten.

  • Affordable Online Degree

    Well there are many other chat stream online where you can spread your knowledge.

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  • lili

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  • Roger Sanchaise

    Thanks a lot for all the cam solutions. I do question myself about the opportunity of random webcam for languages thought .

  • Natasha

    If you make a good advertising for this chat, normal people who want to learn languages will go there, and all perverts leave it because it wouldn’t be interesting for them!

  • TB

    I’m started a project to be a ChatRoulette for learn languages. It’s the focus!

    It’s It’s in test yet, but completely functional.