Description: Create a TodaysMeet activity for your students to use in a way that will enhance instruction and communication.
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What is this?
TodaysMeet is a microblogging backchannel that empowers classroom teachers to generate a discussion without the interference of raised hands or student disruptions.
What is a backchannel? Backchanneling is having real time online conversations alongside live presentations. A backchannel lets participants ask questions, discuss what is being presented, share links and reflect on their learning. Backchanneling could be describe as “virtual whispering or note passing” during lessons, presentation or activities.
Thank you to Cynthia Treichler for much of the information on this page.
Cynthia Treichler is a high school social studies teacher and instructional technology professional development facilitator in the Prince William County Schools. She is also the instructor of the Project Based Learning Course in the Wilkes/Discovery Masters program.
Here is a screenshot of a TodaysMeet Thread to give you an idea of what the page looks like:
What are the major benefits of TodaysMeet?
- Similar to Twitter or Edmodo; featuring a 140-character limit and an easy-to-use interface.
- It’s a backchannel, which helps teachers conduct online discussions while channeling the results onto one web page and displaying it on the SMART Board.
- No accounts or passwords are needed for students to use TodaysMeet.
- Students can participate using any device with internet access including: computers; smartphones; ipads; ipod touches; tablets.
Basic Ways to Use This For Teaching and Learning:
- Use TodaysMeet as a parking lot for questions that come up during the lesson.
- Watch a video, and instead of stopping at various intervals to discuss students’ reactions and questions, use the backchannel to allow students to record their reactions to what they see. At the same time, it will give you the opportunity to answer questions that arise as they watch the video (Source: FreeTech4Teachers.com).
- Take the transcript from the discussions after a lesson and put them in Wordle. See what they are talking about (the biggest words are the ones used most often – you will see what students are participating the most in the conversations).
- Collaborate with another teacher to have two or more classrooms engage in a conversation by listening to the same content at the same time.
- After students finish an activity, have them record their responses to the activity in TodaysMeet.
- Before a science lab, have students record their hypothesis. After the lab, have students share their conclusion.
- Have a silent discussion after reading a specific text.
- Compliment a lecture – have students write questions and comments as they pop into their heads. This will enable more students to ask more questions and share more comments than if they all had to raise their hands and wait to be called upon (Source: FreeTech4Teachers.com).
- Click here for additional integration ideas.
Basic Video Tutorial:
Tutorial Basic PDF Instruction Sheets:
This first image is from a great read about how an English teacher uses it in his classroom. Click here to read more!
Here is a great example of an AMAZING conversation by our very own Abingdon 5th Graders (a few years ago) during Tech Wheel with Paige Whelan.
The conversation is about the book “Number the Stars”. Notice how the student each have a chance to be heard, as well as converse with others. They use terms like I agree because . . ., I disagree because . . ., What do you mean by . . . , Can you please tell me more about . . .Abingdon 5th Grade Example PDF
More ways teachers have used TodaysMeet in their classrooms:
- Set specific rules on how students name themselves in the TodaysMeet Room
- Use as a “parking lot” for questions that come up during the lesson
- Send links to all students in the classroom quickly
- Use guiding questions before students watch a video
- Create Wordle from transcript after discussions to analyze what students understand as most important
- Use transcript to give daily grade based on participation
- Two or more classrooms engage in a conversation as they listen to the same content at the same time
- Students record responses/reflections after completing an activity
- Before a science lab, students record their hypothesis. After lab, they respond about the conclusion
- Conduct silent discussion with students instead of oral discussion – gets more students talking in a lower risk format
Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) created a terrific guide to backchanneling and informal assessment that features Socrative, TodaysMeet, and Padlet. Click here to view the document. The document contains ideas and tutorials for using each tool.
How else do you think this could be used in the classroom? Add your thoughts to this TodaysMeet Chat.
How to Earn Your TodaysMeet Badge:
Create a TodaysMeet Activity for your students to use in a way that will enhance instruction and communication. Integrate TodaysMeet into a lesson. Make sure that your students have the opportunity to respond to each other’s posts with words like “I agree with ___ because ___” OR “I disagree with ___ because ____”. Submit a “Reflections After PD” Blog.