Engaging your introverts in discussion with TodaysMeet
We all know that some students like to participate more, and some don’t. Many times, the imbalance between talkative and silent students dramatically affects your class dynamic and sometimes can even force you to change your teaching style. Those who aren’t always talkative sometimes get less out of the class as they can’t pitch their ideas or get feedback.
So then the question in modern education becomes, how do you engage your introverts? It’s a challenge that many teachers face every day. It’s not impossible to do, but as with any task, EdTech tools can always make it easier.
TodaysMeet is one of the great tools out there that wasn’t directly intended for EdTech, but makes teaching much easier. TodaysMeet is a backchanneling application that was intended to make it easy to host live discussions about presentations. But for educators, TodaysMeet can do more than that–– it can help your discussion based activities flourish.
TodaysMeet lets you create a meeting space (a virtual classroom if you will) and then anyone with the link to this meetup space can write a comment that gets sent out in one giant thread. One of the amazing aspects about it is that there’s no account signup process which lets you go from tool to classroom instantly.
This tool is especially useful for getting the introverts who don’t want to talk to open up online. One easy way to do it is to split the class into groups and then have the talkative group be in the middle of two concentric circles and they can discuss whatever the subject is. Then the outer group can all be equipped with laptops and they can add to the discussion through TodaysMeet. If you want to, you can even project TodaysMeet on one of the screens or whiteboards so that everyone in the inner circle can see the conversation and respond to questions of the outer circle (it even has a special projector mode that makes the text big for everyone to see). Plus you can get the transcript and either print it out or save as a .pdf. That way your introverted students can feel comfortable participating because they don’t actually have to talk but still add to the discussion.
As teacher, your job is never done, especially when it comes to engaging students in discussion. Using TodaysMeet helps introverts get that opportunity to effectively participate, but it’s not an immediate fix to every situation. There are still a number of things that as a teacher you have to monitor to prevent introverts from not participating online.
Make sure the discussion on the floor doesn’t get too loud. When there’s only arguing and yelling, the atmosphere carries over the entire room and makes it hard for anyone, especially an introvert to post relevant thoughts on TodaysMeet. Likewise, make sure the online discussion doesn’t get too loud. Don’t allow “No”s, only “Yes and…”s. For introverts to feel comfortable, or anyone for that manner, you need positivity and a friendly environment.