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Chatting with Users

The ability for users to request aid wouldn’t be helpful if there weren’t a way to respond to those requests. Remote Desktop offers several ways to interact with users: two text chats and sending alert-style messages. Text chats can be initiated through Remote Desktop between two computers (the administrator computer running the Remote Desktop application and one client). The chat interface is very basic and similar to most instant messaging tools.

To initiate a text chat, select a computer (or a user message) and choose Chat from the interact menu. A chat window will open up. Like most messengers, it includes a large text box for display of the chat and a single line field to type into. The chat will be listed using the usernames of each logged-in user. Unlike most messaging applications, however, Remote Desktop text chats are real-time, so each letter appears on the other screen as you type it, not when you finish typing and press the Return key on the keyboard. You can chat with users while observing or controlling their computers (although not when using curtain mode). To terminate a chat session, simply close the chat window.

Text chats are excellent for classroom use when a teacher wants to advise a single student (either in response to a request for aid or as a result of noticing something while observing multiple computers) because they do not interrupt the flow of work for other students. They can also be helpful for help desks as a way to respond to user requests. Because they can be initiated only by a user of the Remote Desktop application, they not only provide interactive capability but also keep that ability from being misused by students or employees for personal or disruptive use.

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