Backchanneling by Matt Parziale

Have you ever watched a live sporting event or TV show while composing or reading tweets about that event? If so, you have backchanneled. Everyday people backchannel without even realizing it. Backchanneling is when people maintain a real-time online discussion alongside another primary activity (i.e football game, movie in class) This is useful because people can discuss the primary activity without being distracted from it. If there is a live speaker, people can backchannel and discuss the lecture without distracting the speaker. You may ask, why is this good for education? While the class is watching a movie, they can discuss the movie with other classmates and the teacher without distracting others from the movie. It can also be used when students are at home. For History class, the students could be watching a debate for extra credit and backchannel about it for the credit. The uses of backchanneing in education are endless.

Backchanneling is just the broad activity, but there are many services that can be used to backchannel. The most popular is Twitter. By just using a hashtag(#) millions of users can be connect to a “channel” where they can discuss a live event such as a sporting event or breaking news. For the classroom, can be used to backchannel in a more controlled environment. First, the teacher creates a room for a certain amount of time ranging from 2 hours – 1 Month. Next, the students connect to the room and type their name and voice their thoughts for everyone else to see. The teacher can even project the backchannel on the projector and answer any questions. Overall, a backchanning service like has many uses for each subject and can connect technology with a teachers lesson very simply for the teacher.


I have a back channel set up to discuss this blog post; 

It will only be around for a month (Feb 14, 2012) so get backchanneling!