Are you familiar with backchanneling?
To “backchannel” is to use a digital forum to have an online conversation about a speaker, presentation, or topic. The conversation is synchronous allowing all users to talk in real-time. Traditionally, backchannels are hosted on various platforms including Today’s Meet, Class Commons, and now 81 Dash. With the growing popularity of social media, many conference developers have transitioned to using Twitter, along with a specific hashtag, to publicly share their learning and confer with colleagues. In the realm of classroom teaching, many teachers continue to use backchannel platforms, as opposed to social media accounts, as it gives all students access and eliminates the need for a personal social media account.
In the past, many teachers have used TodaysMeet as a tool for backchanneling. Recently we have discovered a new backchanneling tool called 81 Dash that was developed by educators for educators.
User Features: 81 Dash allows teachers to register for an account and quickly create rooms. Teachers can then name their room and decide when their room will expire. Once in a room, participants can exchange messages like a chat room or share files. Students can join your 81 Dash room by using the URL that was assigned to your room and then registering. Students can register by creating their own 81 Dash login with an email or they can register as a guest without an email. Teachers also have the ability to manually create accounts for students by using the 81 Dash provided Excel sheet.
Along with deciding when a room expires, teachers can also determine if a room is “Active” or “Locked.” Active rooms allow teachers and students to post and interact, while locked rooms allow only the teacher to see the room and what people have posted. Teachers also have the ability to delete student posts to better moderate the conversation. As a teacher or a student, you can get a PDF transcript of the room’s conversation to save and refer back to later.