Can you imagine having every student in your class actively taking part in a class discussion? Although this is an amazing idea, for many teachers this rarely happens. Usually, during a discussion, a few students take over and dominate the conversation. One tool that can change all of that is TodaysMeet, which is a web based backchannel that allows every student in the room a voice. Far too often class discussions become focused on a few students whose voices are heard throughout the entire school year let alone one discussion. TodaysMeet changes that by removing the spoken word and taking away that fear for many students of being the only voice in the room at any one time. Instead, all students can be engaging in a conversation at the same time digitally and on any device connected to the internet. The setup takes seconds and once you have shared the link to your room (a temporary web page is created for you and your students) with your students the activity is ready to go! Here are five ways you can integrate TodaysMeet into your classroom.
#1 Class Discussion
One of the easiest ways to use TodaysMeet is a whole class discussion. After opening a room, the teacher puts out a question or prompt and the students begin interacting. During the discussion the teacher can guide and facilitate the discussion by asking more questions and providing comments directly to students inside the TodaysMeet room.
#2 Class Brainstorming Session
Planning on having a brainstorming session with your class? TodaysMeet is a great way to do a digital brainstorming session. Open a room and share the link and in no time students will be generating ideas in real time in a collaborative way. Encourage students to make each others ideas better by adding to them. A large amount of ideas can be created as all students are writing at the same time and seeing each others thoughts.
#3 Group Work Sharing
Next time you do group work and you are planning on having groups share their ideas with one another setup a TodaysMeet room so that groups can begin sharing in real time instead of waiting and having one group share at a time. This can be a huge time saver plus students are able to see what is happening in other groups as they work.
#4 Review Session
TodaysMeet is a great way to support students outside of class, especially the night before a test. Let students know that you will be sending them an email with a link to a TodaysMeet room and that you will be available to answer any questions they may have while they are studying. For example, I would let students know that between 8:00-8:30pm I would be available to answer student questions the night before the big test. Even if one student stops in with a question, it has been worth it as you have shown that you are supporting their learning. I also encourage students to ask and answer each others questions. TodaysMeet provides students the opportunity to have a study session together without being in the same location. Just another way to provide students with extra support when they need it the most.
#5 Video or Reading BackchannelNext time you are showing a video clip or have students reading open up a TodaysMeet room. This will provide students with the opportunity to interact with you and each other by asking questions, sharing aha moments or important facts as they view the video or complete their reading. It is important to note that some students will not want to do this as they will feel distracted, and that is ok! This just offers another way to create an opportunity that allows the teacher and students to interact in a powerful way within the moment.
Written by Jeffrey Bernadt