April 14, 2014
There are a wide variety of free web tools that teachers can use to create backchannels and hold synchronous conversations and discussions in the classroom. Over the last couple of years I had the chance to experiment with and review some of the best of these backchanneling tools. TodaysMeet and Socrative are my favourite of them all, but there are also some other good options to choose from. Integrating backchannels in your teaching can positively impact your students learning and increase their engagement in learning activities. Here are some ways you can use backchannels in your classroom:
- Poll students on a particular classroom event or on a decision regarding their learning
- Crowdsource feedback on learning activities and use this input to inform your future instructional strategies.
- Backchanneling empowers students voice and make them feel they are real participants in the knowledge building taking place in the class.
- Conduct informat assessments .
- Assess students prior knowledge about a given topic.
- Brainstorm ideas for a writing project.
- Encourage students to ask questions about anything they did not understand.
- Hold synchronous discussions of video content shared in class
- Organize real time discussions in class.
- Backchanneling is a good way to engage introverts and shy students in classroom conversations.