I had read Silvia Torisano’s blog on backchannel ideas with students, and decided that our upcoming bullying video for Personal Safety class would be a great start to try this out. Our middle school students use Google Apps in Education. Rather than add yet another app to our process of learning to write, I decided to try a Google Document that all students would use to type notes simultaneously. I set up a Google Document and shared it with my students. Before we started, I asked them to type their name in a spot on the document, making sure it was not in someone else’s area. I asked them to leave a few lines between their name and those above and below. That way, when students began sharing their ideas and questions, each student had his/her own area without interfering with another’s line of words. They could still scroll and read others’ ideas, but would return to their own space to add their own ideas.
We watched the video on bullying, typed our ideas, and then paused frequently to discuss and highlight our important ideas. Then we would continue this process: watch, type ideas, review and highlight. The great thing about this is I could see who had brought up an insight to which we could discuss and who was not analyzing and processing the information by sharing on the document. Sharing the insights encouraged everyone, and I could nudge the non-participants too. Everyone engaged in the learning. Don’t you think that’s a great reason to add this strategy to learning? Here’s a short video of our class and a screen capture of our impromptu backchanneling:
Note: I am trying the trick of pasting the embed code and immediately publishing. If you see it here, I won!
While watching a video, students took notes in one Google Doc, simultaneously adding to a class set of notes, and creating our own “backchannel” to the video.
Note: To add video to your blog post, see the hint in the comment below.