The Mixxer

Document Type


Publication Date



Library and Information Services



Publication Title

Educause Review


Key Takeaways

  • Modern languages and global education are strengths of Dickinson College, making new and more effective tools for teaching language of vital interest to the faculty.
  • To provide verbal interaction between students on campus and students in classes in other countries, the college created the Mixxer, a social networking site for language learners interested in chatting via Skype.
  • Roughly 600 U.S. institutions have at least one user with an e-mail address on the Mixxer site, demonstrating the program's successful and widespread adoption in language departments whose faculty value its support of verbal communication between students.

In 2005 Professor Meguro requested a way for her students to practice speaking Japanese with native speakers via a chat client. Computer-mediated communication was fairly well established as a tool in foreign language teaching at the time, although almost exclusively as text chat. The Japanese instructors wanted the interaction to be verbal, but we could not successfully coordinate class-to-class exchanges due to the time difference. The solution was to create the Mixxer, which at its core is a social networking site for language learners interested in exchanges via Skype.


This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit Educause's Website.