On February 1st I wrote about Padlet and how you can engage your students on the computer digitally as well as in the class, perhaps at the same time. Some people call this “backchanneling” in which there is multiple modes of communication going on at the same time. Today I introduce you to another tool for “backchanneling” in Todaysmeet.com
February 3rd – Today’s Meet
I assign a lot of presentations and group work – I don’t really like giving multiple choice or short answer because I don’t believe it’s truly a representation of the students knowledge (in other countries around the world they don’t give multiple choice) and I like the students to present their knowledge and get in a little public speaking practice. However, I found that after a few presentations, I found myself looking at the back of the student as they were reading off the presentation slide with WAY too much text. Even with prompting they still relied on the slide for the information. Then I found TodaysMeet.com and the stakes were raised.
For the next presentation, I had everyone on their computers logged into Todaysmeet.com and the “room” I had setup. Typically their computers were off or I distributed a notes taking sheet that each group had to cover a certain part. As the presentations were happening, students were coming up with questions and instead of raising their hand, they typed them into the “room” – once I saw a good one, one that evoked conversation amongst the class, I stopped the presenters and asked them to address the question posed. This was rough the first time, but the message was clear, step up your game. By the end of that semester, students were addressing questions posed on TodaysMeet themselves and they had a better knowledge of the topic to answer these questions, rather than reading off of the slide.
To start using TodaysMeet.com:
1.) Visit TodaysMeet.com
2.) Pick a name for your “room” (in the top right corner)
3.) Copy and Paste the URL to a Google Classroom, or post for students to type in
4.) Type in name and start “backchanneling”!
Pro tip: You’ll notice very quickly that the “Name” section doesn’t have any verification – I tell the students I’m taking attendance through the TodaysMeet (have them say “present” or here”) so that I don’t get any inappropriate names…