Monday, September 10, 2007

Classroom backchannels

Image from Cirne

Cool Cat Teacher is installing a backchannel in her classroom. I love this. They don't even do this at most of the conferences I go to. But it is an amazing tool for people who are more comfortable with writing than speaking, and an amazing tool for referring back to after the class, or session, or seminar is finished. I'm not quite clear on whether this teacher is a private school teacher or not; if so, her ability to set something like this up is not as surprising. Still, if I understand it correctly, she's using a projector somewhere in the room to display the backchannel, and the implementation is done using just a private chat room on a public chat room server. What would it take to do this in a public school? The same as this teacher: a projector, a wall, and access to a chat server. And, the ability for the students to add chats from their desks. It gets a bit tricky right about there. Maybe at a New Technology High School they can do this, or maybe in a few years they'll get together one of those deals where every student has a laptop. Maybe. But there is one room at my son's school where they could do this: the brand new computer lab, and the room has a projector. I wonder what sorts of classes they teach in there?

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