Are you in an embarrasing situation that students keep silent in the classroom? Are they really following you or just thinking about what to eat after class? Stop worrying now! Here is a tool used to record Ss thinking process in the classroom. You can read their mind only by creating a room before a class or speanding a few seconds at the beginning of your class. Here we are: TodaysMeet.
1) What is the technology/ What does it do?
TodaysMeet is used to make audience heard in a presentation. Their comments and questions can be promptly presented and the presenter thereby uses these feedbacks to adapt their speech in order to
get meanings across.
It is very easy to use. First go to this website http://todaysmeet.com/, Then name your virtual room and choose a period that you want to keep this room. Finally, entre your name and your room link is in the address sector of your browser. (http://todaysmeet.com/teacherswhynot, this is a room that I created for a year. You are more than welcomed to leave your comments there).
2) Why is this particular tool or technology relevant to language learning? What approaches to language learning or research underpin the use of this technology?
For learners, this tool is beneficial for them to get their voice heard. Instead of bothering listening to teachers' monologue in the front of the classroom, students can write down their immediate ideas. In the meanwhile, this tool provides a possibility of learner-learner interaction when teachers hold the floor. Learners can see what others are thinking and might be inspired somehow.
For teachers, it is good for teacher-learner interaction. Some students are shy of public speaking. By using this, their opinions are received by teachers. At the same time, teachers can adjust their presenting content according to students' feedback in lecutures. For example, if students are still confused about a terminology after explanation, teachers can elaborate in response.
According to Mason (2005), learning and knowledge are complex adaptive systems and depended on content, context and community. In a language learning classroom, the content is what teachers plan to convey, the context is consituted by the community "teachers and learners", also including other factors such as learners' learning style. TodaysMeet is on the right track in making it possible for teachers to adapt curriculums in response to immediate interaction, which fits into the natural character of knowledge itself: being organic. This could lead to better learning outcome.
3) How might you use it to foster language learning in class/outside class?
TodaysMeet can be used in group discussion and whole-class presentation either by teachers or by students. In both case, students are given the opportunities to share ideas with the rest of the class, including teachers. Moreover, all the content can be presented by selecting 'transcript' on the right bottom of the chatbox. Teachers then can save that content for students. Surprisingly, to make it easier, you can even share the whole content via twitter. This transcript is useful for students to review others' brainstorming. In addition, it is a good recourse for educators to collect classroom data for research purpose.
4) What limitations can you see with the use of this technology?
There are two limitation as far as I am concerned. Firstly, if the class size is too big, the data could be complex and teachers might find all infomation just bubble and hard to get the main point. Secondly, shy students find their way to express ideas in class thus the chance of speaking is avoided at the same time.
Mason, J. 2005. 'from e-Learning to e-knowledge' in M. Rao (ed.). Knowledge management tools and techniques: practitioners and experts, Boston : Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.