"Backchannel is the practice of using networked computers to maintain a real-time online conversation alongside live spoken remarks" (Wikipedia). It is a term that has been around for awhile but not something I really looked into until I had the chance to use it at the WEMTA tech conference. This is such a useful way to collaborate with educators/students when introducing a new idea, presenting in front of a large crowd, or even when watching a video and you want to engage the students.
*This list is in alphabetical order
- Answer Garden - A nice little free solution for education to poll students and and gather feedback via a chat.
- Back Channel - A great solution for education to create a chat and increase participation while assessing student's learning.
- Chatzy - Create a private room and invite via email or URL, includes advanced features such as the ability to use commands.
- Google Classroom - Probably one of the most popular ways for an educator to create a back channel chat using the "stream" feature which allows educators to chat with students in a safe environment.
- Padlet - One of the most popular online bulletin boards where users can create digital post-it notes in real-time to create a chat.
- SoapBox - Create a virtual room where students can interact through polls, Q/A, discussions, and more.
- TinyChat - Create a room that integrates directly with Twitter, as well as the ability to do video/audio chatting.
- Twiddla - One of the best collaborative whiteboards for commenting/drawing in your own "sandbox." Users also have the ability to chat via text/audio in real time.
- Unhangout - An interesting new site from MIT for creating back channel chats with the ability to host videos and have breakout sessions, and more.
- Yo Teach - One of my favorite sites around for creating a back channel back with lots of features for educators.
I highly recommend checking out Monica Burn's excellent blog post on how to get started w/ Back Channel chats by clicking here.
cross posted at cyber-kap.blogspot.com
David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and read his blog at cyber-kap.blogspot.com.