i Tweet for TodaysMeet!
Name of App: TodaysMeet
Type of Technology: Web-based, Twitter-like, temporary and private backchannel for classroom use.
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade Level: Upper elementary and above
Subject Area: Any and all
Cost: Free. For permanent transcripts and to maintain an archive of sessions beyond 1 year, the cost is $5/month, but the free account allows teachers to print transcripts, which achieves the same purpose. The free version for most is sufficient.
Description: TodaysMeet (click here) is a real-time, live-streaming, digital lesson guide that allows students a voice and directs them quickly to websites and documents for easy access during a lesson. A simple backchannel platform without overwhelming “bells and whistles,” TodaysMeet invites student input and allows teachers to check for understanding with more immediacy and without taking papers home.
a free, versatile classroom backchannel and interactive lesson management tool
Sometimes the shift to technology applications in the classroom can be overwhelming. Some apps can be expensive or complicated to implement, or don’t have the functionality that another app has. It can be a frustration when a new app arrives on the scene that has more bells and whistles than the one you’ve finally worked out how to implement with some confidence. If an app works for your classroom needs, stick with it; don’t abandon the work you’ve done for change-sake. I favor simplicity of function and ease of use over nifty bells and whistles. Many new apps are redundant. Rushing to an app just because it’s new, unless you have the time and natural curiosity to investigate it, can be counter-productive.
What I appreciate about TodaysMeet is its simplicity, its price (free), and its interactive character. I use it less as backchannel as I do an efficient vehicle to direct students to video clips or Google Docs or My Maps, or other interactive websites and apps, like Nearpod or NEO, or “gamification” apps like Socrative or Kahoot. However, it is a useful platform for student responses – either to the content of the lesson in the form of questions and confusions – or even purposeful, short formative assessments, like an exit ticket – all housed in one, paperless, controlled cyber place. The only limitation is number of characters. Like Twitter, student responses can be no more than 140 characters. Students must use an economy of words to convey their understanding, which is a useful skill.
How It Works: Create a free account by registering your email and a password. You’ll get a verification notice by email. Once you confirm, you’re in!
Now you’re ready to create a “room.” Once you’ve named the classroom, decide how long you want to keep it open – an hour, a day, a year?
Find the classroom’s URL and post it by copying it into the message box. Students get out their devices, laptops, or sit at desktops, type the URL, and they’re in. In real time, you can pose questions you want them to respond to, or type in a URL of the next location you want students to visit. As soon as you click enter, it not only posts but creates the hyperlink. Just like that.
Guidelines: All schools have acceptable use agreements for parents and students to review and sign at the beginning of each school year, but reminders are important. I keep the guidelines simple:
- TodaysMeet is a forum for learning. Use academic, school-appropriate language and conventions, not texting, slang, or casual language.
- Contribute to respectful dialogue: lift up the learning and each other.
- The consequence for violation of the above guidelines is censorship from our forum at the teacher’s discretion.
- EdShelf review and video “Getting Started” overview
- YouTube Tutorial for Teachers by EdTech Teachers (4 minutes)
- YouTube Tutorial “TodaysMeet for Classroom Backchanneling” (9 minutes)
- Blog by Tech Tools 4 Teachers, “Five Easy Ways to Use Today’s Meet in the Classroom”
- Article, “20 Ways to Use TodaysMeet in Schools”
Closing Thoughts: Sometimes I use the site to encourage student voice and amplify the interactive character of the room. Sometimes I use the site to help students navigate the lesson and the pre-selected sites I’ve chosen. Other times, it’s a combination of the two. TodaysMeet is versatile that way. It doesn’t have to be used to its fullest extent each time. You’ve heard the adage, “less is more.” There is some truth to that. Integrating technology doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. TodaysMeet testifies to that.