In a classroom teachers spend a lot of their time asking questions. These questions usually result in 2-3 students adding input and then you move on to the next topic. One thing I disliked about this is that I always saw the same 4-5 hands up, didn't hear from all of my students, and lessons lacked engagement.
When I attended the EdTech Team Google Summit, I saw a tool used called TodaysMeet. It was said that the kids were backchanneling when using this website. Backchannel, hmmm, what does that even mean? Well, it is really just students using computers to take part in an real-time digital conversation as an activity is occurring in the classroom.
TodaysMeet is a great website for this. I love how user-friendly it is for me to go to and use. You can go, name your room, keep it open for a chosen amount of time (hours to weeks), and get a custom URL that lasts through that time period.
By backchanneling in your classroom, you are encouraging students to have a voice. It almost validates their thoughts and opinions, too, because you are asking for ALL of their opinions. This also opens up more meaningful conversations and can help students learn about each other more.
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom