Showing posts with label Tozzl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tozzl. Show all posts

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Tozzl, Tozzl, Tozzl, Tozzl, Tozzl - How to Search for a Trademark

Back in October I received an email from the owner(s) of the domain Tozzl.com. It was a cease and desist notice for using the word "Tozzl" in some of my old blog posts and videos. Today, I received a second one from them. In both cases I'm telling them to take a flying leap...here's why. 

There is a lesson in Trademark, Copyright, and Fair Use here for anyone who cares to continue reading. 

Years ago the domain Tozzl.com was owned by an independent developer who created a nice backchannel tool. I wrote quite a few blog posts about various ways to use it classrooms. I also made a tutorial video about it. Unfortunately, it no longer exists and the new owners of the domain are upset because blogs like this one rank higher in search engines than the new Tozzl website does. 

The email that I received in October and again this morning threatened a lawsuit if I didn't remove all references to Tozzl. According to them it is their trademarked term. Unfortunately for them, Tozzl isn't actually a registered trademark in the U.S. Trademark database. Furthermore, using the word Tozzl in an editorial context is a fair use. 

I responded to Tozzl's email in October by pointing out that their claim had no merit and that they should get lost. This morning I responded a bit more strongly by threatening to sue them for harassment and emotional distress. Then, as I always try to do, I decided to turn this into a teaching moment and made a video about how to search the U.S. Trademark database know as TESS. You can watch that video on my YouTube channel or as embedded below. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Reminder - The End is Near for TodaysMeet

In case you missed the news at the end of April, one of my all-time favorite services is shutting down on June 16th. On that day TodaysMeet will go offline. For almost a decade TodaysMeet was the go-to tool for teachers who wanted to create a backchannel discussion forum for their students. I used in my classroom, in classrooms that I visited, and in conference settings. On June 16th I and everyone else who enjoyed TodaysMeet will have to find an alternative. These are the alternatives that I like:

Tozzl
This tool is no longer available. February - 2020
Tozzl is a chat platform that allows you to quickly create private, password-protected message boards as well as public boards. To get started visit Tozzl and select "create a new Tozzl." Then you can name your message board and set a privacy password (optional). Tozzl assigns a new, unique URL to each message board. On your message board you can add sections for chat, file sharing, to-do lists, and YouTube videos. You can also import the feed of a Twitter hashtag into your Tozzl boards.



Backchannel Chat
This is a service that provides exactly what its name implies. On Backchannel Chat you can create a free backchannel room (AKA chat room) in which you can post comments and questions for your students to respond to. Your students can respond in realtime. Students can ask you and their classmates questions within the confines of your Backchannel Chat room. The free version of Backchannel Chat limits you to 30 participants at a time.

GoSoapBox
GoSoapBox allows you to have your audience respond to questions through their laptops, tablets, and phones. Polls and Discussion in GoSoapBox are the meat and potatoes of the service. The Polls tool allows you to survey your audience by having them select an answer choice in response to a question. The Discussions tool allows you to have audience members reply to open-ended questions. One of the simplest yet effective survey options in GoSoapBox is a tools called a Confusion Meter. The Confusion Meter allows members of your audience to simply say, "yes, I get it" or "no, I don't get it." The Confusion Meter, like all of the GoSoapBox survey tools, can accept anonymous feedback. You can use the Social Q&A tool in GoSoapBox to have students submit their questions to you. Students can see each other's question submissions and vote them up if they want to.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

TodaysMeet Is Shutting Down - Six Alternatives to Try

TodaysMeet is shutting down. James Socol, the creator and only developer of TodaysMeet, has announced that he's shutting it down on June 16th. I'm going to miss it and I know that a lot of you will too. I encourage you to read the announcement that James posted because it will give you a good understanding of how much sacrifice goes into producing and maintaining some of our favorite free tools.

I was introduced to TodaysMeet by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano nearly a decade ago and I have used it ever since in classrooms, professional development workshops, and during keynotes. TodaysMeet provided an easy way to give every student a digital voice in classroom discussions. TodaysMeet has been my go-to backchannel tool for so long that it's going to take some time to settle on the best alternative, but here are the alternatives I'm going to be using in various settings over the next few weeks.

Tozzl
Tozzl is a chat platform that allows you to quickly create private, password-protected message boards as well as public boards. To get started visit Tozzl and select "create a new Tozzl." Then you can name your message board and set a privacy password (optional). Tozzl assigns a new, unique URL to each message board. On your message board you can add sections for chat, file sharing, to-do lists, and YouTube videos. You can also import the feed of a Twitter hashtag into your Tozzl boards.
Update: As of July 17, 2018 Tozzl seems to be in a perpetual state of "under construction."
Update: On October 17, 2020 the new owners of the domain tozzl.com threatened to sue me if I didn't take down this post. Needless to say, I don't recommend that anyone go to that site ever. 

Tozzl, Tozzl, Tozzl!!!



Backchannel Chat
This is a service that provides exactly what its name implies. On Backchannel Chat you can create a free backchannel room (AKA chat room) in which you can post comments and questions for your students to respond to. Your students can respond in realtime. Students can ask you and their classmates questions within the confines of your Backchannel Chat room. The free version of Backchannel Chat limits you to 30 participants at a time.

Google Slides Q&A
The Q&A function built into the presentation mode of Google Slides is a good option for gathering questions from students when they are viewing slides that you or their classmates present. For now, this is probably the option I will use during keynote presentations.



Mentimeter
Mentimeter is an audience response tool lets you create polls and quizzes for your audience to respond to during your presentations. Responses to open-ended poll questions can be displayed as a word cloud, but there isn't a true chat function in Mentimeter. You can create and display polls and quizzes from the Mentimeter website or you can use their PowerPoint Add-in to display your polls and quizzes from your slideshow. Your audience members can respond from their phones, tablets, or laptops.

GoSoapBox
GoSoapBox allows you to have your audience respond to questions through their laptops, tablets, and phones. Polls and Discussion in GoSoapBox are the meat and potatoes of the service. The Polls tool allows you to survey your audience by having them select an answer choice in response to a question. The Discussions tool allows you to have audience members reply to open-ended questions. One of the simplest yet effective survey options in GoSoapBox is a tools called a Confusion Meter. The Confusion Meter allows members of your audience to simply say, "yes, I get it" or "no, I don't get it." The Confusion Meter, like all of the GoSoapBox survey tools, can accept anonymous feedback. You can use the Social Q&A tool in GoSoapBox to have students submit their questions to you. Students can see each other's question submissions and vote them up if they want to.

AnswerGarden
AnswerGarden is a neat service that allows you to embed a open-ended feedback tool into your classroom blog or website. With an AnswerGarden embedded into your blog your students can simply type responses to your question and see their responses appear in a word cloud. Creating an AnswerGarden is a simple process that does not require you to create an account. To get started go to the AnswerGarden homepage and click "create AnswerGarden." On the next screen you will enter a question or statement for your students to respond to. To share your AnswerGarden with students you can give them the link or embed the AnswerGarden into your blog as I have done below. Optionally, before sharing your AnswerGarden you can turn on moderation of responses and set an admin password.

Thanks to Kathi Kersznowski for alerting me to the closure of TodaysMeet. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

11 Backchannel & Informal Assessment Tools Compared in One Chart

Last winter I made a series of charts in which I compared popular ed tech tools. I'm now going through those charts and removing some tools and adding some new ones. The chart embedded below is the updated version of my chart comparing 11 backchannel and informal assessment tools. At the bottom of the chart you will find links to video tutorials on each of the tools featured in the chart. You can download the chart here or find the Google Docs version here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Create a Multifaceted Backchannel Through Tozzl

Update: On October 17, 2020 the new owners of the domain tozzl.com threatened to sue me if I didn't take down this post. Needless to say, I don't recommend that anyone go to that site, ever.



A few weeks ago I reviewed a new backchannel/ message board tool called Tozzl. Then two weeks ago I had this horrendous experience with TodaysMeet. As a result I'm switching to using Tozzl for most of my backchannel needs. Tozzl allows me to create sections for chat, file sharing, and YouTube videos within one backchannel. I can also import the feed of a Twitter hashtag into my Tozzl backchannel. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to create a Tozzl backchannel.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tozzl - Create a Multifaceted Message Board

Update: On October 17, 2020 the new owners of the domain tozzl.com threatened to sue me if I didn't take down this post. Needless to say, I don't recommend that anyone go to that site ever. 

Tozzl, Tozzl, Tozzl!!!


Tozzl  used to be a message board platform.  I learned about this afternoon when its lead developer emailed me. My initial thought was, "I don't know that the world needs another message board tool." But as I explored it a bit I changed my mind.

Tozzl allows you to quickly create private, password-protected message boards as well as public boards. To get started visit Tozzl and select "create a new Tozzl." Then you can name your message board and set a privacy password (optional). Tozzl assigns a new, unique URL to each message board. On your message board you can add sections for chat, file sharing, to-do lists, and YouTube videos. You can also import the feed of a Twitter hashtag. In my demo board available here you will see that I imported #NCTIES15.


Applications for Education
The many facets of Tozzl open it up to a bunch of possible classroom uses. You could use it simply as a backchannel tool in which students ask questions through the course of a lesson. You could have students use it as a project management tool when they're working in groups. Tozzl message boards also have the potential to be used for simply distributing digital handouts and videos to your students.