Teacher provides opportunity for students using ‘Backchanneling’

CASSADAGA – Jenell Krishnan, a fifth-year English teacher at Cassadaga Valley Central School, was recently published in Teaching with Technology (TEwT), an online, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal. The article was rooted in a unique series of lessons taught in May with the help of technology coordinator Phillip Bens and Fredonia State student teacher Elizabeth Poleon.

With the help of Bens and Poleon, Krishnan was able to “Backchannel” with her class during a student performance of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Backchanneling is an online chat forum where participants can interact with each other in real time. Each student was provided a netbook computer to contribute to the online discussion. The chat feed was projected onto the classroom smartboard where text-based questions were answered and important insights were highlighted.

Backchanneling promotes 100 percent engagement and provides a differentiated classroom participation option.

Krishnan stated, “This is one innovative method to increase student engagement while reading a complex text.”

Since this publication, another international journal has expressed interested in Krishnan’s submission of future manuscripts in this area of research. The owner of backchannelchat.com has also donated a classroom subscription for Krishnan and her English classes to utilize during this school year.

This is not the first time Krishnan has been published in a scholarly journal, but it is the first time she is published as first author.

Bens is the Technology Coordinator at Cassadaga Valley Central School. He is fully committed to supporting student and teacher productivity through promoting technology use in the classroom.

Poleon has since graduated from Fredonia State with her bachelor’s degree in adolescence English education.