Today’s Meet provides a free online space, private to those with whom you share the link, where feedback, discussion and ideas can be shared.
This is a tool which comes into its own when users, either individually or in small groups, have access to internet-connected devices (whether PCs or mobile devices). It works on any internet-enabled device so requires no software installations or apps downloads.
A teacher using the tool sets it up simply by going to the Today’s Meet website at http://todaysmeet.com/, enters a name for the room unique to that lesson, and specifies how long the room will remain open before being automatically deleted (anything from as little as only 2 hours to as much as a year). When clicking “create” the room then becomes available at a unique address on the Internet which appears on the screen for the teacher to share with their own class. The pupils then go to that address and enter a name and start typing their comments.
It is extremely easy to use, though obviously the fact that it does require no user signup means that a teacher would need to use discretion in using with classes – it could be misused by pupils, which would be a behaviour issue, and comments cannot be deleted, nor rooms deleted manually (they are deleted automatically at the time the teacher specified when setting up the Today’s meet room). Therefore it would be suggested that this would onky be used where clear expectations had been shared with pupils, and a teacher was satisfied pupils would use it responsibly. In addition it would be recommended that the minimum time for the room be chosen (the comments can be copied and pasted elsewhere in a document if required).
For formative assessment, this tool is particularly useful where the ongoing feedback from pupils during a lesson can help shape the lesson as it is ongoing. Learners don’t require any special account to set up – it is private to a unique address which is not discoverable by others, and is time-limited so is deleted after it has served its purpose in the classroom setting.
This tool keeps all messages together for the teacher, and pupils don’t require to learn how to use any complicated tools – they just type what they need to say.
Padlet as alternative classroom friendly tool
Because the tool Today’s Meet could be misused by pupils, teachers may wish to consider using an alternative tool such as Padlet which provides features which address the concerns of teachers in a classroom setting – including moderation of content, sending to individuals by specific emails, deletion of individual comments, management of screens (and with additional features which include facility to include images, video and documents in posts on a wall).
Chatzy – Online discussions tool -a free online tool which lets users create a virtual room where discussions can take place. These spaces can be set to be only accessible to those with the link, or to specific individuals. There are several choices for those creating the rooms so it’s worth exploring the options and the Frequently Asked Questions page to determine the suitability of the tool for a particular situation.