I recently took on a TTL (Technology Team Lead)/Instructional Technology Coach position at my site. I’m going to be posting the resources and materials I create on here. 🙂
Note: Sometimes they are a work in progress. Use what you need!
Backchannels or Class Discussion Threads
Backchannel: an unofficial or informal channel of communication
Backchannels and discussion threads are great for:
- a quick check for understanding during the lesson
- exit ticket at the end of a lesson
- review at the beginning of class
- class study sessions
- preparation for individual or group assignments
- pair/group shares to class shares
and so on…
A couple to take a peek at:
Tozzl (takes more prep – more for an in-depth meeting place)
TodaysMeet (can quickly set up a “room” for you and your students to chat during an activity or lesson)
*Working on updating these documents.
Google Classroom Discussions
In addition to other sources for backchanneling, Google Classroom’s recent update included a discussion feature. You can prepare ahead of time or post a question right in the middle of class. It’s easy to set up and follow.
Choose Create question.
Just like with an assignment, you can add a due date and assign it to more than one class.
The students must click on the assignment to answer the question. Do not allow them to comment on the front page. That will clutter up your stream. (In the picture above, you see my comment on the stream page. There is not a spot for the teacher to post a stand-alone response to the question in the question assignment itself, but you can reply to your students’ individual posts within the discussion thread.)
Once you click Post, you have two options:
The students will not be able to see other students’ responses to the question until they submit their own post.
The screen is split so that you can see the stream of responses on the right, and the Classroom gradebook on the left. It updates in real time.
I believe your choice of online discussion or backchanneling medium will depend on your activity and your purpose. I have found all three of great use in my classroom. Any questions, let me know!