Thinking. Learning. Teaching. on the backchannel


Published on

Presented by Kyle Mackie for the Teaching and Learning Innovations 2010 Conference at the University of Guelph.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • My name is Kyle Mackie and I work at Teaching Support Services.  I'm here today to talk about the backchannel, and (hopefully) to recruit one or 2 of you into working this in to your course delivery. [twitter]presentation “Thinking. Learning. Teaching. on the backchannel”[/twitter]
  • I'm hoping you'll join the conversation with me, either now via twitter (the hashtag is #tlibc).   I'll be taking a couple breaks to refer to the stream that's created and see what's happening there if anyone is participating. and here's my contact information - email and twitter.  I'm here all day if you want to corner me during a break or lunch. a couple websites to check out:  Some of the articles and books relating to this talk, links to tools and resources, and the slidedeck from this presentation. is my personal work-related blog where I'll be posting artifacts from this session. Good? Let's get started. [twitter]presentation materials available at [/twitter]
  • A backchannel is a line of communication created by people in an audience to connect with others inside or outside the room, usually facilitated by Internet technologies.
  • A backchannel can be constructive when it enhances and extends helpful information and relationships, and can be destructive when it articulates counterproductive emotions and sentiments .
  • First growing in popularity at technology conferences, the backchannel is increasingly a factor in education where WiFi connections and portable web-enabled devices allow students to use ordinary chat tools, to actively communicate during class.  Similarly, social networking tools such as Flickr, Delicious, Google Wave, and Twitter allow for a robust public back-channel conversation. An audience creating a flow of information you're not creating or managing
  • I’m here to argue that, in a classroom setting, the backchannel is. a powerful tool. when used effectively
  • It’s important to note that the backchannel exists, that whether you like it or not, or know it or not conversations are happening your class, your lecture, potentially your new hairstyle.
  • It’s not a new thing, and it’s not something to blame on technology. In fact, there are some real opportunities to use technology to make this backchannel conversation a useful part of the class.
  • Students have always talked about their classes, and lately the conversations have moved to Facebook, Twitter and text messages, often during the class lecture itself. RT: @ tomabbott funny how conferences now have a soundtrack - tic tic tic tic tic tic tic CLASSES might have the same. "Welcome to real life. Anyone who is teaching is painfully aware that students are IM'ing like crazy and talking about things relevant or not, behind the back of the speaker.  This is common.  The fact (is) that people can do it, so live with it.    Be compelling as a speaker and I'll pay attention to you." -- Dan Gillmor, author People are already talking about you, so you might as well be part of the conversation. Participate, harness the potential power of the backchannel and use it in class.
  • Dr. Rankin, professor of History at UT Dallas, wanted to know how to reach more students and involve more people in class discussions both in and out of the classroom.
  • Enhances the information coming from the instructor, as students take notes, add commentary, and provide additional resources to what is being said at the front of the room. • Connects people within a room, building communities around ideas. • potentially Connects people with others outside the room, as those not attending use technology to follow the the live events, engage in conversations, and even directly ask questions. • Provides a valuable archive of information to review after the class.
  • A backchannel can be a double-edged sword, because it can be destructive when it   • Creates distraction as student pay attention to the backchannel more than the front of the room, or when the conversation strays to topics unrelated to the presentation at the hand. • Leaves out of the conversation people who are unaware or unable to join, creating a sense of unfairness because they have no way to respond to comments and criticisms. • Lacks the ability to convey the full context for what is happening in a room because of the brevity of posts. • Allows a rude or snarky tone to take hold of the conversation when people say things online that they would not say directly to a instructor.
  • Learning takes place in a social context, and encouraging student-student and student-faculty contact and interaction gets at the heart of student engagement. Because of their fundamental reliance on social participation and contribution, Web 2.0 tools, specifically social-networking tools, have great potential for enhancing the social context in support of learning, especially in online education. Twitter’s potential as a powerful instructional tool outweighs negative factors
  • Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson 6  provided a framework for student engagement based on 50 years of research on educational effectiveness. Their framework includes a list of seven “good practice” principles that have guided student-engagement practice and research for the last 20-plus years: Encourage student-faculty contact Encourage cooperation among students Encourage active learning Give prompt feedback Emphasize time on task Communicate high expectations Respect diverse talents and ways of learning Intimate and immediate form of communication, catching the attention of students and increasing their participation preparing students for communicating in tomorrow's new media landscape (21st century literacies) helps focus, keeps engagement, gets more content – elaborations, explanations, useful links get questions answered on the fly blurs the presenter and the audience students can innovate don’t have to be physically present connect
  • let’s remember what Dr. Rankin said it’s going to be messy...but messy doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad” I’m not going to teach you how to use Twitter, or which tools to use...
  • establish its relevance in support of student engagement and learning, set clear guidelines (the twitiquette), model appropriate back-channeling etiquette, and revisit back-channeling’s effectiveness throughout the semester. Work out what you want to get out of Twitter. If you don’t do this, then Twitter will be a waste of time. Accept it Show you understand how it works Take breaks
  • Pre-class The professor/lecturer/teacher/trainer introducing the lesson, i.e. explaining what's going to be discussed/covered in the class The students/learners submitting questions for discussion in advance before class During the class Display the pre-class tweets/discussion that has been taken place and that should take place Displaying the in-class tweets to keep the discussion going Polling Post-class and between classes Posting notes after the class Dealing with students' individual questions Sharing links to relevant resources and websites that pertain to the lesson. Students share their experiences of what they have done and are doing Sending out reminders about upcoming tests, project due dates, or any course/class-related news   Extend the conversation
  • Recruit a Backchannel Team Only display the backchannel when you want your audience to focus on it “ Only tweet what you would stand up and say publicly.”   Tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you.
  • What the backchannel does is help build a community of learning, where students are actively engaged in learning together and from each other.   supports and encourages multiple points of view, variety of competencies, acknowledging of interdependence and mutual respect.
  • Providing communications facilities, and encouraging and enabling those people to communicate and collaborate. It’s about building conversation as a step in learning from each other.
  • No one is as smart as everyone The backchannel can be a way to mindshare, build collective intelligence, build a knowledgebase and a support system to leverage the power of the crowd into collective and collaborative learning.
  • Thinking. Learning. Teaching. on the backchannel

    1. 1. Thinking Learning Teaching <ul><li>on the backchannel </li></ul>
    2. 2. TLi2010 UofG 11May <ul><li>#tlibc </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>@kylemackie </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>line of communication </li></ul><ul><li>to connect with others </li></ul><ul><li>inside or outside the room </li></ul><ul><li>facilitated by technology </li></ul>?
    4. 4. <ul><li>enhances and extends helpful information </li></ul><ul><li>articulates counterproductive emotions and sentiments </li></ul>??
    5. 5. Ordinary Tools <ul><li>Robust Conversation </li></ul>cc:
    6. 6. the backchannel is. a powerful tool. when used effectively.
    7. 7. the backchannel is.
    8. 8. cc:
    9. 9. source:
    10. 10. cc:
    11. 11. a powerful tool.
    12. 13. <ul><li>enhances information </li></ul><ul><li>connects people </li></ul><ul><li>builds communities </li></ul><ul><li>wider audience </li></ul><ul><li>valuable archive </li></ul>
    13. 14. <ul><li>distraction </li></ul><ul><li>unfairness </li></ul><ul><li>context </li></ul><ul><li>rude/snarky (tweckling) </li></ul>
    14. 15. cc:
    15. 16. student-faculty contact cooperation active learning prompt feedback diverse talents intimate and immediate increased participation new literacies helps focus keeps engagement innovate and connect
    16. 17. when used effectively.
    17. 18. “ it’s going to be messy... ...but messy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be bad.”
    18. 20. cc:
    19. 21. cc:
    20. 22. cc: community of learning
    21. 23. building conversation cc:
    22. 24. collective intelligence cc:
    23. 25. thank-you!