Digital Backchannels: Giving Every Student a Voice by Jeffrey P. Carpenter

  • Directions: As you read the article, pause to post your predictions, questions, or ideas from the reading.  Please create at least one post

    When you are done reading, summarize the most important idea from the article in a 2nd post.
  • Jason Jaffe

    Idea:  I really like the idea of Interactive Notes.  I could use a class Wiki to allow students to write questions for each other to answer in my AP Bio class.  I feel as if this will get more students actively participating.
  • Christie Besack

    I liked the statement that backchanneling has occurred way before technology use in the classroom. This is so true! Before reading about this, I was skeptical because I thought it would be distracting but the way the article describes it, it seems like it would actually decrease distraction.
    The most important idea that came from this article was that, this, like any technology, needs to be clearly introduced and expectations need to be laid out prior to use. This helps the students know their role.
  • John CRea

    As I see it, the most beneficial thing about using technology for backchanneling is it allows shy or introverted students a chance to offer their opinions.  I wonder how the percentage of students who participate would change if these technologies were used and counted as participation.
  • Matt Riley

    I'm intrigued by the term "backchannel" as it conjures up thoughts of Kennedy-Khrushchev using secret communication to pull the world back from the brink of nuclear holocaust.  I'm wondering how the author came up with the decision to go with this term.  I like the idea of students who are not the first to jump into the conversation to have ways/means to contribute using their mobile phones or laptops during a discussion and how easy it is for a teacher to monitor these backchannel discussions.  It stands to reason that this method would increase student participation and at the same time make class discussion all that much more effective.
  • Stacy Kovaleski

    I love the idea that back channeling gives students time to craft a well thought out response. It evens out the playing field so all kids can contribute to classroom discussions.
  • John Crea 2

    The most important idea in this article is that "backchanneling" can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom, not just as a secondary aspect to frontchanneled conversation.  It can be used as review from the previous day/night's class/homework or closure to a lesson.  In other words, it is effective formative assessment.
  • Beth Applegate

    Love this idea....I think universities are going to have to teach a course on this type of teaching. Teachers are going to have to learn how to change from their original lesson plans since the students' responses could make the day's lesson go in a different direction.  I think it will make learning more authentic and exciting.  I just think that the teacher needs to be confident in their material and flexible with their goal of the day.
  • Stacy Kovaleski

    I think the most important point in the article is teaching the students how to back channel effectively.
  • Mark P

    Interesting idea about backchannel comments while class discussion is going on.  Too many times a few students dominate class discussions, while this gives everyone an equal opportunity.  I like the idea that teachers can receive valuable feedback as to concept acquisition for those that would normally not speak in a class discussion.
  • Elizabeth Schwartz

    I think that this is an interesting way to engage students when no one wants to speak up. It allows the teacher to continue the discussion when it may seem that there is a bit of a lull in new ideas and opinions.
  • Larry Bowler

    The concept of "extending the classroom"  is valuable as well as the idea that every student has a perspective that counts is important.
  • Larry B 2

    For me the most important strategy/idea is to take our student's social instincts and direct them toward academic discourse!
  • Mike Brown

    I liked the idea of extending the classroom. This allows students who have missed class because of illness, vacation, sports etc. to not only access class content but see in class discussions as well. So that when they return they will have access to the content of the classes missed but also the questions raised and comments from other students.
    The main idea is engaging all learners in classroom discussions. It can become very easy to allow the most outgoing students in the class to drive the discussion but this does not give a clear indication of what the entire class knows. Backchanneling gives more students a voice and allows a teacher to access student progress and understanding and then make determinations on where to go from there.