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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ten Web 2.0 Backchannel Sites

I always like to have feedback that is immediate and easy to use.  I do not have time to do much set up for all of my classes.  So I have put together a list of my "Top 10" sites I use to collect data from my students that are easy and FREE:

  1. Today's Meet--This site is so quick to use and easy that the student's actually love it.  You set up a meeting and give the students a link to your room.  They sign in and type--all responses are label by the student's name.  You can then turn this into a PDF if you want to grade the responses and keep a record.
  2. Edmodo--If you haven't heard of this classroom management site you need to check it out.  It allows student to give you feedback and you can grade it on this site and leave comments.  You set up the class and give the students a code to join--NO WORK!  
  3. Google Presentation--I start it and share it with the class and they all have to make their own slide with their part of the JIGSAW from the material or they share their thoughts.  Original thoughts get more points than repeated thoughts.
  4. Padlet-- the old Wall Wisher sight.  It is a fun site to collect brainstorming ideas and it is also very visual for the students to use. 
  5. Twitter Doc--Have the students tweet with a specific hashtag you have created and collect those tweets in Twitter Doc.   You can then turn them into a PDF and share.
  6. Chatzy--This site allows you to set up a classroom or a quick chat.  All students need is the address to participate.  It's quick, easy and free--try it!
  7. Socrative--Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.  It handles specific questions set up in advance.
  8. Poll Everywhere--Collects specific information you set up in advance.  It is good for gaging student understanding.
  9. NING--this can cost but I asked for a sponsor and I have a corporate sponsor to pay for mine through the site.  It is like facebook for the classroom.  The students like it and it is easy to add discussions and read responses.
  10. Blogger--They have to add comments to a posting I have posted.  I also let students create blogs for a class and add postings about what we are studying.  I like them to respond to my postings better because of their comments are all in one place.  Checking everyone's blog takes time--something I don't have a lot of.
Honorable mention is fun brainstorming site that makes participation fun.  It takes some practice to get great results but it's a type of mind mapping so there are times it works the best in small groups.  The students like the mind mapping activities and it is a great critical thinking skill.

If you find this post helpful--let me know!  Enjoy!


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