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:Continue reading Show less
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.
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.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.