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One less step to close a room

Another small Friday Feature: closing rooms just got a little easier.

Right in the Room Tools, room organizers have a close now button:

When the room is closed from anywhere, everyone connected is alerted right away:

Sign up tonight, and take control of your rooms! Happy Friday!

Embed TodaysMeet rooms into your class websites and LMSes!

TodaysMeet rooms can be embedded into your class websites and LMSes!

To make backchannel discussions on TodaysMeet fit as easily as possible into your classroom as possible, you can now embed the room directly into most LMSes, like Blackboard, Moodle, Schoology, and more, and websites.

You can choose to embed the transcript of the room that is read-only and has the oldest comments first—great for reading a discussion after the fact—or embed a live room, and allow students to participate directly from your class site!

Grab the embed code from the Room Tools menu:

There’s even a WordPress plugin available, to make embedding a room in any WordPress-powered blog a snap!

Embedded rooms don’t lose their permissions: if a room requires users to sign in to join, it still does when it’s embedded. You can sign in directly from the embedded room if you already have a TodaysMeet account.

There’s lots more helpful documentation, including steps to embed a room into many LMSes. Get started today!

Better Room Tools

TodaysMeet keeps getting better, and to make it easier to access the new features, there’s a brand new Room Tools menu!

At the bottom of the room, you’ll find the Room Tools menu, giving you quick access to the Projector view, QR codes, short links, transcripts, speaker colors, and more!

This new menu is easier to close, too: the menu button, the X in the corner, or pressing the Escape key will do it.

And this picture isn’t final. The new Room Tools menu is designed to have more room to grow as TodaysMeet gets more new features. Sign up today and take control of your rooms!

A busy July at TodaysMeet!

Whoa! It’s been a big month here. No summer vacations here at TodaysMeet or for the thousands of teachers who have already signed up to take control of their rooms!

What’s new so far? You can create an account to manage all your rooms, close them early, generate QR codes, add some accountability, and—at long last—moderate the comments! And check out the new transcripts; they are much more printer-friendly.

Somewhat behind the scenes, there have been changes to make conversations really real-time (no more waiting for comments!) and support the big, long-lived rooms that have always been kind of slow.

And there’s more to come! Look for even more new, exciting features to help teachers better manage and integrate their classrooms throughout the rest of the summer and autumn.

On a personal note, it has been amazing to see so many teachers so excited about the changes so far. I am thrilled that I get to work on a product that means so much to so many people.

QR Codes for Rooms

Here’s a small change to make teachers’ lives just a little easier. On your TodaysMeet home page, you’ll now find a link to a QR code for each of your rooms.

The QR code is available in 3 sizes, two suitable for downloading and including in your own presentations or hand outs, and a large one you can show directly on a projector.

For now, you’ll need to sign up to grab these QR codes, but you can share the link with anyone!

Moderate your rooms!

I’m so excited to announce (finally! at long last!) that TodaysMeet users can now moderate the content of their own rooms!

See an inappropriate message in one of your rooms? Just put your mouse over it—or tap it on a phone or tablet—and click “delete”…

…and the message disappears. It will vanish from everyone’s screen, if they are in the normal or projector view, so you don’t have to worry about students continuing to see the content.

Sign up and take control of your rooms with this and other powerful tools!

Scheduled Maintenance – Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen complications, this maintenance window has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 22, from 8pm to 10:30pm Eastern.

There will be a brief (30-90 minute) scheduled maintenance window on Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 8pm. During this time TodaysMeet will be unavailable.

I will be performing necessary maintenance and system upgrades. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Your New TodaysMeet Home Page

When you sign up for TodaysMeet, you get access to the new TodaysMeet home page, with all sorts of new tools to make it easier to manage your rooms!

Open rooms right away

Right at the top, you can open up a new room in just three steps! Rooms can stay open for as long as you need, up to one year. You can even create protected rooms, and limit who’s allowed to see and participate.

See and sort your open rooms

TodaysMeet collects all of your open rooms in one place, so you don’t have to keep track anymore. Not only do we keep them all in once place, but you can sort by when the room was opened, when it closed, or just by name. Not it’s easier than every to find the right room, and to know what’s closing soon!

Take control of your rooms

And most importantly, with the new home page you are firmly in control of your rooms. Grab the new, print-friendly transcripts; change who’s allowed in; and even close rooms when they’re done, all at your fingertips.

Sign up today and let TodaysMeet help you manage your rooms so you have more time to manage your classroom!

Accountability with TodaysMeet accounts

One of the most popular features of TodaysMeet has been that it has never required users to have accounts.

But accounts and accountability go hand-in-hand. And when working with teens, a little accountability—or the lack thereof—can go a long way in terms of classroom management, behavior, and even taking advantage of teachable moments.

I’ve been experimenting with accountability for a while now. Speaker colors are a useful, but early step. (They have many shortcomings but have been invaluable to learning how to achieve the same good goals.)

Using TodaysMeet accounts for classroom accountability

If you are able to have your students create accounts, you can combine speaker colors with user accounts in a powerful way by using signed-in protected rooms.

When users are signed in with a TodaysMeet account, their speaker color will never change, regardless of what device they’re on, what day it is, clearing cookies—even if they change their email address—or any other variables that confused speaker colors before.

And you can require your students to sign in by opening signed-in protected rooms. If you use a signed-in protected room with your class, your students will need to be using their TodaysMeet accounts to participate, so their speaker color will be consistent.

This works especially well if your district uses something like Google Apps for Ed, and the accounts are under school control. But it will work with any accounts, which only require the student have any email address.

Protecting your rooms

All TodaysMeet rooms have always been open to anyone, until now!

The announcement of user accounts last week carried lots of great news with it, but I want to focus on Protected Rooms, which are perhaps the most powerful new feature so far.

Since the beginning of TodaysMeet, there has been some need to limit who could join a room. Protected rooms offer more privacy, but also more assurance of who is in the room.

Signed-in protected rooms simply require users to have TodaysMeet accounts to join and participate. You can set the option when creating a room, or from your home page after it’s been created.

Toggle protection with the blue buttons.

Combined with other features, protected rooms will help teachers manage their classrooms, and they will help everyone keep their conversations more private.

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