TodaysMeet, an Online Tool for Engaging "Silent Voices"

August 05, 2014

Use TodaysMeet, an online discussion platform, to engage silent voices in your classroom and increase participation in discussions.
My "tried it Tuesday" is coming from day two of the Philadelphia Writing Project's Summer Institute and our guest speaker, Christina Puntel, a Spanish teacher from Hill Freedman school.

After we independently read "Poets in the Kitchen," an article by Paule Marshall, Christina re-read the article out loud and asked us to use an online chat platform, TodaysMeet to record our thoughts as we were listening and help keep us focused.

Since Christina had already set up our "room," we just typed in the short url and after giving our name, we could start posting responses.

There was no logging in or setting up an account for us "students," so getting started was quick and easy unlike so many other online tools. 

Use TodaysMeet, an online discussion platform, to engage silent voices in your classroom and increase participation in discussions.
Christina's directions (seen at the bottom of the 'Listen' box) were "as we read, this is a place to jot down connections, questions, what this makes you think about..."

TodaysMeet's site explains that the purpose of this online chat platform is to harness the backchannel, "the conversation that goes on alongside the primary activity, presentation, or discussion."

We "students" pulled out phrases from the text, asked questions, answered questions, provided links to relevant articles, etc.

Were we listening to every word Christina read, no? But we had already read the article once and this kept us focused on interacting with the text.

Some of our backchannel:

Use TodaysMeet, an online discussion platform, to engage silent voices in your classroom and increase participation in discussions.

I see this as a great tool for silent discussions in the classroom. As a ninth grade English teacher, I want my students to be able to talk about a text, but I know many are not confident about speaking in class. Typing their discussion rather than sharing thoughts out loud might be less intimidating. It would also provide a written record of the dialogue for the teacher instead of trying to furiously take notes on who said what during a discussion (there is a little transcript button at the bottom of the 'listen' box).

Another possibility would be assigning students roles for the discussion, such as characters from a novel or historical figures. The teacher could act as the discussion facilitator, posing questions to which the characters or figures would respond. For example, at the end of reading Julius Caesar I often ask my students to create a dialogue between all of the characters who are now up in heaven (hopefully) together. What would Caesar say to Brutus? What would Brutus say to Portia? TodaysMeet would be a great tool to use in a discussion like that.

Use TodaysMeet, an online discussion platform, to engage silent voices in your classroom and increase participation in discussions.TodaysMeet is as easy for teachers to use as it is for the students. You create a log-in or use your Google log-in (awesome, one less username and password to remember). Then you name your room, decide on the period of time it will be open, and then open your room. 


There are settings that would allow you to control who can comment and delete inappropriate of off topic responses. 

TodaysMeet could also be used for discussions between classrooms within the same school or in schools across the district, the country, the globe (well, maybe not with time differences). Here's hoping my school district doesn't block this site. Excited to try it out in the new school year!

For more ideas on using technology in your classroom:

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5 comments

  1. I have heard of this before (maybe at an in-service or something) but this is a great reminder! I am pinning to refer back to later. Thank you so much for sharing and linking up! :)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are most welcome! I had never heard of it and can't wait to try it. I love how simple it is.

    Brynn Allison

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm trying to work with todaysmeet.com now, but struggling with how to set it up and so on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you send me an email at Brynnallisontheliterarymaven@gmail.com, I can try to help you troubleshoot.
      Thanks,
      Brynn Allison

      Delete
    2. If you send me an email at Brynnallisontheliterarymaven@gmail.com, I can try to help you troubleshoot.
      Thanks,
      Brynn Allison

      Delete