One of the themes I expect to see for 2010 is more collaborative real-time interaction web applications.
almost all of these products are designed for “pass-the-mic” lecture style classrooms, or worse, are sales presentation software that has been “adapted” for the classroom. And hence, all the techniques to which professors normally have access in face-to-face discussion … are not really possible with modern video conferencing software
To see the potential there are already a number of projects using this technology. For video and chat could use in appear.in which allows up to 8 people join a conversation “for free. no login – no installs” . If you’d like to re-create Doug Engelbart’s bug fight from the ’mother of demos’, Mozilla have produced TogetherJS which lets users interact (mouse, chat, audio) with two lines of code. Or if you’d like a bit of both Talky.io lets you do video, chat and screen sharing if you are using Chrome.
PPS In the comments of Mike’s post Alan Levine (@cogdog) highlights the MIT Media Lab’s Unhangout project. This is an open source project that enables you to link multiple Google Hangouts into breakout rooms. Participants can pre-register or join sessions of their choice. This also allows you to benefit from the features of Hangouts like being able to record and broadcast to many.