Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

Another thought on “Blogging as Participation”

July 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Although the discussions on the “Blogging as Participation” article by Lankshear and Knobel may have moved on, I was just recently reminded of an interesting tool that may be used in the classroom- its called “TodaysMeet”. It is a tool that tries to bring the ‘Backchannel’ to the forefront of a presentation. On their website TodaysMeet identify Backchannel as “everything going on in the room that isn’t coming from a presenter” ( They further state that the backchannel is where people ask each other questions, pass notes, get distracted, and give you the most immediate feedback you’ll ever get”. I find this to be a fascinating tool because it may allow for a speaker or presenter (which we sometimes find ourselves being in a classroom ie. we take on that role, although hopefully not for too long at a time!) to see what people in the class may think. Its timely and inclusive, so that people who may not be entirely comfortable speaking up in a regular setting may comment in the this new type of chat room. That is one benefit that I see to using it. Also, it allows students to have even further in depth discussion in another medium. Another benefit is that its immediate and timely feedback to the presenter (in this case the teacher). However, is it effective and does it really help the teacher? I’m sure that a lot of the backroom is some banter that may be deemed unimportant, which in turn may be a distraction. Also, is it a distraction to the students? Are the participating in more Backchannel than would usually happen?

We ran an experiment with this tool in my LLED 361 classroom last semester, and there was alot of conversation in the Backchannel that was very interesting. We would comment about what the instructor was doing, what we thought of the videos she was showing us, made connections to our lives, etc. However, there was also lots of joking and ‘fluff’, so to speak. Was it interesting? Yes. Was it necessary? I’m still not sure. Would I try it in a classroom? Perhaps. I am interested to know if anyone else has tried it before or if you have any ideas on how it can be used effectively as a classroom tool.

Although this may not be a blog per se, I find that it is definitely an important development in the Web 2.0. It is interactive, timely and participatory. The two main ways that Lankshear and Knobel define blogs is their ability to have a large pool of participants with the right tools for accessing it for and of partipation (7). I’m not TodaysMeet is a blog. it is more like a chatroom. It brings the same issues of participation, multiple literacies and creation of knowledge that blogs can in the age of the Web 2.0.

-Zlatina Radomirova (blog post #2)

Works cited

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M.  ”Blogging as Participation: The Active Sociality of a New   Literacy.” American Educational Research Association. San Francisco, CA. April 11, 2006. Web.




Tags: Social Media

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