Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Backchanneling Basics #13 - Other uses of a backchannel

I promised this blogpost for the middle of June after school was out.
No excuses for it's tardiness except for the business of summer
vacation. Since school is begining to start back up, I thought I would
get back to uses of backchannels beyond my classroom.

First off, silent discussions seem to be a use of backchannels across
curricular areas. In my building, I'm aware of this technique being
used in another English classroom as well as a Social Studies
classroom. These two classrooms also use the technique for true
Socratic Seminars, allowing two simultaneous yet parallel discussions
to occur.

Outside my school, I've heard of foreign language classes using a
backchannel to write a story together on one day and then go back and
critique their grammar the net day. Art classes critique and discuss
works of art. Science classes observe and record details of scientific
experiments. Chemistry class post an equation and students explain how
to balance the reaction. Math classes post word problems or equations
and students explain the process used to solve the problem.

What I'm trying to show is that the possibilities are numerous, and
might only be limited by your imagination. Additionally, these uses
could span both middle school and high school. Give it a try with any
of these age groups for a truly engaging lesson.

This will be the last in the regular ongoing series of posts on
Backchanneling in the Classroom, but as I try new things or hear of
other uses by educators around the world, I'll share those as
additions to this series. Stay tuned. And if you have just recently
found his blog, check out my posts from earlier in 2009 on the subject
as well as my K12Online Conference presentation on this subject. You
can always contact me online if you have questions or need further


Lori said...


Thanks so much for providing this informative series of posts on backchanneling. I have passed your blog on to many teachers and groups looking to explore this concept. I have had a difficult time trying to explain the concept... you have done a magnificent job! Thanks again for the valuable resources.

nisha said...

Hello, incredible blog post! pls continue this great work...

French Tutor said...

I don't really understand what backchanneling is all about, some sort of computer program to help with teaching?

Anonymous said...

French Tutor: You might want to check out this blog post, another I wrote, which is a good starting place for what backchanneling is: http://thespian70.blogspot.com/2009/02/backchanneling-basics-1.html

Essay Writer said...

The uses you provided of backchannel are really convincing.

Mike said...

Great post, but are there any updates or more feedback? It was written quite a while ago and a lot can change in a couple of years.

College Essays said...

Your post helps me to understand what "back channel" really is, and i will surely recommend it to other people."

Heather said...

Hello. I just stareted researching educational blogs and came across your site! I was really excited to see all of thenumerous ways that blogging could be used in all subject areas! I have never tried blogging in my classroom, but feels as though it would give my students a new look into communicating effectively with one another!


dejavaboom said...

Sad to see this is to be the last word on Backchanneling from you. I am seriously considering incorporating it into my English courses at a community college. I appreciate your details on integration, particularly introducing me to CoverItLive.com.

Ten thousand thanks.

JRocco said...

Another idea just came to me. Often, when I read plays with my students, we read excerpts out loud in class. This is useful but not always enganging. Using a backchannel would allow students to react to the text and ask questions about it.

Nikki's Tech Blog said...

I am a student and currently in a class that teachers us how to use technology in the classroom. I have never heard of backchanneling, but it seems like a good tool to have students use in the classroom, and I for sure going to find out more about it.

Child’s thinking and reasoning skills said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful information!!!!!!!!!!!

TeachingCertification said...

This is the first time I got to know about back channeling and I am definitely going to share this article to my co-teachers. Thank you so much for an interesting read.

Columbus Math Tutor said...

Good information about backchanneling. I wasn't familiar with this technique previously.

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