Parlay Ideas: The Future of Class Discussions!

Paid! Parlay Ideas is a platform that allows teacher users to either create or select multimedia discussion prompts for their student users to engage. To begin, teacher users must launch and then register with the site. Once registered, teacher users will be presented with three options on the left side of the screen that include: New Roundtable, Browse Universe, and New to Parlay. If users click the “New Roundtable” option, teacher users will have the option of creating a new course or selecting a course they have already created. After selecting a course, teacher users will select whether this activity…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 10
B. Design - 9.3
C. Engagement - 8.4

9.2

Parlay Ideas: Never Have Digital Discussions Been So Engaging!

Summary : Making Digital Conversations Happen in Safe Environments

Parlay Ideas is a platform that allows teacher users to either create or select multimedia discussion prompts for their student users to engage. To begin, teacher users must launch and then register with the site. Once registered, teacher users will be presented with three options on the left side of the screen that include: New Roundtable, Browse Universe, and New to Parlay.

If users click the “New Roundtable” option, teacher users will have the option of creating a new course or selecting a course they have already created. After selecting a course, teacher users will select whether this activity is going to be used for online or live.

For an online discussion, teacher users have the option to select a premade topic for them or to develop their own topic. If teachers wish to use a premade option, they need to click the “Browse” option, and they can access all the topics in the Parlay Universe. In this option, teacher users can view the different topics by category with the menu located at the top of the screen, or they can scroll down the screen and browse the topics. Once they find a topic of interest, they can click it to preview the content. If they would like to use the topic, they can then click the “Create Roundtable” option. If not, they can choose the back button and continue browsing. After selecting a topic, teacher users need to select the course and click the “Create Roundtable” option. Next, teacher users will need to invite student users by sending them a link, an access code, or connecting to their Google Classroom. Once student users join, they can see the prompt and write their response. Once complete, student users need to click the “Submit Response” option on the bottom of the screen. Their response will then appear for the class community to see. Another feature is that all the student users who participate in discussion are given pseudonyms, so the class community does not know their identity, only the teacher user. Teacher users can toggle the anonymity, assessment, and feedback settings on and off, so other student users can see the identity of the student users who commented and provide feedback. The assessment feature lets teacher users provide feedback, which only the student users who submitted the comment can see on their dashboard.

For a live discussion, teacher users need to share the “Join Code” information with their student users. (Students users will need to go to Parlayideas.com, choose the login option at the top of the screen, and then enter the code.) As student users join, teacher users will see the student users on their view of the conversation under the “Invite Students” column, and teacher users must click on the student users name/icon to allow them to join in the conversation. Once added, student users will have a private space for notes in the middle of the screen, and they can record their thoughts and ideas in this area without anyone seeing them. They can also click the New Idea, Challenge, Build On, and Question options at the bottom of the screen to add their thoughts to the class conversation, which are public. Once student users click one of those options, they can type their comment and then need to tap their enter key. At this point, their comment will appear under their name/icon and their classmates can respond by clicking the “Applaud” icon to signal support for the comment or the “Ear” icon to signal that they want to hear more. At any time, the teacher user can “tap in” by choosing one of the four options at the bottom of the screen. By tapping in, it locks the student users’ screens, and they remain locked until the teacher user taps out. In addition, teacher users can click the “Question” option on the top right of the screen to pose a query or comment to student users, which appears on their notes screen. Teacher users can also tap the “Summary” option to view the percentage of students who participated in a conversation.

Instructional Ideas for Parlay Ideas

  1. To help transition students to online discussions, teachers can first hold face-to-face conversations in their class related to topics of study. Once students become used to these types of discussions, teachers can introduce Parlay Ideas to their students and explain its functionalities. Teachers can then have students do “practice” conversations using this tool. As they build up their skills using Parlay Ideas, teachers can have students use it more frequently than face-to-face conversations. As students’ comfort levels increase, teachers can reduce the use of Parlay Ideas, so half the class conversations use Parlay Ideas and half are traditional conversations. This way, students’ skills for communicating across both modalities will increase.
  2. When introducing a new topic of study, teachers can browse Parlay Universe for a premade prompt or create their own prompt related to the topic. They can then create an roundtable, so students can share their thoughts about the topic before they begin studying it. That way, after they complete their lessons related to the topic, teachers can have students look back at their original discussion and see if their ideas about it changed.
  3. For homework, teachers can have students read a text, view a video, or engage another piece of content. Teachers can then create their own topic about the content and have students respond to it. That way, when students come to class the next day, teachers can use that homework assignment as a springboard into an opening activity for the class.
  4. Teachers can have students present a topic. Next, they can create a roundtable where the students who viewed the presentation can provide anonymous feedback by stating what they learned from the presentation, what questions they still have, and ideas for improving the presentation. The students who presented can then use the feedback to improve.
  5. If a class is engaging a controversial or opinionated topic, teachers can create a roundtable about the topic, so students can anonymously share their ideas about it. Teachers can then moderate the conversation to ensure that students are sharing their ideas about the topic in a respectful manner. This exercise can help promote digital citizenship, as these skills can transfer to social media.

Screenshots of Parlay Ideas

A platform for class discussion

Ratings of Parlay Ideas

A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity

Blank scores indicate the dimension is not applicable to this piece of edtech