Tuesday, June 30, 2015

81Dash Offers a Revamped Tool for Backchannels and More

Last summer at ISTE 2014 I learned about 81Dash. One year later 81Dash is still going strong and has launched a revamped user interface. All of the same great features of 81Dash are still there, they're just a bit easier to find and use than before.

At its most basic level 81Dash provides teachers with a place to host a chat or backchannel conversation that is moderated. Teachers can create and manage multiple chatrooms within their 81Dash accounts. In addition to chat teachers can post notes and task lists that are separate from the chat. Students can see those notes and task lists by selecting "notes" or "tasks" within an 81Dash room.

Students join your 81Dash room by going to the URL that is assigned to your room. When they arrive at your room for the first time they will be asked to register. There are two registration options. Registering as a "guest user" does not require students to enter email addresses. Students can also sign into 81Dash with their Google Accounts or Microsoft accounts.

Applications for Education
81Dash resolves the complaint that teachers have about many backchannel tools. That complaint is not having a way to delete messages or delete a room if students write inappropriate things in the backchannel. 81Dash's notes and tasks features could be helpful to students in keeping track of assignments for your class.