Presenter- person who is speaking to the audience.

  1. Organize resources
    1. Establish a Theme/Ultimate Goal before the launch of the Backchannel.
    2. Utilize one online resource to use as a portal.
      1. Wikis, Blogs, Web page, Google Doc, etc...
    3. Have direct links to any online materials ready. Give the audience the ability to find resources in one click.
    4. Share Essential Questions with Moderator.
    5. Share all forms and online survey links.
  2. Communicate with moderator.
    1. Identify the moderator ahead of the time.
    2. Share expectations of the backchannel with the moderator.
    3. Establish a live line of communication separate from the backchannel.
      1. Example 1: If you are using CoverItLive for the backchannel, the presenter will communicate via Skype.
      2. Example 2: If you are using Writeboard for the backchannel, the moderator can pass written notes to the presenter.
      3. Example 3: If you are using Twitter for the backchannel, the moderator can send text messages to the presenter.
  3. Present material
    1. The backchannel is not to be a distraction. If the group loses focus, pause the conversation and address the presentations ultimate goals.
    2. During the presentation, a good moderator will summarize the important points from the backchannel. Presenting small blocks of information will allow the presenter to keep an eye on updates from the moderator.
    3. Stay focused on the ultimate goal of the lesson. Keeping this focus in the lesson and the backchannel is the responsibility of the presenter. If the backchannel isn't working, pull back and try it again another day. No one strategy will fit every teachers' needs.
  4. Communicate with audience
    1. Don't move far out of your comfort zone. If you need to ease into backchanneling, utilize your moderator more.
    2. Polling works well if you ask the right questions.
    3. Essential Questions keep the conversation focused. Sharing backchannel responses during a session gives the audience some ownership of the presentation.
    4. Dare to be proven wrong. Accepting new information or correcting a mistake thanks to the help of the backchannel builds respect and stronger communication.
    5. Be positive. If you disagree with a statement or a topic being shared, let the crowd judge. Nothing destroys a lesson faster than conflict.
    6. Remember, what is being shared is digital and can be brought up later. Feel free to continue the conversation on forums, blogs and other only mediums.

Moderator- person guiding backchannel

  1. Keep the conversation focused on the presentations Theme/Ultimate Goals.
  2. Institute a Code of Conduct.
  3. Share important information frequently with the presenter.


Example - Code of Conduct:

  1. Be Nice
  2. Be Clear
  3. Be Open

  • If the tool you are using for the backchannel isn't intuitive, the tool becomes a distraction.
  • Focus must stay on the Theme/Ultimate goal.
  • A quality backchannel makes the audience feel like part of the presentation.