TodaysMeet is a backchannel chat platform that was designed for teachers and provides an online space for anyone to share resources, ask questions and discuss text. TodaysMeet allows teachers to create a room that helps guarantee student success. Regardless of the subject, backchannel rooms can lead to full engagement encouraging learning that is not limited by the constraints of a desk or a room during the regular school day.
TodaysMeet supports classroom discussions in a variety of ways. It allows for
- quiet students to have a safe space to express their opinions and ideas
- an online space where class notes are housed
- participants to submit links for videos, documents, etc. that support the current lesson
- students who need additional ‘wait time’ the time to process ideas and have the light bulb moment
Creating a room
TodaysMeet rooms are fast and easy to create. All you need to do is pick a name for your room, decide how long you want to use it and sign up so that you can track your rooms. The room WeAreAwesome becomes http://todaysmeet.com/WeAreAwesome and your students, colleagues, parents, or attendees enter the room by going to the room’s webpage address.
You can create your room to host an online class discussion, provide a meeting room for group work, allow for a quiet conversation about a text, house your classroom in the clouds for regular days, sick/snow days, review sessions, etc. With TodaysMeet, you can create as many rooms as you need.
Entering a room
To join your TodaysMeet room, students can either scan the QR code or type in the room’s url and enter their name to join.
How TodaysMeet can be used in the classroom
Opening up a room allows you to provide a space for students to post questions, respond to one another, share ideas, and share resources during class discussions. You could use for a review before an assessment where students post facts they have learned about a topic. Students could explain solution strategies during math. Could use for a debate around a topic where groups respond to one another. This is a great way for teachers to get immediate feedback on their instruction. You can also save the conversation for later use.
- hold an online discussion during virtual learning activities.
- invite feedback about a learning experience.
- backchannel during direct instruction.
- explain steps and procedures of assigned problems.
- backchannel during films and listening activities.
- class suggestion box.
- entrance/exit tickets
- create a digital record of a class discussion as a resource for later learning.
- digital “inbox” for resources and ideas.
- way to brainstorm and collect ideas at the beginning of a class, activity or unit.
Cost of TodaysMeet
TodaysMeet is a freemium product. Their free version is what I have used for months in my classroom but they do offer a Teacher’s account for $5.00 a month. The Teacher’s account allows you to have more control of your room. The transcripts can always be accessed, access of room can be limited to students only, students can be muted and prompts/topics/questions can be prominently displayed within a room.
Common Core Literacy Anchor Standards addressed
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
My experiences with TodaysMeet
I have used backchannels several times in my English class. They have had to submit #hashtag summaries for an assigned text, answers during an online Q and A session, and thesis statements for assigned topics. My Scholars seemed to instantly and enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to have sidebar conversations. Many students were participating, responding with each other, and making insightful observations as well as answering each other’s questions. Yes, there were some students who needed to be re-directed but the opportunity to shake-up our regular class discussion giving the mic to all of my students and not just the five who normally drive our discussions was a valuable experience.