Backchannel Chat is an online chat resource developed specifically for teachers.

Resources and links

http://backchannelchat.com/ - home page
http://backchannelchat.com/Blog - blog

SWOT analysis

Strengths:

  • Archived chat
  • No Student to Student private messages
  • Teacher can moderate any message in whole-class discussions, ensuring conversation stays focused
  • Upvoting on student messages to help show the teacher what to give attention to
  • Documented number of posts
  • File sharing capabilities
  • Chat sessions can be embedded into websites
  • No personal information required from students
  • Works with Google apps, Edmodo, and Schoology
  • Works on smart phones and tablets
  • Profanity filter and transcripts
  • Embed photos and videos in the chatspace
  • Polling

Weaknesses:

  • $15/year (though that is, admittedly, rather cheap)
  • Internet required

Opportunities:

  • Connecting students that might not otherwise be connected (primarily in online classes)
  • Providing out-of-classroom support for students

Threats:

  • Students’ comments could be ignored accidentally if “moderated messages” is turned on

Ideas:

  • Flipped classrooms could have chat sessions in the evening to help with concepts student might struggle with
  • Could be used during movies to discuss elements of the movie without disturbing others
  • Synchronous sessions for online courses