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backchannel is a conversation held in real-time alongside an event taking place. Generally, people use online mediums, such as Twitter, to conduct discussions on various events and subjects.

Benefits of a Backchannel

  • Allows introverted students the ability to participate
  • Teachers can share resources with their students in real-time
  • Engage students with popular, online tools to modernize the classroom experience
  • Directs students on how to operate popular web tools in an appropriate and educational manner

Back channeling Apps:

TodaysMeet is a free tool that allows teachers to instantly create chat rooms. It is possible to name the rooms, set them to expire within a specific time-frame block, and even include a twiter # discussion. Students do not need an account to join a room, and they are only accessible with a link.

Chatzy is a free tool to quickly create chat rooms. Features include “Quick Chat,” which allows teachers to invite people to join via email, and “Virtual Rooms,” which are password protected.

Google Moderator
In Google Moderator, students can post questions or comments to the moderated discussion. Once comments are posted, students can “vote” for the idea or comment on a post. Comments can then be sorted based on the number of votes they received. Posts can be published anonymously or require login with a Google account.

Google Drive
Google Drive allows synchronous and asynchronous editing by multiple users on one document – whether it be a word processing document, a spreadsheet, a presentation, or a drawing. Documents can be published “openly” to the web or require an invitation.

Chatwing is a live mobile chat room that can be connected to any web page or app. Teachers can moderate chats, generate transcripts, and embed them on any web site or blog. Students can login with a social media or Google account as well as enter as a guest.

Formerly Wallwisher, Padlet is a web based collaborative tool that allows teachers to build a multimedia “wall.” These walls can incorporate digital sticky notes with either text, images, video, or links. Students could hold a debate, have a class discussion, or share their questions on a wall.