Governor's Career & Technical Academy Arlington

CS / IT Resources

Connecting to Freenode IRC Learning Channel

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a network application protocol for text communication originally created in 1988. It's been around long enough to be very stable (though it has experienced cyber attacks over its history), very light weight, and open access.

NOVA Web Development runs two IRC channels on the Freenode IRC network, one of which, #novawebdev_learn is available to us for teaching and learning. The channel is publically logged, so an easily accessible archive of conversations on the channel are maintained automatically.

Your teacher will login to this channel during school hours, and it can be used as a way for students to reach him when other communications tools fail.

Philosophy and Guidelines

As an open, peer controlled network, Freenode relies on the collaborative, supportive behavior of each of us toward each other in order to function. Read General Expections for Conduct before logging on to the network. You may also want to read Channel Guidelines, which contains several general insights about communicating effectively online.

To connect to the channel from your computer using a web browser:

  1. Point your web browser at http://irclearn.novawebdevelopment.org, which will redirect you to a web page that looks this:

    IRC from browser 1

  2. Choose a nickname (Nick) that will identify you in the channel, and click on the checkbox labeled I'm not a robot, which will launch a CAPTCHA involving identifying things in images:

    IRC from browser 2

  3. After completing the CAPTCHA successfully, click Start and you will be signed in to the channel:

    IRC from browser 3

To connect to the channel from your phone:

There are many mobile apps for connecting to irc. What follows are instructions for setting up one of them, Revolution IRC Client, which is available from the Google Play store as well as F-Droid. I don't have access to an iPhone for testing apps there, but you might want to look at LimeChat. Let's compare notes in class about what works best.

  1. Install Revolution IRC Client from either the Google Play Store or F-Droid.
  2. Click on the + to open the network setup screen:

    IRC from phone 0

  3. Fill in Freenode for Name and chat.freenode.net for Server address:

    IRC from phone 1

  4. Choose your nick in Nicknames and set Auto-join channels #novawebdev_learn:

    IRC from phone 2

  5. Choose your nick in Nicknames and set Auto-join channels #novawebdev_learn:

    IRC from phone 3

  6. Now when you click the Freenode link, you will be connected to the channel:

    IRC from phone 4

Accessing the channel logs:

This irc channel is publicly logged, which makes it very useful for sharing information, but please keep a few important best practices in mind:

The logs for the channel are located at:


See you on IRC!
~ Jeff Elkner