TodaysMeet is one of the EASIEST web tools that exists. It’s purpose is to host backchannel conversations in a safe, secure environment. The backchannel includes all the “stuff” happening in the background during a presentation – passing notes, texts, or emails, whispered conversations, etc. TodaysMeet streamlines the backchannel into one location established by the presenter (teacher) so all attendees (students), are conversing in the same place during a presentation.
The most popular backchannel tool is Twitter. However, anything posted on Twitter is public (can be seen by anyone). If you’d like to leverage the backchannel in your classroom without engaging in the wide public audience of Twitter, you can try TodaysMeet and the only people who can “see” the conversation are the people you share the link with (your students). TodaysMeet is also a great stepping stone to teaching students about their digital footprint and appropriate online behavior before using Twitter in a similar way.
To start, just go to https://todaysmeet.com to create your room name and choose how long you want the link to remain open. Then give that link to your students (or anyone else you would like to be involved in the conversation) and they can enter their name and join in.
I’ve seen this used in several classrooms during a student or teacher presentation/lesson or during a class debate. TodaysMeet can be accessed from any web browser, including on students’ smart phones. It adds a whole new dimension to student engagement and interaction and often pulls ideas from students who may not frequently share their thoughts aloud with the class.