“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” By Rollo May
A backchannel is a great way your classroom can have a digital conversation. When using a backchannel in your classroom it is important to have clear expectations of how to use it. When doing an activity with a backchannel (really it should be when doing any classroom activity) make sure you set the purpose and have an outcome for the activity. Below are some reasons to use a backchannel, ways you can add it into your classroom and sites you can get started with.
Reasons to use a backchannel:
1. It allows all students voice to be heard
2. It provides students with an outlet to engage in conversation (especially for those that are introvert/shy)
3. It allows the student to participate at their own pace
4. It is a written representation of what happened in the classroom
5. It helps build classroom community (if used correctly and with expectations)
Ways you can add it into your classroom:
1. Hold discussions about a book or other topic (especially for when watching a video clip to share thoughts)
2. Brainstorm ideas for projects, writing etc
3. Informal assessment/exit ticket or to poll student responses
4. You or students can provide links to resources and other rich media
5. As a ‘help desk’: Students can pose questions and you or your students can answer and help.
Sites to utilize for a backchannel:
1. 81 Dash is the newest and so far one of my favorites. I love that it works easily with Google Classroom.
2. Today’s Meet
5. Twitter – This one I recommend if you have students that are older, such as High School or College but also can be great for educators during Professional Learning. You can also use Padlet as a backchannel but it can be used for so many other things as well, it is not solely for back-channeling.
I would love to hear your reasons to use a backchannel, ways you add it into your classroom and/or sites you like for a backchannel.