Monday, 23 July 2012

30 Days of Web tools: #12: Use Today’sMeet for useful backchannel discussions


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Often when you are watching a presentation and you have computer access you want to make a comment on what the presenter is saying. Twitter is most often used for this. But often, if one wishes the responses to be more private a backchanneling programme like Today’s Meet is used.

What is Today’sMeet?
 
Today’s meet is a simple way to set up an instant live chat room. It allows participants to ‘backchannel’. This means they can get fully involved by adding their comments and thoughts for everyone to read as the presentation is being delivered. In a backchannel participants can ask questions, discuss what is being presented, share links and reflect on their learning. A backchannel is a great way to enable peer support and the beautiy of it is that you can look through it afterwards to see what to comment on or clarify.

How to create a backchannel using Today"sMeet
1. This isa web-based tool so can only be used online. Open it at http://todaysmeet.com
2. Create a ‘room’ (this is the lingo when creating a backchannel). The following graphic is taken from Nik Peachy’s blog
 
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If you look at the image above you’ll notice that there is place to:

a) Name your room: This might be the name of the presentation, teacher, subject or whatever you choose. You’ll see that a green tick appears if the name is available. If not available, make another choice.

b) Choose when to delete your room and all the data. The time range can be anything up to one year.  

c) Set a password if you wish to.  

d) Click on “Create your Room”. You can now give out the URL to others. The URL will have a specific format starting with http://today’smeet.com/name.

How does a participant join a backchannel?

1. If you are joining a backchannel that has been creating simply type the URL into your browser.
2. You will be asked to type your name in the blue box and to click join. The following two graphics come from the Teaching Generation Now blog
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3. Thereafter you will type your message in the blue box and click on ‘Say’. 

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If you are using a data projector the backchannel will be displayed. At the bottom of the screen you will see the words ‘Transcript’. When you click on this you will be able to see the whole conversation.  

When would one use a backchannel in the classroom?

Students would need access to computers. The backchannel could be used:
  • for Skype calls
  • for listening to audio podcasts or watching educational videos
  • for revision classes
  • during debates
  • when listening to guest speakers
  • for oral presentations
  • when learning new skills
  • to teach students about online etiquette
Further reading

1. Backchanneling-Movie Watching-Note Taking- Information Scribes

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