A Really Simple Chat (ARSC) is a web chat tool based on PHP and MySQL.


  • No Java nor chat client program installation needed.
    • Many web browsers are supported, even text-only browsers.
  • Multiple rooms can be configured.
  • Rooms can be moderated, so only approved or answered messages become visible.
    • Multiple moderators and VIPs can be in each room, so a large moderated discussion can function like a radio show with several people answering phones and several guests answering questions. Only a single moderator/host is needed for smaller situations.
  • Open source, licensed under the GPL.




Articles Help

We don’t know how much of text people remember

on: Mon 29 of Nov., 2010 15:00 CST  (24157 Reads)

You might have heard that people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they see, etc. This is not true.

Clean Up That Web Mess!

on: Sun 07 of Nov., 2010 00:00 CDT  (1271 Reads)

We may think we know about customer support, for instance, but if we don’t engage the people who talk with customers every day, we’ll likely miss the most obvious solutions.

Case in point: live chat. Most companies focus on it as a tool only for the experienced online user. However, if you ask the customer-service reps who answer the phones, many swear by online chat; it’s often easier to direct customers to an online chat than to walk them through a process by phone.

Read the rest at Information Week

Losing sleep while chatting may be bad for you

on: Fri 03 of Sep., 2010 06:00 CDT  (1339 Reads)

Researchers found that staying up late to chat or surf the Internet may be bad for youngsters. The Daily Mail says that “those who slept fewer than five hours a night were three times more likely than normal sleepers to become psychologically distressed in the next year.”

Advantages of Internet Chat

on: Tue 04 of May, 2010 19:00 CDT  (2057 Reads)

There is much research into educational uses of Internet chat tools. These are forms of instant messaging (IM), which are referred to in the academic literature as synchronous computer-mediated communication (synchronous CMC). This form of messaging between two or more people is synchronous because the people send and receive messages immediately. The computer is mediating the communication only by acting to deliver the messages. Mediation should not be confused with moderation, which is optional but not required.

What GWU uses for course chat

on: Thu 25 of Mar., 2010 21:20 CDT  (1897 Reads)

While looking further at how chat technologies are used in education, I noticed how it is used at George Washington University. As described on their ISS Help FAQs there is a communication account created for all registered students which allows access to both course information and communication tools.

Daylight Savings Time log reminder

on: Sat 13 of Mar., 2010 20:00 CST  (2057 Reads)

If you’re generating a log of your chat sessions, remember the Daylight Savings Time shift tonight may cause a jump in your timestamps.

Apache mod_log_sql logging

on: Fri 19 of Feb., 2010 01:00 CST  (2623 Reads)

I’ve been distracted lately by having to deal with some nonproductive visitors to several sites. While seeing what was going on, I noticed the lack of recent tools for examining web server logs. The reporting tools such as AWstats were not sufficient, because they did not happen to examine the kind of things which I could easily see in the Apache log files. So I could better do analysis of the log data, I installed the Apache2 mod_log_sql and mod_log_mysql modules. These put the log data into database tables.

Chat rubric

on: Sat 06 of Feb., 2010 00:00 CST  (2352 Reads)

If you’re trying to evaluate the use of communication tools, try searching for “chat rubric”. You’ll find examples such as the “collaboration rubric” at Rubrics for Bloom’s Digital taxonomy in Educational Origami.

Computer-mediated communication

on: Fri 29 of Jan., 2010 10:53 CST  (1907 Reads)

Just a short note because a coworker had not encountered the term before. “Computer-mediated communication” is the general term in academic literature for all communication between people through a computer. I’ve noticed the term being used as far back as 1963. Most of the literature has referred to text communications, but other media have only become widely available recently.

Characteristics of online educational technologies

on: Wed 27 of Jan., 2010 07:00 CST  (3477 Reads)

In a previous article I mentioned some of the differences between a library patron being in a library or a patron chatting electronically with a librarian. Educators have also been studying the differences between various online methods of interaction between teachers and students.

Online learning applications can be characterized in terms of (a) the kind of learning experience they provide, (b) whether computer-mediated instruction is primarily synchronous or asynchronous and (c) whether they are intended as an alternative or a supplement to face-to-face instruction.

Conceptual Framework for Online Learning
Learning Experience Dimension Synchronicity Face-to-Face Alternative Face-to-Face Enhancement
Expository Synchronous Live, one-way webcast of online lecture course with limited learner control (e.g., students proceed through materials in set sequence) Viewing webcasts to supplement in-class learning activities
Expository Asynchronous Math course taught through online video lectures that students can access on their own schedule Online lectures on advanced topics made available as a resource for students in a conventional math class
Active Synchronous Learning how to troubleshoot a new type of computer system by consulting experts through live chat Chatting with experts as the culminating activity for a curriculum unit on network administration
Active Asynchronous Social studies course taught entirely through Web quests that explore issues in U.S. history Web quest options offered as an enrichment activity for students completing their regular social studies assignments early
Interactive Synchronous Health-care course taught entirely through an online, collaborative patient management simulation that multiple students interact with at the same time Supplementing a lecture-based course through a session spent with a collaborative online simulation used by small groups of students
Interactive Asynchronous Professional development for science teachers through “threaded” discussions and message boards on topics identified by participants Supplemental, threaded discussions for pre-service teachers participating in a face-to-face course on science methods

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