A chat function has been added to the network. This allows communication in "real time" meaning two or more members can chat using text if they are both "online" at the same time.
To chat with someone, click on the "Chat" menu item, or scroll to the bottom of the Main (home) page. To go online, click on the little buddy-shaped icon next to the green or red circle at the top right of the chat window. This is a toggle button. Click it once to go online. Click it again to go offline. Members who are online will appear in the right-hand box once you are "online."
Type your message in the bottom box. When you hit enter, the message will be sent automatically. You can chat privately with another member by clicking on their name in the right-hand box then selecting the private option.
To check and see who is currently "online," go to the Chat window and go online. Also, you may want to schedule a time with another member so both of you will be online at the same time.
Another idea is to schedule an event and invite other members of your group (class) to the chat session.