Google
 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Benefits of Using Backchannels In Your Classroom

Over the years I've introduced a lot of teachers to using  tools like Padlet, TodaysMeet, and Socrative in their classrooms. All three of these tools can be used as backchannel and informal assessment tools. I've written about various ways to use each of these tools in the past. (Click here for TodaysMeet, here for Padlet, and here for Socrative). Here are some of the key benefits of using backchannels in your classroom.

1. Shy students are given a place to ask questions and contribute to conversations.

2. Students who process information by asking a lot of questions can ask an unlimited amount of questions without dominating the classroom conversation. Everyone can see their questions and you can choose when to address their questions.

3. Gauge your students' interest in and or prior knowledge of a topic.

4. Extend your classroom conversations beyond the time in your school's schedule. If you have started a backchannel during a classroom conversation and it's going well you don't have to worry about running out of time because you can have students continue the dialogue later in the day. Students who thing of a question or comment later in the day can add them without having to wait until the next class meeting to share that question or comment.

5. Gauge the effectiveness of an activity in real time. By having students share questions and comments during an activity, you can get an immediate sense of the effectiveness of that activity by gathering feedback from all of your students.

DOGO News - Current Events Lessons to Share in Google Classroom

DOGOnews is a student news site that features articles for K-8 students. DOGOnews covers current events stories in the areas of science, sports, entertainment, and variety of topics that fall under the banner of social studies. Teachers can find stories by browsing the categories, filtering by grade level, or filtering by grade level.

All articles on DOGOnews are accompanied by an embed code that you can use to put the story into a blog post for your students to read. There are two other ways to share articles and questions from DOGOnews. You can create an DOGOnews classroom account. In your classroom account you can post articles with notes and questions attached to them. When your students log into the classroom account they will see the articles you've posted along with the notes and questions you've added to the articles.

DOGOnews has a Google Classroom integration. The following video demonstrates the Google Classroom integration.

How to quickly show or hide your Chrome bookmarks bar

In a webinar last week I incidentally showed a quick way to show or hide the bookmarks bar in Chrome. The webinar was not about Chrome or anything Google-related so I was surprised when someone asked me to show the trick again. There is not a trick, just hit CTRL+Shift+B to show  or hide the bookmarks bar. Watch my video below to see the tip in action.