Review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2017

TodaysMeet

Easy online conversations supplement and extend the classroom

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
8-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (34 Reviews)
3

Take a look inside

1 video | 5 images

Pros: With the Teacher Tools upgrade, teachers can provide a secure medium for out-of-class discussion, collaboration.

Cons: Students could find character constraints limiting at first (when they use more formal English); there's always a possibility for trolling with chat.

Bottom Line: TodaysMeet is super simple, highly functional, and can be a flipped-classroom stepping stone with the help of careful monitoring.

Initially, use the backchannel for dialoguing class openers; students can use their personal devices or classroom technology. Post discussions on a whiteboard for students to observe. Perhaps also scaffold and personalize learning by responding to or extending responses with further inquiry. Move on to setting up small reading groups or circles that engage in conversation outside of school time. Assigning a larger, time-intensive project or presentation? Let students conduct project meetings through the site.

For housekeeping issues, use the backchannel for a homework helpline in which students respond to each other but the teacher still monitors. Communicate upcoming events and assignments. Engage in small, extracurricular book clubs or media reviews.

You can also use TodaysMeet to backchannel video or film screenings during class time. Check out how below:

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TodaysMeet was designed to help teachers generate a secondary online conversation -- or backchannel -- among students about class content or for project collaboration. Educators create a name for their virtual room and provide students with the room's URL. When setting up the room, teachers can also decide when the room will close -- from hours to weeks of creation. Students can engage in conversation guided by the teacher via 140 characters or less posts; students can post as many times as they wish.

With the Teacher Tools upgrade (which teachers get by signing up), teachers can access transcripts for all rooms forever, in addition to pausing rooms. Also, teachers can control which students join the room and mute disruptive students by blocking their posts from class view. Teachers can provide and update prompt and purpose to continually engage or react to formative assessment.

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TodaysMeet is a simple site that allows and promotes out-of-classroom conversation, but still requires teacher monitoring and guidance. The site can only be successful for learning if the teacher sets up parameters for digital citizenship and provides engaging content for reaction and collaboration. The site simply serves as a platform for these standards to take place.

Some design polish would be welcome, as TodaysMeet is aging in comparison to the type of social tools students use daily. Students might also benefit from information on how to formulate clear questions and responses and how to participate in discussions. Teachers will most likely need to propel conversations with initial and follow-up questions, but the site can be a simple, effective way to continue conversations started in class and to provide students with reading, writing, self-expression, and communication experience.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Although there's limited personalization provided, students can engage in teacher-monitored collaborative discussions or project planning. The format may also encourage shy students to participate.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Students are able to converse, plan, and collaboratively engage in discussion prompts using efficient language with the site's character limit; transcripts can be accessed for later review.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Instructions are sparse, but navigation is fairly intuitive, and a site blog provides some usage tips. A brief FAQ page answers some basic questions. More teacher- and classroom-friendly options would improve the site greatly.


Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 34 reviews) (34 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Melissa Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Liberty
Springfield, MA
5
Chatting on Line

I think if you can find the right reason to use it, it is a great tool. You do have to teach the students to write in as few characters as possible, which is tricky. Otherwise the kids are engaged in a safe environment to collaborate in. I highly recommend using this as a back channel for your classroom. It is very easy to set up. You can create an account and keep the channel open for as long or as little as you want. As a teacher you also have rights to delete what should not be there or to print all of the content.

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