Friday, August 12, 2011

10 Common Challenges We'll Face This Fall - Challenge #5: Giving Every Student a Voice

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One of my most popular presentations, the one that I'm most frequently asked to give, is 10 Common Challenges Facing Educators. When giving this presentation I outline challenges that classroom teachers often face and present some resources and strategies for addressing those challenges. In preparation for the new school year I've created a series of blog posts based on that presentation. Today's post is about giving every student a voice through back channels.

What is a back channel?
The short answer is that a back channel is a digital forum through which students can share ideas and post questions while another activity is happening in your classroom. For example, when I give mini-lectures I create back channels through TodaysMeet. Through that forum students can post questions as they come up. I also use back channels when students watch news clips and or documentaries. Students ask their clarifying questions and I respond to them while the students are watching the video. For some ideas on using back channels in elementary school classrooms, read this article that I posted last year.

These are the slides that I use when running workshops about using back channels in your classroom.
Backchannels in the classroom
View more presentations from Richard Byrne

This is part five of a ten part series of posts about common challenges facing educators. If you're interested in having me speak about this topic or others at your school or conference, please contact me through the Work With Me page.