Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Backchanneling-Todays Meet

I was intrigued when I was introduced to the concept of backchanneling  at a faculty meeting last year.  For those who do not know the concept, backchanneling is when there is an online conversation happening at the same time a presenter is giving a talk.  So as I talk, students would be texting the class in a chat room setting.  Although intrigued to have my students respond, ask questions, share thoughts, at the same time as I spoke, I lacked the computers in my classroom to make it a reality.  Until this year and the box of iPads.

I used a website called  I can easily be distracted by a lot of bells and whistles. Today's Meet is straight forward and easy to use.  You create a room and you tell kids from their device to go the room you created.  For example if I name it wildcrazyroom, the students would type in the following for their address,

I even had the guts to attempt this for the first time as part of my yearly formal observation from my principal.  I figured, he could give me some great feedback of what worked and what didn't.

Here is what I enjoyed about it (remembered, this all was happening in the background on the computer, not verbally)

1) Every student had a chance to respond to questions

2) Students congratulated the kid who I specifically pointed as having a great answer.

3) Students seemed more comfortable to ask questions, even to type in when they didn't understand a concept.

4) By asking all students to answer all questions, they were ENGAGED throughout the lesson.

5) It provided an awesome exit slip.  In this lesson, I asked the same question in the beginning and end of class, I saved the transcript and could review how the students answers improved the second time.

6) Did I say all the students were engaged in a lecture?  They were engaged because

Backchanneling moves students from passive listeners to active participants.

Backchanneling-Today's Meet-Great Experience!

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