Monday Success: Backchannel discussion

Oct 5, 2015 by

This Monday Success story was shared by Denise Skow.

“I had never used a backchannel discussion until our most recent seminar, so I was excited to try it with my English class. We already have a class Edmodo page, so I decided that today would be a good day to try the backchannel (which, by the way, was a term I was not familiar with).  Since the students in my English class were turning in their research papers today, I knew that trying to get any additional work out of them would be a lost cause.  So I set up two chat rooms in TodaysMeet—one where they could sound off about the research paper and one where they could ask questions about the novel we are reading, The Catcher in the Rye.  Well, they loved it! I quickly discovered this was a useful way for me to learn some new teen slang along with giving students a great place to share ideas and feedback.  While my backchannels didn’t fill the exact purpose I had originally intended, I did get positive feedback about how much students enjoyed class that day, and I immediately noticed how engaged they were by the activity.  Prior to starting a backchannel discussion with future classes, I will establish guidelines and maybe even attach a grade to the backchannel participation. I tried, laughed, learned, and will tweak it for next time.”

For more practical examples like this, order your copy of Teaching the Last Backpack Generation: A Mobile Technology Handbook for Secondary Educators.

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