Yo Teach! by the company Palms is offered as "the new alternative to TodaysMeet." So if you've used that before then you'll have an idea what to expect. If not, this is a collaborative workspace designed for education.
As such, you can use this online digital space, for free, to host your class and content all in one place that's easy to access for students. All that can mean less paper, less mess, and less confusion.
Since this is a free offering there is a stripped-back feel to the minimalist layout. That should be considered if you like more features, but it can also be a very good thing if you just want a tool that does the job you need and keeps everything simple so that it can be used by virtually anyone.
So could Yo Teach! be right for your classroom?
What is Yo Teach!?
Yo Teach! is an online-based collaborative workspace that allows educators and students to share, live, across multiple devices in a singular digital location.
Yo Teach! can be used as a message board for posting notices or asking questions and giving answers. But it goes into a lot more depth thanks to the ability to share media, such as images, which can allow for more complex conversations, notices, and interactions.
Usefully, this platform is online-based so nothing needs to be downloaded to get access. Nearly any device with an internet connection -- and not even a fast one -- also should be able to get access. That's ideal as this will likely be used by students outside of class time to check assignments and the like, which they can do using their personal devices.
How does Yo Teach! work?
Yo Teach! is easy to get started with as you simply need to input the name of your classroom and give a description before hitting Create Room to get started. Students can then be given the room's number and security pin, which they can enter at the top of the home page to get right into the room. Alternatively, teachers can send a link or QR code to give students direct access to the digital room.
The option to register as a teacher is available, which will give you access to the widest array of features, including the ability to create multiple rooms. In either mode, you have the option to turn on admin features that can be useful as a way to delete posts and generally better moderate the space.
Teachers can post polls, quizzes, and messages or images to stimulate responses from students. This can all be used live, in the classroom, perhaps to gauge feedback -- or for outside the school when students want to interact.
If multiple rooms are in use then it is something that will need to be monitored, closing the room when the purpose of the discussion has come to an end. Something to keep in mind as this can create work as well as help streamline it.
What are the best Yo Teach! features?
One of the very best features of Yo Teach! is how easy it is to use, which makes it a very quick tool to setup. It also means students can easily get involved without feeling there is any tech-related anxiety that might otherwise dissuade them.
This can be a great space for working and collaborating as a group, thanks to the interactive whiteboard option. This allows the educator to lead by placing images, text, and drawings in the space, and also offers the opportunity for students to add their input too. This can be a subtle way to get the more introverted students to work alongside others in a live and engaging manner.
The ability to take polls or set quizzes is a valuable feature to see what students think on a subject, or perhaps a proposed trip, as well as a way for teachers to check understanding of a topic or even to create exit tickets for the class.
A helpful text-to-speech automation feature can be enabled to help those students who, for whatever reason, may struggle with reading the text on the website. Teachers can download the transcripts for a way to check what's been happening without the need for an internet connection – or even a device if you choose to print.
How much does Yo Teach! cost?
Yo Teach! is totally free to use. That includes creating a class near instantly with no personal data required. If you want to get the most out of this service then you will need to create a teacher account, which requires your email address, a user name, and a password to setup.
While there are no advertisements on the site, what the company does with the information that students and teachers input is unclear, so that is worth keeping in mind in terms of privacy.
Yo Teach! best tips and tricks
Create a fact feed
Have students each input facts that they have learned on a subject outside of what's been taught in class with everyone sharing in a single space to enhance learning for all.
Have students create their own poems, suggestions for a trip, ideas for class, and so on -- then have everyone vote on a winner to decide what to do next.
Show a course relevant video in class and have the students debate what is going on, live, using their devices as they watch.