backchannel: using TodaysMeet.com

The big buzzword that I am hearing a lot about is something called “Backchannel”. As a presenter you know that people are talk in the background about your presentation. Why not use that power for good and embrace that is going on the dark back corners of the room. While researching this topic I found a website called “TodaysMeet”. I was introduced to this site through another favorite site of mine called “Edmodo”, maybe you have heard of it 🙂 ImageTodaysMeet allows you to quickly gather information from people in the room. Of course there are many other ways to poll and/or backchannel during a presentation or during class but TodaysMeet offers a quick, simple, and temporary way to do that. You have to option to “delete” the backchannel room after two hours, eight hours, 12 hours, one day, one week, one month, or one year. As you are presenting you can see what people are saying about your presentation. You can answer questions from someone who is either too shy to ask or if the room is too large to see a hand go up. Of course you can do this on Twitter as well but I like that it is not permanently on the web for ever! You can post a topic and have it delete after one hour. As the teacher/presenter you can always print out the transcript of the backchannel and make adjustments the next time you are presenting.

Let’s see how simple it is to create a TodaysMeet backchannel:
1) go to http://www.todaysmeet.com
2) create a “room name”, make sure the room URL has a green checkmark, copy the room URL, set the length of the room, and click “create your room”
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3) have the students / participants go to the room, then have them type their name, and click “join”
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4) Have to student / participate type in their message and/or question then click “say”. Similar to Twitter, TodaysMeet is a microblogging site that only allows the user to post their comments in 140 characters or less. It really makes you think before you post 🙂
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5) As you can see you “Talk” on the right side of the screen and “Listen” on the left side of the screen.Image

6) Finally you will notice three links at the bottom of the “Listen” side. First you will see a shorten URL to give out to your students and/or post on social media. Next you will see “Transcript” and “Projector”. These allow you to either show the results on a projector screen or allow you to archive the comments by either printing them out or copy/paste into another application.

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I hope you learn a lot from the backchannel! See you next time.

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How to view someone’s BLOG on your iGoogle page

iGoogleSo many people want to share valuable information on the web and they do it through things called “blogs”. The word blog comes from we”b-log”. Some people may use their blog like a diary of sorts while others use it as a way to communicating BURSTS of information that they want to share with the world. I personally like to read technology blogs. As we all know technology changes so quickly and I find that this is the only way that I can keep up with the fast changes that happen. So here’s the question, How do I read all of the blogs?
I like to use my http://www.iGoogle.com page. If you do not have a iGoogle account just go to http://www.google.com and click on “sign-in” to create a google account and follow the directions on setting up your iGoogle page. It is very easy but I must warn you…. once you get started you may find yourself sucked in for a while 🙂 One you create your page you will see a link in the upper right corner that says “add gadget”. Do a search and add the Google Reader gadget to your iGoogle page.  After you have inserted your Google Reader Gadget just click on it and it will open Google Reader. You will notice there is an “Add Subscription” link in the upper left corner. Finally you just past the URL (web address) of the blog that you would like to follow! DONE!!! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Social Media… Facebook, Twitter, WordPress… oh my…

You’ve got the Facebook, the Facebook fan pages, the Twitter, the wordpresses, etc. so how are you updating them all? Please don’t tell me that you are going old school and logging in to each separate application and posting/updating…. if so, you must be going CRAZY!!!! Let me introduce you to a little thing called

HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com/)

go ahead take a deep breath, you life will become sooooooo much easier now that you know about this application. It allows you to update multiple Facebook pages, multiple twitter accounts as well as your wordpress blogs all in one location!!!!! aaaaahhhhhhh….. now don’t you feel better just knowing that this exists out there 🙂 Oh one more cool thing you can “publish” an update, tweet, or blog that will post in the future, for what ever reason you would want to do that.

I dare you to create an account and log in…. try it and let me know what you think.