TodaysMeet might be a digital tool that you have been looking for. It's been referred to as a backchannel - the conversation behind what's going on. It's a quick personal chat space where you can have discussions in realtime with students or colleagues. What a great way to get students involved in discussion and draw even the quietest students into discussions
Just go to https://todaysmeet.com/accounts/signup and signup for a "free" account. Your students/colleagues do not have to sign-up to post as long as "anyone" is selected under more options.
Create a room, give your room a name "Algebra 1" (no spaces, periods, or other characters). Choose when your class closes (i.e. how long you want class open). Click on more options and make sure "anyone" is marked. Then click "open your room."
***At the bottom of your room you will see a box (copy button beside it) with "http://today.etcc... " you will want to click and select the URL to share your room.
Your done. Yep, that's it. You just created a "class" and are ready to share the URL. Once you have shared the URL others can join the room, type their name, and post a message. Each message is limited to 140 characters. Also, everyone that has joined the class can view all of the posts.
TodaysMeet also allows you to access a transcript and projector option as well.
Ways to use in classroom:
1. Discussions: Create discussion and see students comment and even the shyest students participating.
2. Questions: Students can post questions during a lesson that you can address after the lesson. This is giving them instant feedback and while it is still fresh in their minds.
3. Share Info/Links: Teachers can quickly post links for students to visit or students can share links for research. These can be printed using the "transcript" and viewed for content and participation.
4. Feedback: Gather feedback from students about lessons, assignments, or to expand the learning experience. Maybe they have ideas about something they want to learn about.
5. Anonymous Feedback: Students can post their answers and you can ask them to NOT type their names (same character or name for everyone) when they post.
6. Hold online office hours: Create a class where students can ask questions at a certain time.
7. Connect with other classroom: Great way to invite other classrooms from your school or outside the walls of your school into the class discussion.
8. Challenge Contest: Create a challenge activity. Post a question or problem and the first student who answers correctly wins (you can figure the prize out).
9. Practice digital citizenship: Talk about online manners and how to talk to others online.
10. Group Projects: Students can work on projects and share useful links, articles, and other information with each other.
11. PD/Staff Discussions: I will be posting TodaysMeets throughout the year for feedback and discussions on various topics. This will help with our time constraints on PD.
Do you have any suggestions for using TodaysMeet in the classroom? I hope you find this useful and will try it with your classes. Please share by leaving a comment.