Backchannels In Education

If you have attended a conference in the past year, then you probably at least heard about the conference’s “backchannel”. Essentially, a backchannel is a conversation that is taking place during an event, alongside the main activity or presentation. At conferences, this often takes place on Twitter by attendees using a hashtag for the event.

For example, we have created a hashtag for our upcoming Teaching and Learning to the Power of Technology conference (TLt 2013) and will encourage those in attendance to discuss the presentations on Twitter by including “#tlt13” in their tweets. By using the hashtag, those in attendance can follow the discussion by searching #tlt13 on Twitter. Another popular tool for backchannels is TodaysMeet.

Backchannels have also made their way into classrooms as a tool to improve teaching and learning. One tool created specifically for the classroom is Center Class. Check out the video below to see how it works and why this may be useful in your classes:

If you’re interested in setting up a backchannel in your class(es), there are many options to consider. Feel free to contact us here at the GMCTE to discuss the possibilities.

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