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Teacher Tools is coming November 1st!

Teacher Tools, tools to make managing your digital class room easier and enable whole new uses of TodaysMeet, is coming November 1st, 2014!

Teacher Tools is available for $5 (USD) per month, and when you pre-order this week, the first month is free!

Teacher Tools is available for Pre-order!

Teacher Tools is now available for pre-order!

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Teacher Tools makes managing your digital classroom even easier, and is now available for pre-order for $5 (USD) per month. Teacher Tools includes:

  • Permanent access to room transcripts
  • Keep embedded rooms forever
  • Pause conversations and restart
  • “My School” access control
  • Mute unruly students
  • Room topics or prompts

Teacher Tools will be available in a few weeks. Pre-order today and get the first month free! Your credit card won’t be charged until Teacher Tools is here.

I can’t wait to share Teacher Tools with all of you!

James Socol
Founder, TodaysMeet

Scheduled Security Maintenance – 16/Oct/2014

Update 2, 16/Oct/2014, 11:58pm: The maintenance has been completed ahead of schedule and with minimal disruption!

Update, 15/Oct/2014, 6:55pm: I just got back from an unexpected afternoon in the ER—I’m fine, just a minor lunch accident—and so am pushing this back to tomorrow night, 16/Oct/2014, at 11:45pm.

A security vulnerability named POODLE (link is to the technical security blog post describing it) was announced yesterday.

There is no evidence that this exploit has been used against TodaysMeet, where the issue is low-impact, due to the limited scope of what can be accomplished or stolen with it.

From what I’ve been able to determine, TodaysMeet users on supported browsers are at risk and so I am scheduling a maintenance period for 11:45pm to midnight, Eastern, tonight, 15 October 2014.

Follow along on status.todaysmeet.com. Updates will also be posted to Twitter, and this blog post will be updated when the maintenance work is complete.

As the necessary changes are very small, I am also taking the opportunity to perform some periodic security housekeeping procedures.

Users on supported browsers should only notice any hiccups if they are signed in, and will need to sign in again. Otherwise, there should be no noticeable interruption in service.

Users on unsupported browsers (specifically Internet Explorer 6 (IE6)) on Windows XP will no longer be able to access TodaysMeet.

As this issue is extremely widespread, and involves a fallback, 15-year-old protocol, users of IE6 on Windows XP are strongly encouraged to upgrade to IE7 or 8, which will be able to connect to TodaysMeet and other modern web servers, with better protection.

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!

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.

Interacting with the server...