This is a simple, yet profound way to encourage student input. Most students like to have a voice. They like to see their names on the screen. It's a way to improve the content of conversations. The classroom remains very quiet and thoughtful. Who doesn't love that now and then!? Right now, the only aspect I'm not comfortable with (and, perhaps, it's my lack of understanding) is the inability to edit/change a comment. There are endless ways to use this tool! We have a ton of writing assignments where students brainstorm topics related to our big idea. I think using this to open up the discussion for possible options would help slow starters. I will definitely be using it more and more as I revamp my teaching practices to incorporate more technology and online participation.
How I Use It
There are several applications that we use TodaysMeet for. One, specifically, that has changed my role is when we watch videos. Though we don't watch many, I feel like I can guide the conversation better. For some reason, students are more likely to share in a technologically connected app vs. their own voice. We will watch a portion of a video clip, and I can start with a question. Students react to the question and/or ask their own. There are a flurry of responses -- UNLIKE when we do conversational discussions. To keep that conversation piece in tact, we use what we wrote as a "script" to guide us in a verbal interaction with what was shared on TodaysMeet. It's easy to read and set up. All of my students can participate. I love that aspect. One of the other ways in which I use this incredible app is while giving instructions. Students, instead of raising their hands to ask questions, will type the question as they are thinking of it. I gives me a chance to fully explain a project or assignment without being interrupted. (Can I hear an AMEN!?) But, it also helps me address questions that came up. It's a delightful tool in this regard.