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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!

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.

Change who can access a room

A big thanks to Dave S, who let me know about an issue with opening new rooms, where some rooms were limited to signed-in users even if they weren’t supposed to be.

I’ve fixed the original issue and to help anyone who opened rooms with the wrong privacy setting, you can how toggle the setting from your list of rooms:

I will probably try to make this look and work a little nicer, but in the mean time all you need to do is click the blue buttons and you can switch back and forth.

TodaysMeet included in the AASL’s Best Websites for 2014

I’m honored and proud to share that TodaysMeet was included in the American Association of School Librarians‘ (AASL) Best Websites for Teaching and Learning list for 2014! The AASL’s list “honors 25 Internet sites that provide enhanced learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators.”

There are some great tools on the list, which covers six categories, each tied to strands in the AASL’s Standards for the 21st–Century Learner. Check out some of the other sites, and their Best Apps list!

Device Support Update

TodaysMeet works in all sorts of classrooms, from 1:1 laptops to iPads or other tablets to BYOD. As the ever-changing landscape evolves, I try to support a broad range of devices and browsers.

“Supported” means that TodaysMeet works. You can open new rooms, join rooms, and engage in conversations. Not all browsers and devices are created equally, so even on supported platforms there might be small differences.

If you experience any problems with TodaysMeet on a supported platform, please let me know and I will work to fix it as quickly as I can.

Desktop browsers:

  • Google Chrome (up-to-date and any extended-support versions)
  • Mozilla Firefox (up-to-date and any extended-support versions)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 8 and above)
  • Apple Safari (version 7 and above)
  • Opera (up-to-date and any extended-support versions)

Mobile browsers:

  • iOS
    • Safari (built-in, iOS 6 and above)
    • Chrome (up-to-date versions)
  • Android
    • Android Browser (built-in, version 4 and above)
    • Chrome (up-to-date versions)
    • Firefox (up-to-date versions)

If a browser or device isn’t on this list, it doesn’t mean TodaysMeet won’t work, but that it isn’t tested and I can’t promise that it will work correctly. It’s worth giving it a try.

Copy and Share Your Room

Careful observers might notice a slight change to the bottom of the Room today. Where there was short today.io link to the room itself, now it’s easy to copy and share, via Twitter, email, or a classroom management system.

Copy Button

Simply click the Copy button and the link will be copied into your clipboard, then send it out to your audience or your class.

These today.io URLs are designed for sharing: not only are they short and Twitter-(or TodaysMeet!)-friendly, but they’re often better than the Room’s full URL. Every today.io URL is unique, so even if your room has closed and its name has been reused, the old today.io URL will let people know the room they’re looking for closed, rather than sending them to the new, wrong room.
Happy Chatting!

One Hour Rooms

TodaysMeet now supports one-hour long rooms!

Many of you have already noticed. One-hour rooms, which replaced the unpopular 12-hour option, are already the second most common.

How can we do even better? Please take the survey and let us know how you’re using rooms. Your input will help make TodaysMeet better!

2014 State of the Union Room

Joining with teachers and students across the country, I’ve opened an official TodaysMeet State of the Union room. The address begins at 9pm, Eastern, and I’ll be there (I’m “James Socol”) to watch and chat along with you all.

This is President Obama’s 6th State of the Union, and takes place in a congressional election year. 6th SOTUs have always been important because of their potential impact on the upcoming elections. How will policy statements tip the scales in each district? What role will party politics play in the speech?

Join me at 9pm this evening, and let’s find out together!

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