Happy Wednesday Friends! Thanks to everyone who has linked up for Monday- Must Have Apps and Tuesday-Technology I Couldn't Live Without! Today is Wonderful Web 2.0 Tool(s). There are so many awesome sites out there it is hard to keep up with them all!
Today's Meet which I mentioned a long time ago over here is an awesome backchannel Web 2.0 Tool. It is a similar to Twitter in that it only allows a limited number of characters for each post (140 characters), however the message is only saved to that "room." Today's Meet is kind of like a chat room but when used in the classroom it can be a very powerful tool. It allows for everyone to be heard, even your shy friends who never raise their hand to share will speak up on Today's Meet. Today's Meet also allows for questions without interruption. Students can answer each other's questions, discuss the lesson as it is happening and share insights. It is also a great way for students to practice their typing skills, writing mechanics and grammar. When Today's Meet is being used you can usually hear a pin drop in the room and there is amazing discussion going on.
One thing I love about it is that it is so easy and doesn't require usernames or passwords. Students just have to click and follow a link or type a simple URL. Then they type their name and join the room. As the creator of rooms you don't even need a username or password and you can easily create a "room" and set the duration from 1 hour to 1 year. There are some drawbacks that I won't get into too much (you cannot delete a post if someone writes something inappropriate, only 127 characters per post, if students struggle with typing it is frustrating when the conversation moves quickly, students might try to sign in as someone else or not as themselves) but it is free and if you teach kids how to use it properly it can increase engagement and participation. I honestly haven't had ANY problems with this but as an adult these were some of my own initial concerns. I have used it a lot with technology trainings and it works really well. One of the 5th grade teachers uses it weekly as her class meeting and it has been working beautifully. She recently used it to help teach voice and assigned everyone a secret name and as they talked with each other they had to determine who was who.
If you haven't conducted a Today's Meet before go check it out and post a comment on my sample one!